Tuesday, August 10, 2010

review: Garmin Forerunner 110W

Well, I finally got my belated birthday present from T! It is a few months late but it only came out recently in Canada and I've had a tough time finding it in stock. But now I have it, and I used it on my run today, so I thought I'd give it a quick review.

The Garmin Forerunner 110W is a GPS sports watch/heart rate monitor. It's supposed to be targeted towards beginner/casual runners, as there are no programs on board. It's very simple. It gives you distance, time, average lap pace and heart rate. It gets the satellite signal in under 30 seconds, which is very fast. Ask me how I know that is fast (damn Tom Tom).

Although it is a decently small GPS watch, it is still quite large on my "dainty" wrist. However, the band can be sized as small as you want so it fits nice and snug. The heart rate monitor on the other hand was too big. Even for the woman's size, at the smallest setting it is still loose around my chest (or rather, under-chest). I solved this problem by tucking it under the band of my sports bra and it stayed put during the run. However, it did feel like it was going to come off the entire run.

As for the watch itself, I personally loved it. I had auto lap set to 1km, so it showed my pace over 1km. While not exactly current pace, it was enough to see when I was speeding up or slowing down. It beeped to let me know when I hit the km markers. Maybe because I've been running without a watch lately - not knowing how far or how long I run - but it was exactly what I have been wanting.

I still have to figure out the full features of the Garmin Connect website, but in short, you upload the data from your run and that is when you see all the details. It shows you your real pace, elevation, distance, heart rate, calories, maps out your course, etc etc. Fantastic. You can track all your runs in a calendar, do comparisons, run reports and more.

I feel like I'm trying to sell this watch. I'm really not. I just am not a gadget person (as much as my profession / possession of tons of electronics would suggest) and the previous Garmin GPS watches just seemed too complicated for me, with way too many features that I'd never use. When they came out with this one, I was sold immediately. I just had to wait a few months for it to be released!

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