What do you use and recommend? So many sales everywhere and I'm thinking maybe to treat myself to a fitbit or garmin, etc? 😊 I only have cheap fitness tracker which does not connect to Runkeeper app I'm using for running. So any ideas welcome!!
Watches and fitness trackers: What do you use... - Bridge to 10K
You don’t need to go for anything too fancy. However I would recommend a GPS watch. Fitbits are not accurate for running.
I got a Garmin Forerunner 35. I love it. It is very good, easy to use and you should pick one up for under £100 in the sales. It will do everything you need it to do. links with your smartphone and has loads of options. There are fancier and more expensive watches out there, but unless your a triathlete you don’t need one.
I only use my phone for music. But it’s a good idea to take a phone too for security, especially when running at night time. A good running belt means that you can run with your phone without it being uncomfortable. I bought a running belt 2.5 years ago in sports direct. It was not expensive, actually it was a bargain buy and has served me very well. In 2.5 years of running I have learnt that the most important running kit is good running shoes and running socks. Everything else is an extra and bargain basket will do. Why spend £600 on a running watch when a £80 running watch will do what you need it to do. The same goes for everything else. Some people want to buy the best and most expensive gear, but I’m perfectly happy to run in anything, and it’s usually out of a bargain basket. All of my running tops now are from 5K and 10K road races, plus a parkrun apricot top and my most prized top is my parkrun 50 milestone T-Shirt.
Yes Damienair you are right about not spending money on items that are simply unnecessary. All my running gear is either the cheapest from Decathlon or M&S sports gear (which is fab) but I only buy on half price sale.
I have been using running belt too and it's great but the freedom to run without my phone is certainly appealing to me.
Re safety - Garmin do have 2 safety systems one initiated by user and one automatic so may do a trick for me. Will see.
I'm with damienair . I got a garmin forerunner 35 in July and I love it.
You download garmin connect on your mobile and when you've finished a run and saved it on the watch it all transfers over to your phone. Lots of stats, pace , cadence, distance , heart rate. Just lots of stuff that's interesting to us runners . 🎅🎅
I use a Fitbit Charge 3 and love it, the app is great but it also syncs with many other apps. I tried an apple watch for a while and couldn't really get to grips with it, it just wasn't as good for exercise as the Fitbit. Rumour has it I'm getting a Fitbit Versa 2 for Christmas which is a really nice fitness tracker.
Many Fitbit watches do in fact have GPS. I used to have one. I use a Garmin now and it has some advantages but so many people post on here that Fitbits don’t have GPS and it isn’t true: the cheaper ones don’t but the ones that are in the same price range as a Garmin etc usually do. Fitbit is just a brand name, they make some cheap tat and they also make quite good stuff. Not saying it’s better than Garmin etc and not saying you should buy one. I have a Garmin Forerunner 235 and for running I prefer it to the Fitbit, though I miss the dedicated walk setting. Just bothers me when people see one cheap pedometer and go online saying that’s all Fitbit make.
My Sister runs 5K and 10K and is in a running club. We don’t run together very often. She had a Fitbit, and one which cost her a good chunk of money. Certainly more than my 35. I can’t remember which model of Fitbit. But whenever we ran together her Fitbit was either over or under calculating distance, especially for 10K when compared to my watch. It could be out by 400-500 meters for 5K and 500-800 meters for 10K. I had an older Garmin Forerunner 15 which I bought second hand on eBay for £20 about 3 years ago. When I bought my Garmin 35 a few months ago I gave her my older watch, the 15. It’s an older model and much larger than her watch, but she much prefers the 15 for running. She said there is a big difference when you compare the accuracy of both the Garmin and Fitbit watches.
Well, my Garmin measures my home parkrun pretty much the same as my Fitbit Surge did and that's based on over 20 runs with each watch. But the point I am making is that people look at one model of Fitbit and then make pronouncements about Fitbit as if they were all the same. People state as a fact that Fitbits don't have GPS - some don't, but some Garmins don't either. People state as a fact that Fitbits rely on phone GPS - again that's only true of some models. It makes no sense at all to argue about whether Garmin or Fitbit is better because it depends on what you want from it and it also depends on what model you are talking about. When my Fitbit failed after three and a bit years I chose to replace it with a Garmin, not another Fitbit, because overall the Garmin was better for what I now want (I wasn't a runner when I bought the Fitbit). So it's not like I'm trolling for Fitbit, but it was perfectly satisfactory for years and I only replaced it when it reached the end of its life. I just see a lot of statements made on here that are based on their activity trackers not their GPS watches.
Yes: anything worn in the wrist that tries to guess when your feet are moving. A Garmin would do the same, but one thing you learn after running for a while is not to pay attention to step count. Step count is good for getting people off their backsides in the first place but once you’re off the couch and committed to regular exercise then other metrics are more useful.
I haven't actually checked that because as I say step count isn't actually that important. I'm just saying that you were factually mistaken in your statements about the technology and as such, using laughter emojis in response to my comments not once but twice is maybe inappropriate. It's actually impossible to use GPS to measure step count.
You’ve taken this far too seriously.
I use this ‘🤣’ emoji in most messages. It’s a light hearted, fun giggle. Sorry you don’t seem to understand my humour. I think it’s funny that fitbits count ironing arm movements as steps. This is the only time I have used this emoji so nothing directed at you. And step count is important to some people. I run. I count steps on non run days. Maybe not important to you.
Why take offence?
I thought you were laughing at my response: you certainly showed no indication that you understood you'd made a mistake, you just laughed. Sorry if I misunderstood.
The OP did not post their question as a joke. They were looking for information and the information you posted was incorrect. When I pointed out that it was incorrect you responded with laugher emojis not once but twice.
FWIW I've just added steps to my Garmin by waving my arms sitting down. It's not just a Fitbit trait.
As a matter of interest why do you think step count is important? In general by the time you progress to a GPS watch you're past the stage where that information is helpful.
As I say, if you look, the laughter emojis were about ironing. Because it’s funny. Or I always thought so when I gained steps whilst doing zero. My garmin step count doesn’t go up when I wave me arm. Could be different models. Step count on non run days keeps me moving more than I normally would. It’s a motivator. Each to their own.
Yes I used step count that way before I got into running. I find it doesn't help any more. Partly I'd read a bit more about the whole ten thousand step think and it seems the science behind it isn't as convincing as Fitbit (in particular) makes out. But mainly I found that the number of steps doesn't really indicate how much exercise I've had.
When I started Couch to 5k I was unfit and overweight (the latter still applies!) but I was never really 'Couch' as I always walked a lot. Part of the reason I did Couch to 5k in the first place was I found I could walk ten miles in a day and my heart rate didn't go up much. I didn't have time to walk twenty miles so it seemed to me that running would let me get more aerobic exercise without having to put more time into it. I used to clock up thirty thousand steps quite regularly and it was certainly good for my mental health but physically I wanted more benefit. A 5k parkrun is far fewer steps but seems to do me more good.
The Fitbit I had was a Surge (they don't make them any more) and as I say I was walking not running when I bought it. But it was a proper GPS watch so I could log runs accurately and seamlessly upload them to Strava. That's why it bothers me when people compare Fitbit pedometers with Garmin GPS watches and say the Fitbit doesn't have GPS. It's not comparing like with like.
I now have a Garmin Forerunner 235. What I like about it is that it has more features both on the watch an in the app that suit runners. What I don't like is that it doesn't have a dedicated walk setting (even though the model below, the 35, does have that - go figure.) I still walk a lot and it's a faff to log my walks on Garmin because you have to set it to 'other' then remember to change it on the app and on Strava later. Sure, it counts the steps but I've long outgrown that. The Fitbit app has far fewer running features but more features for walkers and more relating to diet and stuff which I used to like using: Garmin makes no effort to provide those features and just refers the user to MyFitnessPal. So you need two apps to compare calories in v calories out for example.
On balance I decided the running was my priority so I went for the Garmin. But it does irritate me more than it should when people make statements like Fitbits don't use GPS and Garmins are more accurate because that's just not true if you compare like with like. There's a kind of superstition about Garmin GPS where people tell run directors their course is short based on Garmin readings. There's a reason the athletics authorities don't use GPS to measure race distances: it's not as accurate or as consistent as people think. It never seems to occur to anyone that it might be the GPS measurement that's wrong. (Your relying on a satellite thousands of miles above you to locate you within 10 metres - sometimes it won't be spot on!) That's the case whatever brand of watch you use (though I think watch GPS is more accurate than phone GPS, not sure why that should be so but it seems to be.)
Fitbit originally made pedometers. Garmin originally made satnav for cars. You can see that heritage in the way they promote their devices and target their advertising. But when it comes to choosing you have to compare them model by model not brand by brand, and you have to be clear what you want it for because they have different strengths. As I say I find my particular model of Garmin gives me more helpful information than my Fitbit when I'm running but it lacks some of the general fitness features the Fitbit had. One is more specialist and one is more general but they both do the job pretty well.
Actually it does...
It also uses arm swing to gauge speed whilst running, if you run with your watch arm held very still it will give you a very slow speed.
All the overall technologies are very similar, however Garmin does tend to score higher in testing however it comes down to personal choice as to what someone is looking for and what fits the bill. For some that is Apple, usually for integration with other Apple products, others Fitbit or even other brands.
I started with a £20 Mi Band.
Steps can be a good motivator but I wouldn't believe it too much... I just added 10 steps to my 645M by rhythmically waving my arm...
Another vote for Garmin Forerunner35, my heart said a Garmin with all the bells and whistles, but decided I would never use half the gizmos after an initial look, so went for the 35, it gives me everything I want/need, with one caveat, for me the heart rate does not record accurately when I run, it picks up cadence rather than heart beat, so I use a Coospoo heart monitor for that.
If you can get one with built on GPS.
Additionally I had lots of connectivity issues with Fitbit. It may be worth checking to see if the watch is compatible with you phone for syncing. That is specifically your phone not just the software version. I had masses of problems with Fitbit as they said it was compatible with the android version but when it came down to it not the phone. This gave them wiggle room when it did not work well. When looking into it the fitbit charge 3 was not listed as compatible to 7 android devices, 6 Samsung and a Motorola that we have.
I use a Garmin forerunner 45S. I got it about 3 weeks ago and love it. I can control my music from it as well as using GPS to track my runs, get heart rate, cadence,splits and other things I've not tried yet like a running coach. It syncs to Strava and other third party apps as well. Happy shopping!
I had a 25 percent discount code so that made it a bit more affordable. I wanted something smaller as I am quite small and didn't want something the size of a jam jar lid on my wrist! Hope you get something to suit you. The forerunner 35 was my original choice, it gets good reviews on here. Happy running!
Another Garmin fan here. In my case I just happened to see the Forerunner 235 on offer for £130 at the end of August.
When I wore it I could see that even during a fast hike my heart rate was staying low, so I started C25K to get better cardio.
Love checking the readout as I'm running and afterwards poring over the data on my phone and on the Garmin website. For a data nerd like me the Garmin is heaven.
Getting the Garmin started me running, and this forum kept me running, as without the forum I believe I would have given up running when I got injured mid-November.
To add to my previous comment. You may want to consider a watch that will also be compatible with a chest band for HR. I have fitbit IONIC which is not. The optical HR sensors can be unreliable whereas the chest ones are more accurate. Today I was showing 170bpm when I started my run versus 129 on the chest strap. I took the watch off, rubbed the back and put it on again tighter and it was close to the chest strap rate. Not a major problem but puts the average out especially on shorter runs.
I use a 645M Garmin Forerunner but I also have a Garmin Forerunner 45... long story but I keep it as a spare. For the money I was really very impressed with the 45 and would recommend it.
I can't comment too much on Fitbit but I did a lot of research, primarily based around heart rate recording accuracy before choosing Garmin.
Polar also scores very well on HR accuracy and we have a few members here that love them.
You really need to decide what your priorities are; budget v features and which features you want. An Apple watch say you have ApplePay... Garmin has their pay system on higher models however so few UK banks are enrolled it might as well not exist.
Thinking more about it I guess I probably will use basic features only. I want it to be integrated with the app on the mobile so runs will be automatically logged. I also use the steps count to get me off my computer chair at work, movement reminder and heart rate.
But it's important that the watch will be small and black and comfortable to wear...oh andthat I can send my real time position to my partner for safety and the distress alert.
Google pay would be great plus music but I will have a phone with me anyway so not important.
Would Garmin forerunner 35 meet my needs or should I look up at 45 or 235???
Have a look at the specifications of each watch on the Garmin website here:
Click on the watch and select 'Specs' to find out everything you want to know xxx
If "small" is important do look at the sizes, sports watches are not really very small and that can take some getting used to!
I don't use the distress beacon as when we tested it for my husband on his bike, the smallest bumps were setting it off. It also means running bluetooth during runs, which is fine on short runs but on long distances is too much battery drain.
We use Google location sharing and a free app called Life360 for real time locations. Life360 also shows recent route so, if something did happen to one of us, we could retrace the others' steps.
Not yet. I will on Saturday but won’t be using the music function as not allowed headphones at club. I will on NYD as doing double parkrun. I just know I’ll be in a fluster with the buttons. Didn’t realise for ages yesterday that the buttons are labelled in tiny font on the face so was trying to memorise them initially 🙄🤣
Ok, so I'm going slightly against the grain here.
I have a Fitbit Charge 3 and I love it.
It looks nice and neat (I'm somebody who has never worn a watch) on my wrist and it does everything I need it too.
When i go running, I always take my phone for music and my RunKeeper app. The fitbit simply connects to the phone for GPS and also uploads results to RunKeeper. There is often a difference in stats between RunKeeper and Fitbit. Not sure which is more accurate.
The only reason I didnt go for a Garmin, is the same reason I didnt go for a more expensive Fitbit. I just didn't feel like I'd use most of the functionality, yet I'd be paying for it. Bit like getting a really powerful laptop to look at the BBC News webpage. Waste of money.
If I get really serious about running, then I might consider shelling out more money. But for the moment, the Charge 3 does everything I need it to. And as I'm not breaking any world records, I really don't need it to be mega accurate. So long as its consistent (right or wrong) I'm happy.
You are absolutely right. If it wasn't for music I would get something more basic. But idea of not having to take the phone with me became really appealing.
I know I will not use all the functions the forerunner 645 music offers but for the really good price I'm getting everything I wanted plus extras.
Got a lot of responses I see. I do like the idea that ironing can improve fitness. Made me laugh a lot. I have the garmin 235. The garmin app is excellent and links well with strava. Lots of stats to waste time looking at! 235 doesn't hold music but I nearly always run without as the great outdoors is full of interesting sounds!
I usually take my phone when running in a belt. In part for safety but mainly so I can photo anything interesting I see on the way.
Enjoy your new watch. Oh btw I use the 235 as my normal watch, face is a bit big but also allows you to spot fellow runners!