I have had a number of Garmin GPS watches and consider them an essential part of my training. Knowing where I’ve been, how far I went and what speed and elevation I achieved gives me a great sense of accomplishment. It also pushes me to go further, faster and do more hills than I ever would have without it.
Currently I am using my fourth model the forerunner 220. I have also had the forerunner 110, 205, and 210 models each of which worked very well. I feel like none of them really compare to the ease of use, looks and lightness of the new 220 model though.
The 210 was my previous model and it weighed in at 52 grams whereas the 220 weighs only 40.7 grams… “Big deal,” you may say. “A difference of only 11.3 grams is hardly noticeable.” If you are a distance runner though think of it this way, when you are 20 km’s into your long run and you go from an asphalt surface to a concrete surface the difference is huge!! The same can be said about the weight of these two watches, I notice an incredible difference. Just the way the watch sits on your wrist and the flexibility of the band is a huge improvement as well.
I like the fact that the touch bezel is gone as well. For every action you want do, a button must be pressed so you are less likely to switch screens or have some other mishap.
Many of the other functions are very similar to previous Forerunners. Navigating the screens I found to be very easy. In fact, from getting it out of the box, setting it up and being ready to go for my first run, it only took about 10 minutes. My favorite improvement is the Bluetooth connectivity. Once you download the Garmin connect app to your phone you get some very cool new abilities. For example, when using it for the first time on a long run (with Jackie), we returned to the house to recover, she went over to her computer to upload her run and see the results on Strava only to find mine already there! (note from Jackie: Like I wasn’t already jealous enough…) When you get close to your phone it automatically uploads it! That is the coolest feature, I was able to start looking at different parts of my run immediately, even without access to a computer.
I also like the addition of the accelerometer which calculates your cadence and can track distance when GPS is unavailable. Another improvement that I like is the addition of vibration alert. Normally I run listening to music and I had a difficult time hearing the tones or alerts from the watch. Now I don’t have to hear it. I can feel it.
If you are a new runner or someone who has been doing it for a while if you don’t have a GPS watch I would highly recommend it especially the Forerunner 220. Overall, I am extremely satisfied with it. Do I rely on it too much? Probably…. Is that going to change? Never!
The Outrunningblog Crew love their Garmins!