Monday, May 12, 2014

Say Hello to My Little Garmin

     I got a nice little present in the mail on Friday, my new Garmin Forerunner 220 GPS watch and foot pod.  Those of you that caught my Wednesday Weigh In post from 5/7/14 already know that I made the change because I was just getting tired of the issues my Nike watch was giving me.       
      A little over a year ago when I was researching GPS watches the Nike+ Sports watch was getting pretty good reviews from users and the price point was very attractive to someone who just got into running vs. the other brands on the market.  The first time I connected it to satellite it did take a little bit to acquire, but I thought that was normal.  From that point on it would usually take anywhere between 15 seconds and 2 minutes to acquire a signal, but in the last couple of months it was taking up to 10 minutes or in the case of my run on Wednesday, not at all.  The watch is powered by TomTom, and I recently read online that Nike and TomTom had parted ways, which is probably the reason for my issues. 
     Over the past couple months I began doing a lot of research online for what would become its replacement.  Pretty much all the reviews pointed towards the new Garmin Forerunner 220 or 620.  While I was in San Diego for Ragnar I was able to get some great feed back from my teammates that used both the models.  While everyone had raving reviews of them the biggest tip I took away was from Katie.  She stated that if she had to do it over again she would have saved her money and just got the 220, the few upgrades you get with the 620, in her opinion, was not worth the cost difference, and I agreed.  
     Now the only reason this post is even possible today is because of the love and support from my Mother and Father.  They have been so supportive and proud of my running and weight loss that when they heard about the issues I was having they thought an early Birthday/Christmas present would help with my upcoming marathon training.  So I just wanted to say Thank You both so much for your support, not just now but for everything you have done and/or sacrificed for me over the years.  

     Ok now back to the watch, I am not going to do a full product review with all the tech specs, there are plenty of those online just Google it.  I spent Saturday night reading the quick start instruction and getting it set up. I was amazed how quickly the GPS locked on; I was sitting inside my house and I had a full strength connection in no more than a second or two.  I like how there are two data screens that you can layout with up to three data points on each.  You can also set it to continuously rotate through those screens, but I haven’t tried that yet.  Out of all the features this watch comes with the one that excited me the most was the vibrate alert (#).  With my Nike watch it would only beep when I crossed each mile, but I am always wearing headphones and never hear it, so I constantly have to look at my watch.  With my Garmin I set it up to beep/vibrate when I hit each mile, which especially helps at the end of my runs so I will know when to shut it down without having to break stride to monitor the watch.  I also love the Bluetooth capabilities and the ability to upload your run almost immediately afterwards for analysis.  So far I only have one negative and its a super minor one, the limited color combination choices is annoying to me.  The 220 only comes in white with purple trim or black with red trim, which is the one I got, and the 620 comes in white with orange trim or black with blue trim.  If I had my choice I would have gotten the white with orange or black with blue trim but I can live with black and red.

     I got to head out Sunday and take the watch for a spin, and all I can really say is, wow it was nice.  It didn’t feel heavy on my wrist and again I wasn’t even out my door and I already had satellite signal.  I did a simple 4 mile loop just so I could get use to it and play with the features.
     I did find that I had to re-adjust the data fields; I had the elapsed time showing vs. the lap or mile time which I prefer.   The big test for me on the accuracy of the watch came this morning when I did a 4 mile out and back run.  All my previous out and back runs with my Nike watch were off by as much as a couple hundred yards.  I would assume that if I start at a line, ran till the watch said two miles, turned right around and came back to that line, it should be four miles.  Well with my Nike I was going past that line every time and most of the time it was by a large amount.  Well today’s test landed me at the 4 mile mark within 3-5 feet of the line, which if that trend continues then I will have to say this watch is pretty damn accurate.
     I will continue to play with it (#) and get all the setting just where I want them but my first impressions are so good that I feel like I wasted a year of my life with the Nike watch.  It also made me wonder how many extra miles I ended up running as a result of the Nike’s low accuracy.


  1. yay! Glad you like it! I love my 220 as well...I gave the TomTom a fair chance for a month or so but the Garmin is way better, in my opinion. What a nice gift and show of support for your running by your parents! Your cadence, by the way, is awesome! I wish I could get numbers like that!...maybe I need to run faster :)

  2. Yay! Congrats on the Garmin. You'll love it (and looks like you already do!). You'll have to let me know your Garmin Connect username so we can stalk, err keep up to date with each other.