Suunto (Spartan) Coaching: Suunto Spartan (Ultra) Manual/How-to

You spent a few hundred on a shiny new sports watch, you’ll probably want to use it to the best of its, and your, abilities.

After my Suunto Ambit3 “manual”, I’m starting to produce the same kind of manual / how-to for the Suunto Spartan (Ultra) – only better.

If you’re here just for quick help with (a) Spartan functionality, just continue below. If you have further questions, just put them in the comments (I can’t tell you what’s coming next, though, only Suunto could do that).

Gerald Zhang-Schmidt’s Suunto Coaching ;)

If you gain some value from all that here and want to support me, I’d appreciate it, whether you PayPal something or use affiliate links of mine (which are in the footer).

If you want further support and advice, either having questions about a Suunto Spartan (or Ambit or Traverse) or in the form of coaching, you can contact and pay me via my 21.co email for quick questions or get in touch to hire me as outright coach.

For true coaching in your running career and not just (but also) with a Suunto, I have a limited introductory offer of €100/month for training planning, weekly check-ins, and support via the Movescount coaching feature and a private Facebook group.

The Suunto Spartan (Ultra) Manual / How-To

New content added… whenever there’s something to add and/or I get something more done. Follow me on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter for #GetAtHome news, including those.

Introductory Remarks

After a few months of the Suunto Spartan out in the wild, getting stronger, it is time to have a look at the way it works.

I startd this manual/how-to with firmware 1.7.30, in March 2017, and will add to it as new firmware and features become available. Next up, it will continue with firmware 1.8.26 which has just been released (with a staggered rollout on March 30, 2017, for some, April 3, 2017, for all that remain.

I’m working with a Spartan Ultra with (Suunto Movesense) HR belt, so there are some differences between that and the Sport version(s).

Namely, the Sport models do not have barometric pressure/altitude measurement; the just-released (again March 30, 2017) Sport WHR model has an optical (wrist) heart rate sensor and uses it not only to replace a HR belt (if so desired) but also for a 24/7 HR and calorie tracking.

01: Know This About the Display

Something I feel should be explained, seeing how people complain why the display does not remain in their chosen look but goes into a simplified display: it’s still not a smartwatch, a Spartan is a sports watch.

So, Suunto optimizes for battery life.

I already had that feeling from the beginning; firmware 1.8.26 introduced two new power-saving features (for exercise mode) which make that impression a fact: low-color display and display timeout. (I’ll add videos on those in a bit.)

02: How to Pair the HR Belt

03: How to Connect Spartan and Movescount App

04: Where to Enter Body Metrics

… and why you should not forget about them.

05: Exercise Mode in Practice: Cycling

What the (basic) cycling exercise mode looks like, in practice, from the start display (and the options currently offered there) to the summary after the finish.

One thing I forgot here: The cycling (basic) mode is actually also set up to use autolaps, only that they are at 10 km.

06: Exercise Mode in Practice: Running

Same as for cycling, but this time a look at the running (basic) exercise mode, in practice, as pre-set up by Suunto…

07: How to Do a (Manual) Multisport Exercise

A triathlon multisport mode is set up right from the start, but you won’t see its use from me anytime soon. You might want to combine any sports into one multisport exercise, though – and here’s how you can do that. And why you might not want to…

08: The Logbook in the Suunto Spartan

One place to remind yourself of what you did, exercise-wise (until the next update comes along and wipes it): the logbook in the watch. Here’s where to find it and what it shows…

09: The Activity View and Training Summary in the Suunto Spartan

It’s not just the detailed data in the logbook (or the data on Movescount, where it all ends up stored and analyzed) where you could check how active you’ve been, there is also the Activity view and the Training Summary.

Activity view gives you your daily (total) steps and calories burned, or a 7-day overview of the two factors. Here, you can also set your step goal and your (active) calories-burnt goal.

Training summary shows you summary data for the (up to four) types of sport you have performed most, with either distance or duration displayed. Swipe left to get to summary details for each of these types of sports. Swipe right to get to your planned training (if you set it up on Movescount).

10: How Movescount Displays the Exercise Data

We will need to have a more in-depth look at Movescount and how to best use Movescount in a separate post, later on, but I already want to show how Suunto’s online platform displays the data.

The exercises used in this video are the same recorded in videos #05-07, i.e. cycling, running, and a combination of running and cycling into a (manual) multisport exercise.

11: How to Save Your Location as a POI

One way of setting up a POI (like Home or a campsite): You save the location (coordinates) you are at as a POI.

Finally, the Spartan *does* display location.

12: How to Create a POI in Movescount

You probably won’t just want to save your location as a POI, you’ll also want to set up locations you want to go to as POI. Which you can do in Movescount – if you can find where:

13: How the Spartan Shows POI Navigation Data

When you check out POI that you’ve stored on or synced to your Spartan, and when you activate the navigation to them, these are the screens you get…

14: How POI Navigation on the Spartan Works in Practice

The screens/data displays above are nice, but you should also know how the navigation to a POI works when on the move.

This is rather important because the Spartan (like the Ambit, actually) changes between using the compass (when you are standing still) and using the GPS (when you are moving) for navigation to a POI. And the navigation displays look and behave a bit differently, depending on whether compass or GPS are being used…

Still being continued ;)

Feel free to contribute