T Nation

Watches for Interval Training


I was wondering what the best watch for doing intervals is. With the weather getting really nice outside, I'd like to hop off of the treadmill/bike/rower and so some of my training outside.

I've heard good things about the Timex Ironman watches from other posts on this board. The main thing I'm looking for is the ability to set variable interval times (say, beep at 40s, after another 80s, after another 40s, etc., as per WSP). Do the Ironmans allow you to do that?

Also, if I'm looking for that functionality, what sort of terminology should I be looking for? For example, what exactly do the following things mean?
"100-hour chronograph with lap/split option"
"50-lap memory recall"
"99-lap counter"

Also, anyone have alternate ideas besides using watches for this sort of thing?


An alternate way is to judge intervals by distance. Like on a track, sprint half a lap, walk/jog a lap etc.

Or just guess!! If youre a few seconds out either way big deal!!


I set up a few songs like this and put it on my iPod...So each time a new song starts I cahnge my pace...


That is genious, i have a shuffle that i cant go to the gym without. How do i go about cutting the songs off at special times??? What program do you use? etc.


Google a program called 'audacity.' A fantastic program, and free too!


I'm looking for exactly the same thing. Not only for tabata timings but also for thai-boxing rounds (ie 3 min rounds with 1 min rest, but with the 3 min round split up into intervals so i can change the pace up.)

One option i've tried is to use the audacity computer program to create a sound file with the timings i want (with beeps after the variou intervals), but my thai-boxing workouts and tabatas are quite vigorous and so my headphones never stay on!

There must be a watch or portable timer that allows fully programmable intervals.


They're pricey, but many "yacht racing" or sailing watches have countdown timers that loop after they reach 0:00.

Casio's sea-pathfinder beeps on the minute from 5:00 to 1:00, then every 10 seconds from 1:00 to 0:05 and then every second.* The beeps can be either annoying or helpful depending on your perspective. Also, I think the "beep" intervals may be fixed even though you can set the overall loop time. A similar model might suit your needs though.

  • Races with lots of boats have staggered starts, typically 5 minutes apart. Crossing a line in the water at exactly the start time requires a fair amount of concentration, and checking your watch can be a hassle.


I like the Nike watches, they work great, most look cool, and they come in all prices. http://www.wristwatch.com/default.aspx


Thanks for all the tips! I haven't bought a new watch yet, but for now I'll give the music thing a shot (assuming the headphones stay on my head, of course, which is a serious concern depending on what I'm doing).


The timex Ironman Triathlon I have can indeed do 30 seconds beep, roll over to 90 seconds beep, and back to 30 etc.. You can set multiple timers and they'll cycle.


You don't need an expensive watch. I'm a runner and I need a watch with countdown as well as stop watch.
My last watch I demolished in about four years. It was a casio G shock. Got it for thirty bucks at costco.

My new one just got it last week for 13 dollars, and it actually counts the time between intervals too, so its awesome. Its a Timex. Dont spend hundreds unneceserly. Thats my 2 cents. Just look around you for outdoor shops and sports shops, for items on sale.