The training partners that will make you a better athlete

Even though smartphones and apps are making their voices heard in the training realm, they still don’t come close to these wrist-based powerhouses with their instant feedback. These sleek, feature-laden watches are your new personal trainers, helping you to get more out of every single training session, and aren’t swayed by your laziness or pathetic pleas. They provide the stark truth through numbers, revealing your vital statistics at the push of button: your heart rate, how long you’ve been exercising and the distance you’ve covered on land, in water and up mountains. Not only do these numbers help you to become fitter, healthier and happier, they also help you to cut down on wasted minutes and hours. Even though they’re smart looking and functional at the same time, they don’t mix well with formal or business wear. But when it comes to busy gyms, lonely roads and mud-slick trails, these are the best training partners you could hope for.

(clockwise from top)

Suunto Ambit

This is the weapon of choice for multisport and outdoor athletes, it’s a rugged, GPS-enabled training powerhouse that includes an altimeter, 3D compass, a easy-to-use navigation system and slick software that’ll ensure you get the most out of every single session. R5 299 (without HR belt, R5 799 with belt),, 
011 785 4700

Garmin Forerunner FR10

They’ve always been supremely efficient at GPS-related training, and their latest streamlined effort provides their best value and ease of use yet. Our favourite function? The Virtual Pacer, which shows how far behind/ahead you are compared to your last run on the same route. Smart. R1 299,, 0861 427 646

Polar RCX3

The smaller, cheaper brother to the RXC5, it’s a stripped-down trainer that will help anyone run, cycle and swim faster, depending on the package chosen. Polar are heart-rate specialists, so the comprehensive feedback provided will qualify this watch as your new coach. R2 595 (for basic unit, no extras),, 011 805 1028

Timex Ironman Run Trainer GPS

Smarter than a Mensa gathering, this gizmo is able to configure workouts to suit exactly what 
you need, like training by speed, heart rate, time, altitude or cadence or a specific combination of those factors. Our best feature? The intervals function that lets you add bursts of intensity to your training. R2 999,, 
011 089 6000