LTE Livetrack - Triathlon battery life

Hey all,

I'm afraid to use the Live track during a triathlon (doing mainly 70.3 and full distance).... The battery drain seems all over the place and its truly horrific in the open water swim (33% battery drain for a 2k ow swim). I can imagine it's not easy to keep an LTE connection when your hand is in the water most of the time... But that basically means the LTE would not be an option for a mid/long distance triathlon.

Are there athletes here that have used it during longer triathlons? what about battery life

Are there any optimizations we can do? 


  • I haven't done a long triathlon with it but my battery observations for individual sports indicate OWS often looks suspicious.  In a single sprint triathlon I did before getting injured for the season I saw a battery burn of 11.2% / hour with an estimated total capacity of 8.93 hours.  This was a race of about 1:15 total duration.

    What can we do? I think we can turn LTE to a "reduced" update rate (called Power Save in LTE options, I think.... or maybe it's in the active track settings).

    Maybe we can turn off LTE with a hot key while swimming and then turn it back on in T1 for a long race where we don't mind the time to do so.  I'm not sure what that would do to tracking or event share though.

    I'm very hopeful they figure out a way to improve the way the OWS drain looks, my feeling is it could be the main limiter on longer races. (assuming Multisport OWS drains like the standard OWS normally does).

  • Was there ever a suggestion on how to achieve a longer distance tri with Live Track successfully?

    I generally use LTE Live Track when away from my phone and have "Power Save" turned on.  For running this seems to use reasonable battery life, but when open water swimming it continues to go rather wild and worrisome (on FW 5.07).

    I think a recent 30 minute swim drained nearly 20% of my battery and a local sprint tri today (950 yd swim in 16 minutes) took about 8% of my battery for the swim portion and another 4% for the remaining 60 minutes of the race.

  • 2021 Wisconsin Half Ironman I used live track and live event sharing. Live track updated every minute and event sharing sent an sms every 20 minutes to 4 people  

    Battery drain was 10% an hour. 98% > 30%.

    Overcast or sprinkles most of the race which didn’t help GPS battery life I’m sure. 

    All other settings default on watch except for Dozen Swim data field for swim and Single Run field for the run for data screens. 

    3.07 Firmware 

  • Congrats on the race, my wife did the full that day and I was there with the family.  Actually my question is aimed at IMWI this year.

    I wonder if your battery usage was linear through the day or dramatically higher in the swim due to some weird software trying to use LTE when it really can’t.

    Your numbers worry me a bit for a full, although I’d plan to use the slower refresh (5 minutes with “Power Save”).  Maybe I’ll need to experiment a bit and be conscious of how to turn on/off LTE easily during the race (Transition or Run).

  • Thanks, I can tell you that on my Forerunner 935 in 2019, my slow Full IM of 14h45m took the battery on that watch from 99% to crashing right after the finish line.  I crossed the line with 2-3%, got swept away by medals, pictures, etc. And 5 minutes later the watch was off.  Corrupted the whole race :(.

    That was all default, with obviously no additional tracking.

    Looking back at my half, I don't remember looking at the battery and thinking OMG at any point so I feel it was linear. 

    For sure start a few tests on a typically day to see what happens without the swim for the duration you think it will take you. 

  • Hi Maarten, I'd suggest turning on Power Save under LiveTrack settings; it changes updates to every five minutes and increases battery life significantly.

    I know battery life is massively affected by LTE coverage, so takes this with a big grain of salt, but I did a 70.3 on Saturday and, over the course of six hours, I lost 51 percentage points of battery (99% -> 48%).

  • Bringing this thread briefly back to life for an update...

    I have previously been frustrated that my battery drain is often upwards of 20% per hour when open water swimming with LTE live track turned on.  Most of my swims are around 30 minutes so I've just lived with it and left Live Track Power Save enabled (longer time between LTE intervals to save battery).

    Just today I decided to look back at some recent swims and realized the drain recently was closer to 12% / hour (8 hours from full to dead) and also realized I had turned OFF "Power Save" due to caring more about detail than battery life in recent use.

    Wondering if Power Save somehow caused an adverse effect with Swimming, I turned it back on and swam my usual workout only to see a 20% rate.

    It's a data point of 1, but looking at old activities it may actually be more than 1 - I guess I'd have to carefully analyze my history and settings...

    Power Save for Live Track definitely improves the battery life on normal GPS based activities (cycling and running) but perhaps there's something in the setting that causes excess drain when the wrist is under water half of the time?

  • How do I Turn On Power Save for LTE so less updates are transmitted?

    I cannot find LTE Power settings in the GC APP or the 945 LTE watch. In the Android GC I can find Safety & Tracking - LiveTrack then click the upper right 3 dots to get to Settings, but there is nothing about Power or Update frequency. I also looked at the 945 in GC but do not see LTE settings.

    I have the LTE subscription. I have LiveTrack auto start. I have been using it for about a month and I feel like I am charging twice as often.

  • On the watch…

    Safety and Tracking -> LiveTrack -> Power Save