In the market for a running watch?
Coach Lorraine has taken a look at her favourite Garmin watches.
There are so many out there to choose from, making it hard to decide on the one that suits your needs best. They all provide the functions of recording your run with GPS, time, distance, pace and calorie details, with some offering more functions/options.
Read on to find out about some of the Garmin forerunner models, the table compares some of the typical functions of each watch model; some watches have more or different functions to others.
Garmin Connect : Connecting your watch to your pc to upload to garmin connect is not something you will have to do every day, how much you use your watch will determine how often you will need to upload your runs from your watch. Garmin Connect is the online community where you can upload, store, share, compare and analyse your runs from your watch. For all of you who like to see your running statistics, here is a sample of what info you can get from your run when you hook up your watch to garmin connect:
Battery life : Consider battery life and how the watch is charged, some models have a longer battery life while in training mode and some charge by connecting a usb cable to a pc/latop rather than a plug (handier if you are away and using your running watch). A tip to conserve the life of your battery is to let it run out and fully recharge it when you can.
Extra Functions : Auto lap and auto pause are useful functions. Auto lap allows you see your pace per mile/km during your run, after each mile/km the pace for that distance flashes on screen. Auto pause is useful if you are running in areas with road crossings or traffic lights, the watch will pause when you stop and start again when you are running again.
Prices : Prices and watch colour vary with each model. You may have to shop around if you are looking for a particular colour. Amazon seems to be the best value even with the currency conversion. The Foreruner 10 comes in below 100 euro and each model after that ranging from 130 euro to 170 euro. A heart rate monitor will bring the price of the watch up.
Blow your budget: If you aren’t too worried about budget the forerunner 220 or forerunner 620 maybe for you, starting at 220 euro (price from amazon.co.uk) they are the most recent models in the garmin range with many functions and Bluetooth connectivity. Both include a colour screen, are compatible with heart rate monitors and the 620 is also touchscreen. Customised workouts can be downloaded from Garmin connect or advanced workouts preset in the watch e.g. interval workouts. Personal records are displayed after runs with sound and vibration alerts during runs. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to link your watch to the Garmin connect smartphone app to transfer workouts, use a live tracking service (phone with you while running) – so friends/family can follow your run and share your run via social networks. Remember though, none will do the run for you!
Heart Rate Monitors : Many of the watch models are compatible with a heart rate monitor. The monitor is built into a strip you wear around your chest and it wirelessly transmits your heart rate to your watch as you are running. I personally don t own or use a heart rate monitor, I tend to go by how I am feeling during my runs or if you know what running paces suit you check your pace on your watch as you are running. (Just to note some watch models include the heart rate monitor in their price but all watches can be bought separately without the heart rate monitor, bringing the watch price down, so always check before you go ahead with your purchase, if you don t want/need the heart rate monitor.)
All of the watch models above are reasonable in price, user friendly and provide plenty of information about your run.
Youtube is great for videos/tutorials on how the watches work and what they do…..if you are not into reading instructions!!
Hope this helps in making that all important decision on what running watch is best for you!!!