Calling all runners and cardio fanatics; this one’s for you! If you’ve ever been on a long run or hitting the treadmill and thought; “Boy, I sure do wish I had a way to effectively track my progress during this workout” then you need to check out the TomTom Runner Cardio watch. The fitness tracker was specifically designed with runners in mind and is a great way to track your progress run after run. I got the chance to test out this nifty little device for 2 weeks and enjoyed getting to know the watch a little bit better. Here are 5 things I loved about the TomTom Runner Cardio.

1. It’s got an integrated heart-rate monitor:

The Runner Cardio doesn’t look very different from its predecessor but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t had a huge makeover. The built-in heart-rate monitor (no chest strap needed!) helps you track your heart rate and see just how hard you are working during your run. Just make sure you tighten the strap enough and wear it in the correct place on your wrist to get an effective reading (you’ll find all the instructions in the box) because there’s nothing worse than completing your run and discovering that your post-workout readings are all wrong.

2. It’s more than just a gimmicky lifestyle tracker:

If you loathe the idea of wearing a fitness tracker on your wrist all day every day then this device is for you. It’s geared to work for you during your workout and can then be taken off and put on charge for the next time you want to use it. Which means you won’t be worried about how you’re going to match it with your pants-suit for that all-important board meeting next week.

3. It’s fun and comfy!

Thanks to a soft feel rubber strap the watch fits comfortably on your wrist and doesn’t feel too bulky. The white and orange colour of the watch is also super funky and makes you feel a little bit like a rock star while you’re sweating it out. I also loved that the watch offers the wearer loads of holes all along the strap so it’s easy to find your perfect fit.

4. It’s easy to use:

The Runner Cardio is easy to use and has a four-way rocker below the large display to help navigate the menus. Getting started with this device is incredibly easy and there’s no fussing about with buttons and all sorts of other stuff before you can start your run. As for your data, the watch syncs to TomTom’s MySport app which allows you to log all your info after your run via wireless data transfer. Just makes sure you have some time on your hands as the transfer can take a while.

5. It does what it says it will do… and well!

I’m always a little bit sceptical of wrist based heart-rate monitors, but the Runner Cardio was extremely accurate. I compared it to my in-ear heart rate monitor during my runs and the results were almost always the same or very, very close. Another bonus of the heart rate monitor feature is the new interval training capabilities with 5 different intensity zones! The watch offers runners a built-in alert system for interval training which lets you know when you need to switch up your speed to reach your desired training zone.

The TomTom Runner Cardio is available from Takealot.com at R3799.