FAQ:  Watches

1) Why do I need a watch?  In our training, for both groups, we utilize training sets that include both distance and time.  Thus the minimum requirement for group 1 and 2 is that they have a watch that has a timer.  

2) Do I need a GPS watch?  As long as you have a watch with a timer, you can do our workouts.  As you get older and more into group 1, GPS becomes more of a necessity.  When you have GPS, you can compare your performance from month to month as we repeat benchmark workouts.  For example - we might complete a 10k for time or something like 45 minute paddle where the athlete reports how many meters they travelled in the time alotted.  

3) What watch should I get?  All watches should be waterproof and made to take a beating.  We prefer the Garmin line of GPS watches.  They come in multiple generations and the thing that is really important is that you get one with a second generation GPS.  The earliest models that have this are the forerunner 220 and forerunner 620, and 920xt.  Other models include 225, 230, 235, 630, 735, and 935.  The differences in each of these watches has to do with their features.... are they made for triathlons, do they have wrist HR included etc.  All of them would be perfectly serviceable for any group 1 athlete.  You can go really crazy with these watches, some of them costing 500 or more.  These are not necessary.  200-250 gets you a great watch to train with.  I like the forerunner 235 as a base option, and a 935 or fenix5/6 as an elite option.   

4) Do I need heart rate monitor?  Required for Group 1.  The wrist HR monitors downside is that the watch needs to be mounted on the boat for the athlete to use it....thus negating the wrist HR part.  A HR monitor chest strap is what I recommend.  Wahoo and Garmin make the best models.   

5) What would you recommend?  Cheapest option that has all the functions is Garmin forerunner 235.

6) Where do you buy one?  I buy at REI because of the awesome return policy.  I have heard there are deals on ebay... though with something like this I worry about getting ripped off...though I have athletes who swear by the deals they get on ebay.  

7) Do I need anything else? I would get a suction cup mount so they can mount it to their boat(usually canoeists dont need this).  Also, an extra charging cable is nice. One for home and one for car.  Amazon has these.  


I have found the most detailed place on the web to get more information on watches is 


Here is a link to the suction cup holder from Nelo USA.