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Garmin Rolls Out Flagship GPS Watch For Triathletes

Olathe, Kan. — Garmin International has debuted a new flagship multisport GPS watch for the high end of the fitness-monitoring market.

In addition to GPS tracking and navigation, the new Forerunner 920XT records detailed task-specific metrics for swimming, biking and running and displays them on a high-resolution color display.

Aimed at triathletes, the watch’s design is 15 percent lighter and 18 percent thinner than its predecessor, and features flexible, hinged watch bands for a more comfortable fit, Garmin said.

The color display has a watch mode and daily activity-tracking features, including steps, distance, calories, countdown to a personalized daily goal, audible move alert after one hour of inactivity, and sleep tracking. It also keeps users connected with smart notifications of incoming text, email, call and calendar reminders, among others, when in range of a paired Bluetooth Smart device.

“As a pioneer and leader in GPS multisport watches, we’re excited to introduce our most advanced all-in-one solution for triathlon training,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s worldwide sales VP.

For runners, the 920XT can be used with the HRM-Run monitor to track cadence (total steps per minute), vertical oscillation (amount of “bounce” in a runner’s step), and ground contact time and users can see how their values compare to other runners in general. It also features a metronome with vibration and audible alerts to guide cadence training, a race predictor based on VO2 max for running, and a recovery advisor indicating how long a runner should rest before attempting another hard effort.

For ultra-marathon runners, the 920XT offers an UltraTrac mode, extending its up to 24 hours in GPS mode battery life for up to 40 hours.

In the water, the 920XT offers advanced swim metrics for training in a pool or open water. Its drill logging allows athletes to log swim drills and kick sets, along with recording swim distance, pace, stroke type, stroke count and SWOLF score. It includes two rest timers to keep swimmers pushing off the wall on time, and features distance alerts to let users know a set is over, or time alerts to help them hold their pace.

For cycling, the 920XT includes a built-in altimeter for precise ascent, descent and gradient data during training. It is compatible with sensors such as speed, cadence, heart rate and power meter, and can receive GLONASS signals in addition to GPS for improved accuracy. When paired with compatible ANT+ power meters, the watch displays power data including average watts, left/right balance, power zone, and when also paired with a heart-rate monitor for training it can derive users’ VO2 max estimates for cycling to help monitor changes in fitness. 

With a software update available in early 2015, the Forerunner 920XT will become Connect IQ compatible, making additional applications available to active lifestyle users, Garmin said.

In addition, the Forerunner 920XT acts as a remote for Virb or VirbB Elite action cameras. Automatic uploads to Garmin Connect through Wi-Fi hot spots, or through the Garmin Connect app on a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone allow users to instantly upload workout data. In the mobile app users can start a LiveTrack session allowing invited family and friends to follow along in real time during training or on race day.

To further enhance training, analysis and sharing additional features are also now available in Garmin Connect’s modern view, including multisport support, a new activity detail page, group leaderboards and more, the company said.

The Forerunner 920XT is available in black/blue or red/white for a suggested retail of $449 and $499 for the premium heart-rate monitor bundle.