Last week, we launched our new multisport watch, Forerunner 920XT — the sleeker, smarter sibling to the popular 910XT watch. This week, we’re in Kona, supporting several of our pros from around the world who’ve been using the 920XT in their final training leading up to Saturday’s big race. Hear what a couple of those athletes had to say about their new watches and get tips straight from these Kona-qualified pros.
Michelle Vesterby, from Denmark, has had Garmin on her wrist and her bike for the past six years. In 2012, she competed for the first time in Kona, finishing with an impressive 12th place. Last year, she advanced to an 8th place finish, just 2 minutes shy of 5th place.
Peg: Beyond the work that goes into qualifying, what does it take to make it to Kona?
Michelle: Being qualified for Hawaii is amazing, it’s like the Superbowl. Just being qualified is a big thing in itself. There are 35 girls and we’re up against the best girls in the entire sport. I’m the only athlete from Denmark qualified to be here, so I’m thrilled. It’s a great opportunity.
Peg: So what do you think about the new 920XT?
Michelle: I just got this new cool watch. The technology, it’s really easy to handle. It looks beautiful. You can just put it down when you come home and it will upload to Garmin Connect with Wi-Fi. I can analyze all my stats with the new Garmin Connect. And you can share all your files and you can see your friends’ files too, if you’re a little bit of a competitor.
Peg: Of the new features, which one are you most excited about?
Michelle: Recovery time is really important and triathletes often forget that. You swim, you bike, you run—you just want to go hard. But your recovery time is just as important, if not more important. That’s a great feature of the new 920 because it actually tells you how long you need to recover after a training session. So if you don’t have a coach, the new 920 can be your coach and your training buddy.
Peg: Any other Garmin products you’ve been using?
Michelle: I’ve been using the vívofit and I think it’s super cool. I can change bands to match whatever I’m wearing that day and I can see how much I’m doing on my rest days. As a triathlete, you never sit still, so it’s fun to see how much you move around on a day you’re not training.
And now that the 920XT has activity tracking features and watch mode, triathletes can wear it all day to track their steps and calories burned.
Igor Amorelli, from Brazil, has been a pro for eight years and has been training with Garmin devices for several of those years. He secured a history-making win this year, taking the title at Ironman Brazil and becoming the first Brazilian athlete to do so.
Peg: As a pro, do you analyze your data or do you leave that up to your coach?
Igor: I use Garmin Connect to analyze my training because sometimes it’s hard for me to be talking to my coach, so he can check my stats online and if I’ve told him I was feeling good or bad, he can check it in Garmin Connect and assure me if there are things I need to change or if the conditions were to blame.
Peg: Which 920XT features do you think will appeal to most triathletes?
Igor: Having a way to measure your VO2 max will be really cool, as well as the running dynamics features like cadence and vertical oscillation.
Peg: What’s your best “try this at home” advice for triathletes?
Ignor: Know the course and train on it. Leading up to Kona, the most important thing is to train on the Queen K highway, to feel the wind, and the heat. The training is not so different from we are used to, but you have to prepare for the conditions. Also, with the strong field, it will be a really fast race.
Peg: How does a Garmin device bring consistency to your training when you travel?
Igor: Sometimes when you travel, in the first days you feel so bad. You may be training well, but you don’t run as fast as normally you would. And here in Kona, the hills are rolling and you feel tired, but with a Garmin device, you can see what conditions are affecting your run. You can check the temperature, you can check the altimeter, so these things help you keep your focus and be confident on race day.
Peg: What are your expectations for Saturday?
Igor: The race on Saturday will be so strong. I hope I can improve from last year, but it’s hard to say because there are so many strong guys. First I have to think of my performance. And if we have a good day, I can maybe be in the top 10, maybe better.
We wish the best to Michelle, Igor and the rest of our Garmin pros on Saturday. If you’re in Kona, check out the schedule of Garmin events for the week and stop by our store at 75-5744 Ali’i Drive (Hawaiian Pedals store), where our sales team can give you a first-hand look at the Forerunner 920XT. Need a software update or have other questions? We also have Garmin tech support on hand to help with all your pre-race needs.