The Suunto Ambit(3) Manual 5: Custom(izing) Sports Modes

After time mode displays/basic functions, navigation use, and training plans and guidance, it is high time to get to one of the fundamental capabilities of Suunto’s Ambit line, the customization offered for the sports modes.

More than the time mode, which already offers quite a few functions (in the form of displays that can be turned on or off), sports mode offers various possibilities.

Going out walking and interested in nothing but a record of how long you walked?

Set up a “walking” mode that shows you the time of day and a stopwatch.

Running a mountain ultramarathon?

Set up a mode with 50 hour battery runtime (with “good” GPS recording, on an Ambit2), showing ascent/descent graphically, giving heart rate and pace and an estimate of your 100 mile finish time, given your current pace, and showing when the sun will set or rise again.

22: Introduction to Sports Mode Customization


23: Customizing Sports Modes

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of it, onto Movescount and to the customization page for a look at examples of how sports modes can be set up.

My main example(s), of course, are running-related: A general running mode with pace- and HR-focused displays, on the one hand; an “ultra” mode set up for ultramarathon running (with longer battery runtime thanks to a lower GPS setting, with the sunrise/sunset app, etc.) And there’s also a “marathon” mode…

… and I’m not even getting into indoors training or the HR check mode I’ve set up for easily doing nothing but seeing the HR. Let alone swimming modes.

24: MultiSport Mode

On most of the Ambit models, one sport doesn’t seem to be enough; you can also set up MultiSport modes combining various of your individual sports (modes) into one multisport mode.

That way, it is easy to transition from one sport to the next in the course of one “move,” as for example in a triathlon (which is actually a pre-set multisport mode on the Ambits/Movescount and the example I use here).

One theme mentioned but not explored: If you want to have a separate record of your transition time(s), you can also set up a “transition” mode and add it to the MultiSport mode here. (This is, indeed, how the “triathlon” multisport mode has come to be set up by now.)

You can “only” have 2 multisport modes and(/or) 10 single sport modes, however, so choose wisely. Then again, if you don’t mind looking into the menu a little bit, you can always combine the modes you have on your watch into a multisports move, manually (as shown in the video).

25: Customizing Sport Modes in the Movescount App

If you have an Ambit3 and a compatible device (still only newer iOS devices, but the Android app should be out next month [April 2015]), you can also customize sports modes (as long as you have internet) on the fly via the Movescount app…


I’m undecided. So, you tell me: Should I give some more detailed advice / suggestions on how to set up specific sports modes?

And, I guess I should give a look inside the Ambit app zone? Or not?

7 responses

  1. James Avatar

    Hi there,

    I have an Ambit 2 Sapphire, and I’ve just purchased an Ambit 3 Peak Sapphire. I’ve already customized all my sport modes, and – because I’m giving the Ambit 2 to a friend – I’d like to transfer the sport modes to my Ambit 3 using Movescount so that I don’t have to redo all of them. I’ve managed to carry over my personal / bio information, but I’m having trouble moving the customized sport modes.

    Do you know how to do this?

    Thank you in advance for your time.


    1. You are not going to like that answer: How you do this is, you write down how you’ve set them up and then re-create them for your new device. Unfortunately, there’s no way to simply transfer/share a sports mode customization (yet?).

  2. […] to the active part, the Ambit3 Vertical shares the other Ambit3’s ability for the user to customize sports modes and their displays (on Movescount or in the app; up to 10 sports modes, of which up to 2 can be […]

  3. charlotte Deacon Avatar
    charlotte Deacon

    how do i get the running perfomance graph to show on my watch during my run?

    1. You set up your running sports mode to show it. It’s basically still as explained here, except that Movescount now looks a bit different.

      Hover over “Me”, in the menu that opens, click on “My Watches” under the “Watches” header, click on the image of your watch (Ambit3, I’d hope if you want to have running performance be shown). On the watch customization page, choose “Edit” for the running sports mode you want to show running performance. Set one of the displays to show a graph (it shows as some squiggly line in the preview), then pick “running performance” from the dropdown below that preview ‘graph’. Don’t forget to save the changes, make sure the mode is set up to “use in watch”, and to sync the watch afterwards 😉

  4. Blagoj Milenkov Avatar
    Blagoj Milenkov

    Hello, one question please

    I have just bought Ambit 3 Peak Sapphire and I have set up sport modes but I don’t get average pace after each kilometer and beep signal like I’d had with my Garmin 210. What I need is a beep sound signal and average pace shown on display for that particular kilometer…..I hope you understand what I mean. Maybe I am still not so familiar with this new watch but I would appreciate your help to speed up the things.

    thank you very much
    Blagoj, Skopje, Macedonia

    1. Sounds to me like you need to get into the sports mode (on the Movescount website) and to make sure the autolap is turned on (has a checkmark, is set to 1 km)…

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