If you are looking for a new multi-sport gps training watch then look no further as the new forerunner 920XT is crazy awesome with a TON of features that you can seriously dial in your training. There are so much that it will take you a bit to get dial it all in but man the metrics you get out of this watch in your triathlon training will be incredibly vital as you adjust your training plan based on looking at your results on Garmin connect.
What I love about this watch is not only does it have great features to keep track of your biking and running metrics, is that it finally has some swimming features on the watch that make swimming indoors fun! You finally get a watch that is built to help you keep track of strokes and laps in a pool! I don’t know about you, but man after doing about 40 laps, I loose count sometimes on what the heck lap I’m on when I’m doing along set. This will help set off alarms on when you have completed your set so you can just swim!
Let’s look at what the Garmin 920XT can do for your multi-sport training below and see if it’s the watch that will be right for you.
Garmin Forerunner 920xt Features & Design
- Running features to track your cadence, stride length, ground contact time, amount of bounce in your step and metronome feature. You of course have your regular distance, pace and heart rate settings.
- I can also estimate your VO2 max, has a race prediction feature and includes a recovery advisory.
- For swimming you can track your distance stroke count, it has a drill logging feature and reset timers to help you start and stop your laps.
- There is also a feature that you can tap into your smart phone to get email, text and other alerts.
- As with most high end Garmin gps watches you can automatically upload your workouts to Garmin connect when paired with your smart phone.
- You have your normal biking metrics and heart rate metrics as well.
- Has activity tracking built in to track your total steps and calories burned throughout the day as well.
- Color Display
- Up to 40 hours in UltraTrac mode; up to 24 hours in training mode; up to 4 months in watch mode
Here is the physical size of the watch 1.9” x 2.2” x 0.5” (48 x 55 x 12.7 mm). The actual display is 1.1″ x 0.8″ (2.9 x 2.1 cm) with a resolution of 205 x 148 pixels. The watch itself weighs in at 2.1 oz. This is 15 percent lighter than the forerunner 910xt model I bought. It’s really a big deal. With a smaller size now in the 920 I would actually wear my watch around all the time. I didn’t like doing that with the older model because of how big it was.
Garmin Forerunner 920Xt Benefits
So, one of the unique things about the forerunner 920 is that you can use this in a variety of ways based on what you want to train for. There are 3 models of this watch that you need to know about so you purchase the correct one. You have the just watch version, HRM-Tri version and the HRM-Run Version. We’ll look at all three so you can see the benefits of each of them.
All of the models come with a standard charging and data cradle. So, just assume that for each one. Also, if you are only interested in a running watch then I do want you to know that this is a pretty expensive running watch. You can get the basic features for half the price with the forerunner 220 or the forerunner 620 to be honest. This is really a triathlon watch when it comes down to it. But if you have the cash this will be one kick a$$ running watch so keep reading!
920XT HRM-Traithlon Version
So, it comes with the HRM tri heart rate strap, HRM Swim heart rate strap and quick release kit.
The HRM Tri strap is made to go underwater and keeps track of your heart rate metrics by sending it back to the 920. It fits nicely under your clothing and wet suit. It also tracks heart rate with the run and bike as well.
HRM Swim Version
Now the HRM Swim is specifically made for indoor swimming. What really made me give up on using the heart rate strap in the pool was that it would slip all over the place and would slip down with pushing off the wall. This strap is specifically made to avoid that with a new strap that is not plastic and incorporates a non-slip design. FINALLY!!!!!!! So, as you are in the pool during the winter months and early spring you will absolutely need this guy so you can finally do more heart rate based swimming workouts.
With this option you can track your pace, stroke count, swolf score and stroke rate. It also has a feature to log your swim drills and comes with 2 different rest interval timers that help you know when it’s time for the next set to push off the wall and get rocking!
You can get really advanced and use the alert timers in your workout to keep you on track so you know when you go a certain distance or you know when your set is over.
Check out the video below to see it in action.
The 920 has is ANT+ compatible. So, you if you have any existing equipment that is measuring your power and wattage that is ANT+ you are in luck. You can gather that data as well.
VO2 Max Feature – In order for this to work you have to use the heart rate monitor and ANT+ option recording your power metrics from your own power meter accessory on the bike. You also have the option during your runs with the HRM run option.
So, this is where if you are just wanting an advanced running gps watch you could opt for this model and skip all the other tri version accessories. In the tri kit you will have all these features included in the HRM-Tri strap.
With the 920XT you get the following running metrics at your disposable for training data.
- You see your steps per minute or your running cadence.
- You get to see your actual stride length which is measured from one footfall to the next.
- Tracks the total time your feet are on the ground. (ground contact)
- Vertical oscillation which is the amount of bounce in your step
- It has a mode where it will vibrate on an interval to help you keep your cadence and pace steady
Heart Rate Options
It has all the heart rate options you would normally expect with one except which is the ability to predict your recovery time. So, it can monitor your heart rate and when you are in your recovery zone to start you next set. To be honest, I can’t see that I would trust this much if you are doing a specific interval or you want to keep pushing yourself in a very specific heart rate range. It’s just me on this one. I would rather go off my own feeling of when I should go next vs it being calculated.
Garmin totally built in the ability to have the watch track your activity during the day while you are not training. You can count your steps, set daily goals, it has a move monitor that will alert you to move after sitting for so long and it has a sleep monitor.
It has a built in wireless connection, blue-tooth, ANT+ and Ultra-trac. You can totally connect this to your iphone, Galaxy or Android phone which will be used to get various online alerts, share your data socially or upload your workouts to garmin connect for you to analyze.
You are going to find very positive reviews on this watch. The most common one I saw was a big improvement over the 310XT and the previous model 910XT. The 310XT was huge and does not have the swimming options the 920xt does. Some multi-sport reviewers actually had 2 watches to accomplish what the 920XT does now. lol Now that is dedication. They were switch between the 210 and 310XT when it was time to run or swim.
Many people are saying that the 920XT is way easier to use vs the 910XT. It has a much lower profile and the screen in the 920 is better than the 910.
Ok, this watch is basically the cadillac of multi-sport gps watches out there. With that comes a price just like with any other piece of equipment we buy to do the sport we love so much. This is a definitely a better model that the 910xt and what I really like is that I could actually feel normal wearing this watch around vs the other models being so bulky. They are finally getting it right. As this is a triathlon watch for sure but I would rather call this a smart triathlon watch given the vast features this guy now does. You can view more about the watch here on amazon to see the best price. Have a great season and train hard!