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Home / News / Wearable tech approaching tipping point for triathletes, finds survey

Wearable tech approaching tipping point for triathletes, finds survey

More than half of entries for next month's New York City Triathlon planning to use run watches, heart-rate monitors and other wearable devices to track their performance

Triathlete checking run watch in training

Already hugely popular with iron-distance athletes, it looks like run watches, heart-rate monitors and other wearable devices that provide real-time feedback on your performance are becoming the norm for triathletes racing lesser distances.

Major tech consultancy Accenture found that more than half of athletes racing the Olympic-distance New York City Triathlon next month will be using the devices, the majority for the first time. “The research suggests that consumer wearables continue to surge in popularity, especially those tracking exercise and physical activity,” said John Ratzan, managing director at Accenture.

“The intelligence provided by wearable devices will allow this year’s NYC triathletes to easily gain continuous insight into their performance – in real time – giving them the data necessary to make adjustments to their pace, distance, heart rate and cadence during each leg of the race.”

Out of those people who won’t be using them in NYC next month, more than half said it’s because they “never looked into them”, while expense and effectiveness came in lower down the list according to Accenture.

This year’s New York City Triathlon will be held on 3 August for around 4,000 athletes, starting with a 1500m swim in the Hudson River, followed by a 40km bike on the Henry Hudson Parkway before finishing with a 10km run through Central Park in Manhattan.

Asked for their opinion on Twitter earlier, many 220 readers said gadgets are useful for pacing themselves properly on longer-distance races:

Echoing four-time Ironman world champ Chrissie Wellington, others felt that if training is done correctly then you should know what effort to aim at and race on feel alone:

Some said they used to rely on gadgets but now prefer to go without:

And others said they’d love to try heart-rate monitors and GPS watch in future:

Some pointed out the mental fillip you can get from them:

What do you think, are you a data disciple when racing or do you prefer to go on feel? Let us know in the comments below!

Profile image of Jamie Beach Jamie Beach Former digital editor


Jamie was 220 Triathlon's digital editor between 2013 and 2015.