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Getting To Grips With My Garmin

July 5, 2011

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that entering the blog world has encouraged me to spend money. My biggest extravagance so far has been my Garmin Forerunner 110. I saw lots of bloggers out there using GPS watches and I knew that I wanted one. In particular I was very keen to find out with some accuracy how far and how fast I was running.

So, a couple of weeks ago this lovely little box arrived on my doorstep:

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Just to make it clear, I don’t think that it’s necessary to have a GPS watch to run. I trained for my first 10k with just a simple sports watch with timer and chrono features and I managed a good time. The thing is I’m a geek and I like playing with toys and I particularly like analysing data.

I did a little research before I chose which Garmin model I wanted. The Forerunner 110 is Garmin’s “no bells and whistles” model and Garmin claim that after a simple set-up you can just press the start button and start running. Seeing as this model was the cheapest in the range and does everything I want  (distance, pace, calories, elevation, plus a heart-rate monitor) I decided to go for it.

I was very scared when I opened the box and the instruction manual was about 10cm thick – I have a phobia of instructions. However, it was in fact many little manuals in different languages – phew! Before I could use the watch I had to charge it up, which turned out to be by biggest challenge. I’m actually a bit of a techno-phobe and the very simple clip system completely flummoxed me. I felt very very silly when my Dad worked it out … it really was simple! The set up was no problem, so then I was ready to go for a run.

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It only took a minute or two for it to find satellites and then it really was as easy as pressing the start button and running. It’s possible to set an automatic lap interval, but it took me a while to figure it out (again only because I can be very simple!). All I needed to do was press the page/menu button twice and then scroll through the menu until I found the autolap option. I now have my laps set to 1 mile.

The most exciting thing for me is being able to look at the data from my runs by using Garmin Connect on the internet. I just needed to download the software from the website and plug in my Garmin and the info on all my runs appeared.

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Sorry you can’t see any detail on here, but it shows the distance, time, average speed, maximum speed, average HR, maximum HR, elevation gain and calories. For example, these are my stats for my long run on Sunday:

Distance 7.00 miles
Time 1:10:32
Average speed 10.04
Max speed 07:00
Average HR 170
Max HR 179
Elevation gain 114ft
Calories 829

I’m really happy with my purchase and I’m hoping that it will be a useful tool to help improve my running.

Do you use any running gadgets? Any that you recommend?

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2011 7:09 pm

    This looks awesome – so much info in a tiny package!
    I have an iPhone so I use an app, Endomondo, which works on my phone to track GPS when I run, and gives some basic stats. It’s not as accurate as the Garmins but it does give me a good comparison – and it also gives alerts, for example to tell you your time as you hit each km.

  2. July 5, 2011 7:11 pm

    I used to use a Garmin 305 and eventually sold it because it started gathering dust. I do however use a few iPhone apps now for tracking distance and speed and stuff if I go out on the roads.

  3. July 5, 2011 7:51 pm

    I have a NIke+ which Andy got for me last year, and I do love it, but I would also like to step up to a Garmin (he already has) as they are more accurate- my nike+ needs callibrating quite a bit, as it is based on stride length, plus it does not take into account elevation and stuff like that. Love that colour too- all the cheaper ones I looked at were chunky and black. I may be saving up! 🙂

  4. July 5, 2011 8:00 pm

    I use my Garmin 305 – I think its the older and chunkier less sleek version than the one you have! I have to say I really love it. I used to use the run keeper app on my iphone but I didn’t really feel comfortable running with my iphone strapped to my arm. I find it very useful to be able to get my stats off, I like my techy toys too!

  5. July 5, 2011 8:19 pm

    🙂 Garmins are excellent. Once you’ve ran a few weeks with one it seems impossible to manage without.

    As well as Garmin Connect it might be worth having a look at sporttracks – there’s a paid for and a free version and I’ve got the free one. Just does a little more than connect and allows you to write training sessions to download to the watch. Overall though its just down to personal preference.

    My old 405 was wearing out so I bought a 610 the other week but with injury I’m still to use it. Needless to say I am deeply jealous.

  6. Errign permalink
    July 5, 2011 8:41 pm

    I have a Garmin 205, which I like. I got into on sale & I wasn’t really looking for the HRM aspect of it, so the 205 does the job. I still haven’t read the manual or install the software, so I should probably do that soon. 🙂

  7. July 6, 2011 6:54 am

    Love the feature of being able to upload your run stats to the computer, I am a data geek too so I’d love that! It’s really pretty actually, you’d never think it was a gps watch!

  8. July 6, 2011 9:19 am

    I love my Garmin 305, and I still have my old 205 for backup in case the former breaks. I don’t know how I ever used to run without one: I’m a number junkie now and even though I know the distance of my routes I too crave the data and subsequent analysis. I panic whenever my watch won’t get a signal! I do think that your Garmin looks more comfortable than the older models though, which as Laura says are very chunky and cumbersome to wear.

    That said, you’re right that you certainly don’t *need* a Garmin to run. Heck, I ran loads of 5 and 10ks, a half marathon and my first marathon with no watch at all! But I do think Garmins make training more exciting and fun 🙂

    xxx

  9. July 6, 2011 9:20 am

    I’m totally addicted to the garmin.. I’m going to have to buy my own soon as I still have Mike’s since we broke up but sadly I’m sure he’ll want it back soon!

  10. July 6, 2011 3:05 pm

    I have a Garmin and I LOOOOVE it! Maybe not totally necessary but SO cool 🙂

  11. July 6, 2011 8:16 pm

    I have to admit that I like to be “off the grid” so to speak when I work out. I’m not training for anything though, so I suppose that makes a difference. I just like to explore and see how I feel. I do like it for the idea of knowing how far away places are though- but my smartphone does that if its in my backpack and I’m walking!

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