In this the second of my marathon training stories I am going to tell you about the timer I use to time my running and walking intervals it is called the Gymboss.
Why do I need a timer, well after running in a half marathon last year I realised that I would not be able to run the full distance of a marathon. But after reading an article on the Internet about Jeff Galloway’s run/walk/run method it gave me the confidence to register for a marathon.
I Bought The Book
I bought Jeff’s book Marathon You Can Do It, the book goes through the run/walk/run method in detail, and it also gave advice on buying a timer.
So instead of going out and buying a timer, I started using an app on my phone as the timer, this worked fine but the battery on my phone runs down too quickly, this would not do if I was depending on it to time a five hour race (I put on the registration form that I expect to complete the marathon in 5hrs 20) and there is no way my phone would have lasted this long.
Don’t Go Cheap
As you can see there is no way I could run a marathon and use my phone as a timer, so I decided to buy an interval timer, I buy a lot of stuff on eBay so this is where I went to find a timer.
The first timer I purchased was a Senshi it was cheap that’s why I bought it, it took me a while to set it up the instructions that came with it were not very good. Once I got it set up I took it out for a test run, I just could not hear it or feel it vibrate even holding it in my hand.
The Better Option
So it was back to the Internet and another search which resulted in me buying a Gymboss, it was double the price of the Senshi, but after watching the video and seeing how easy it is to set up I ordered one straight away.
As soon as I picked it up the difference was noticeable straight away, the written instructions that came with it were very clear and did not take long to set-up. From the look and feel I could tell it was better quality, and reading some of the reviews I found that not was it easy to use but the battery lasted quite a long time.
Some Of The Features
- It is compact fits easy into the palm of your hand.
- The buttons are made of rubber, and set nicely to avoid accidental operation.
- You can time a single event, or two events (such as Run/Walk/Run).
- You can set the number of repetitions up to 99, you can count down or up.
- It can be used as a stopwatch.
- It has a built in clock, which can be viewed when in operation.
- The alarm can be set to low or high beep, vibrate on or a combination of both.
- You can set how long the alarm sounds for 1,2,5 or 9 seconds.
I have set-up mine with the alarm on high with vibrate and set the alarm length to 2 seconds, I have no problems when running on the busy roads were I live, I always know when to start running and when to start walking no mater how much noise there is from the traffic.
The Video Shows You How Easy It Is To Operate
Notes From The Video: –
- The timer has a removable belt clip, next to the clip there is an area where you can fit a lanyard (not supplied).
- It says in the video that the start button is on the top, I would say it is on the side.
- On the top is the set button and scroll up and down buttons.
- The set button is situated in the centre between the up/down buttons.
- On the opposite end from the start button there is a reboot button that can be operated with the point of a pen.
- To turn the timer on press any button.
- To turn it off press and hold the set button for approximately three seconds.
- There are three modes, timer, stopwatch and clock.
- To change mode press the up/down buttons at the same time.
- Press them once STOP is displayed, you are now in stopwatch mode.
- Press them again and CLOC is displayed you are now in clock mode.
- Setting up the timer press the set button SETUP will be displayed top left.
- The setting you are about change will be the one that is flashing, starting with the length of time for the first interval.
- To increase press the up button to decrease press the down button.
- To scroll press and hold ether button for the required direction.
- To increase or decrease by 10 minutes press the set button while holding the relevant button, so to go up 10 press the up button then the set button.
- To take it back to 1 minute press up/down at the same time.
- To set a second interval time press set the zeros will flash then set it up as above.
- If you only want one interval time leave this at zero by pressing the set button once more.
- The next set up will be the number of repeats, leave it at zero it will count up the number of times you have repeated what ever it is you are timing.
- Set it at a number from 1 to 99 and it will count down.
- Press set again to set the alarm, this can be beep high (BH), beep low (BL), vibrate (V), beep high and vibrate (BHV), beep low and vibrate (BLV).
- Next you set the length of time you want the alarm to sound your choices are 1,2,5 or 9 seconds.
- To go back through the settings in reverse press the start button.
- To have a look at the time while in use press the up button.
- To stop timing press and hold the start button for three seconds.
- To pause the timer press the start button 3 times.
- To resume press the start button once.
- The alarm type and time can be changed during operation, the timer must be paused, once paused press the set button and make the required changes.
- To restart the timer from the beginning press and hold the start button.
In the video beep settings are displayed as above, on my GIMBOSS high beep is a capital (B), low beep is a small (b).
Setting The Clock
To set the time press the up/down buttons till in clock mode (CLOC is displayed) then press the set button, and change the settings as you would to set the timer.
You can fasten the Gymboss to your belt, or you can buy the elasticated Velcro armband like I have. I can wear the strap that I have comfortable anywhere on my arm, but I prefer it on my wrist so that I can check the time.
I have now been using my GYMBOSS for three months, most of the weeks I ran three times but there are a few of weeks that I ran four times when taking part in club races, and I changed the battery this week on the 21st of August. I have also used it when running in the rain and it still works fine, the last time I ran in the rain I was soaked to the skin.
I am very happy with my Gymboss and would recommend it to anyone, in fact my running buddy has purchased one, and is going to teach her daughter the run/walk/run method.
Don’t think it is just for running there are so many different uses for it, the makers of GYMBOSS suggest: –
- Interval Training
Don’t be shy if you have any comments or questions about this post or any post on this site please use the comments box below, I would love to hear from you.