How professional triathlete Matt McElroy improves his coaching

G-SHOCK's new multisport watch GBDH2000 is just what you need to gain insights into swimming, cycling and running.

This article was created in collaboration with G-SHOCK

For nine-time Triathlon World Cup medalist Matt Mcelroy, "Data is absolutely the most important thing you need to collect in training."

The 30-year-old professional triathlete is a three-time All-American who ran for rthern Arizona University and was a professional recruit through the USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program.

He won his first World Cup gold at the 2019 World Triathlon Cup Tongyeong in South Korea and is one of only three US men to have won a medal in a World Triathlon Championship Series race, with silver in Leeds in 2019.

Mcelroy averages six strenuous workouts per week, not to mention his usual daily activities and bonus sessions. For each, it tracks pace, heart rate, interval, split, and stroke count, to name a few.

Josh Thomson

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"In order to work on weaknesses and see improvements - the basics of my training - I have to be able to trust my equipment," he says.

Strapped to Mcelroy's wrist is the GBDH2000, the latest addition to the G-SHOCK MOVE watch line. After each training session, he shares his split times and heart rate with his trainer.

"It has to be just right because I train by myself most of the time," he says.

Mcelroy resides in Flagstaff, AZ while his coach resides 690 miles north in Boulder, CO. After analyzing the data, the two discuss training modifications and possible improvements.

Josh Thomson

Multisport Specifications

The first GBDH watch, GBDH1000, was launched in April 2020. Its successor, GBDH2000, has updated design and technology features, including multisport functionality with an additional sixth sensor. It can track different items and support athletes in a variety of activities, from running to swimming to HIIT workouts, as well as classic measurements like a pedometer.

"Having a watch that I can use to collect various data while I'm swimming, cycling and running makes sense. It's going from a good tool to a great tool,” says Mcelroy.

“For example, the running activity has pace on it, which means I can gauge my pace on the street. I finish an interval and hit the split button and get an overall pace and heart rate for each interval. My foundation in racing is pace and that allows me to get super specific in terms of intervals.”

The GBDH2000's optical sensor on the case back measures heart rate, while the internal gyroscope measures body movements such as flip turns in a pool. “I went swimming the other day and it was such a relief to know that GBDH2000 is measuring my strokes. Instead of counting in my head, I was able to turn off every little aspect of the workout in my brain and just focus on the breathing.”

Josh Thomson

There's also a compass, an accelerometer, an altitude/barometric pressure sensor, and a thermal sensor that measures temperature. With a weight of 63 grams, GBDH2000 is 38 percent lighter than its predecessor. It also has built-in GPS capability to measure location, distance and speed, all of which track a variety of movements in real-time during physical activity.

"The data has to be accurate, otherwise I might stop using the devices," adds Mcelroy matter-of-factly.

When cycling, it can record distance, speed, time, elevation, heart rate, calories burned and road gradient. "There are a lot of different elements and functions - it's really important to be able to maximize them over the long term."

Mcelroy trains about 30 hours a week.

"I've done 20 workouts with this watch and never charged it once," he says, adding, "That's impressive and a huge bonus when you train 3 times a day. I can't even tell you how many times I've turned up to a workout wearing a different watch and the battery is low or just doesn't make it. This is not a problem here, especially with solar-assisted charging. That's a relief for an endurance athlete like me.”

Josh Thomson

Although Mcelroy is focused on collecting data from his workouts, he chose to keep the watch on even when the workout was paused.

"There's just so much in the watch," he says. “How I walk around during the day gives me insight, as does the training data. I have a newborn baby. At four months my wife and I are walking around town and running around the house. The other day I was wondering why my legs were more tired than usual and looked at the pedometer. Outside of training, I ran too much. On a recovery day, my step count was insane. It's a simple measurement, but definitely effective.”


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