Eliud Kipchoge runs with a Coros running watch. To be honest, we had heard of this brand but never got so into it. California-based Coros came out with its first product, a cycling helmet, in 2016. This was made possible through a crowdfunding of this start-up in the kickstarter program. Shortly after it came on the market with advanced sports watches.
Coros became a partner of NN Running Team in November. ‘NN Running Team athletes will train with the Coros Pace 2 Premium GPS sports watch, the lightest GPS watch on the market with only 29 grams and designed with an emphasis on running on the road and personal records.’ So that’s why we see Eliud Kipchoge depicted with such a watch! ‘His mantra No Human is Limited and the Coros slogan Explore Perfection are a perfect match.’ is in the press release.
There is a second reason why we noticed the Coros Pace 2. Perhaps the most important reason. It’s the first watch which fully integrates the Stryd running power meter.
Is it a Garmin killer?
Ron uses his Stryd daily in combination with the Garmin Fenix 6X, an advanced but pricey watch. There’s a whole range of brands and models that work well with Stryd. We also have very good experiences with Polar. But full integration with Stryd is another story. That’s only true for the Coros models.
We received a Coros Pace 2 directly from the United States. The same as Eliud Kipchoge wears. To try out. And of course we do it again in an endurance test. We will come back to that in a while in a next article. This article is about our first acquaintance with the Coros Pace 2. And that is impressive. And especially for the price of just under € 200. Please note: the Coros Pace is still for sale but it is not fully compatible with Stryd.
The Coros, just like the renowned brands for multisport watches, offers a lot of possibilities. And apparently Garmin is taking over ideas from Coros: on 20 October 2020, Garmin released software version 12.20. Among other things, with the new activity ‘Run on track’. This activity solves the GPS problem with the curves of an athletics track. Because the distance measurement of a GPS watch is based on the length of straight lines between the GPS measuring points, the distance on an athletics track always deviates somewhat. The activity ‘Run on Track’ assumes that the athletics track has a length of 400 meters. The watch then rounds off the distance. You can even set the track in which you run on the athletics track. Because the 400 meters is only correct for track 1. For example, for track 2 it is already about 7 meters more, track 3 is about 14 meters longer, and so on.
Coros appears to have this Track Run option for one year longer….
Coros Pace 2
The Pace 2 is the cheapest watch in the Coros range of models. With the exception of the original Pace, they are all fully integrated with Stryd.
The Pace 2 has a nylon strap and a fiber reinforced plastic case and – checked on the kitchen scale – weighs no more than 29 grams. The claim is that it the lightest GPS watch is on the market. Ron’s Garmin Fenix 6X appears to be a relative heavyweight with 93 grams on the same kitchen scale. The drop resistant glass of the Pace 2 is from the American manufacturer Corning. It is not sapphire crystal. This is reserved for the more expensive models of Coros.
The controls are similar to those of an Apple Watch and consist of a twist/click button and a second click button to return to a menu.
There are several sporty dials to choose from, in color both digital and analog. The battery lasts 30 hours in normal GPS use. The Pace 2 also has an UltraMax option in which fewer GPS points are determined, so the accuracy becomes less, but the battery lasts 60 hours. The Pace 2 has all the usual smartwatch functions and has heart rate measurement on the wrist. The specifications on the website of Coros are not even complete. For example, it does not mention that your sleep pattern can also be monitored. The philosophy of Coros is that the hardware (your watch) should last a long time and new functions are introduced with software updates.
The Coros Pace 2 has many options. We have not (yet) found an extensive manual. There are a lot of YouTube videos explaining how things work, can be changed or set up.
The Coros has many basic workouts on board. More interestingly, you can load workouts directly into the watch from TrainingPeaks. Especially interesting is that you can easily create your own workout (run program) in the watch. Also based on Power. You can do that in the Coros app on your cell phone. Almost anything is possible. You can choose segments based on distance or time. And the intensity for pace, heart rate, cadence and power. If you have created a number of training sessions in this way, you can build a complete training plan in the Coros app. We’ll show you that with some screen prints in the image below.
A pity is that the nice Stryd Workout App with adaptive personal workouts does not work with Coros. Stryd Workout App is available for sports watches that allow third-party apps, such as Garmin and Apple Watch.
The first time we tried it, was with an easy run. Both on the watch and in the Coros app all possible data can be viewed afterwards. Of course there is also a synchronization link with Stryd’s PowerCenter. Your critical power has to be entered manually.
The first impression is good. The watch does what it’s supposed to do along the way. Stopping the timer was a bit awkward. It turned out that it was not a matter of pressing the dial, but turning it first (scroll to unlock) and then pressing it. In the system menu of the Coros you can change this to press longer (hold to unlock) or turn the Auto Lock off completely (Off).
Unfortunately, this heart rate measurement on the wrist does not work well with Ron. This is not necessarily a specific drawback for Coros. With Garmin, Polar, Sigma and Apple Watch it does also not work well with Ron. In itself this is not a problem because Ron always runs with a heart rate chest strap.
Both in the watch and in the Coros app all data of the training can be found. The design of the information is fine. The Stryd app is more complete and – a matter of taste – nicer, but that’s no drawback for the Coros either, because with a Stryd you obviously also have the Stryd app at your disposal. From this point of view, the Coros Pace 2 is a very nice monitor of your Stryd. Similar to Apple Car Play navigation on the built-in navigation screen in your car.
In a while we will return with a second article about the Coros Pace 2. We’re going to test this watch a while. It looks very promising and the price is very favorable.
As a spoiler alert, we already mention that the Coros watches – with the exception of the old Coros Pace (without addition 2) – just like the Polar Vantage V and the Polar Grit X can also determine running power; with help of the GPS data. How good would Coros Pace 2 perform?
Our book ‘The Secret of Running’ is for sale in our webshop. Also available in German as ‘Das Geheimnis des Laufens’, and in Italian as ‘Manuale completo della corsa’.