What is a Training Navigator?

A training navigator is a device that helps cyclists with their training exercises by using global positioning system (GPS) technology. In many ways, it’s like a mini-computer that is specially built to give cyclists information about maps and their personal workouts. The resulting data can be used to analyze performance and identify areas for improvement.

Training navigators are likely to come with a micro Secure Digital (microSD) card slot that allows cyclists to upload map details. Preloaded maps can be used to give a cyclist more information about where he or she is headed. Additionally, topographic maps can be added so that off-road cyclists have a means of guidance, as well. Cyclists are afforded more accurate directions as more data is loaded onto the device.

A training navigator can help with personal training goals and give cyclists body data information. Navigators can measure distance, speed, time, calories burned and altitude. A cyclist’s heart rate, cadence, descent and power climb also can be logged. Special tools such as a barometric altimeter are incorporated into the device for extra precision when calculating these reports.

These devices also have special features attached to them. Personal data can be collected and stored, so a cyclist can retrieve the data and program the device in order to compete against himself or herself during a ride. Similarly, cyclists can program the device so that they race against a “virtual partner.” At any time during a ride, cyclists can pause the device manually or let the device automatically pause when they slow down and stop. The training navigator will continue recording data when it senses that cyclists have begun riding again.

One benefit of using a training navigator instead of another GPS-enabled device, such as a cell phone, is that the training navigator is designed so that it can be read while under sunlight. Glare is reduced to make quick glances at the device’s color screen sufficient to glean information. Unlike a cell phone, it also can keep a signal near potentially interfering sources such as trees and buildings. Bike mounts can make the device fit onto a bike so that it is always at a cyclist’s disposal.

After a ride has been completed, cyclists are given the option of analyzing their data. They can either do that personally, upload their data to a network full of other cyclists for comparison purposes or use training software for computer analysis. If cyclists choose to share their data, they can transfer courses, workouts and ride data to other devices.