Sports watches - advice: Hi all All sorts of... - Bridge to 10K

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Sports watches - advice

backintime profile image
backintimeGraduate10

Hi all

All sorts of sports watches are on sale at amazon prime day (fitbit, amazfit, polar, garmin, withings), I am tempted, any advice or warnings on different types?

71 Replies
damienair profile image
damienairModerator

I bought my watch a couple of years ago on the Amazon Prime Day sale. I have a Garmin Forerunner 35 and I am very happy with it. Does everything I need it to do. Some Sports watches can have too much data and information, we are not elite athletes, and all I care about is distance, pace and time. The Garmin watches are very easy to use, the app for downloading your runs is easy to use and they are very accurate. The Forerunner 45 is the latest version of my watch and looks lovely. Good luck.

RunaroundSue profile image
RunaroundSueGraduate10 in reply to damienair

damienair has summed up what I was going to say

backintime profile image
backintimeGraduate10 in reply to damienair

I get distance, pace and time via runkeeper on my phone. What would you say the advantages of a smart watch are (if any)?

RunaroundSue profile image
RunaroundSueGraduate10 in reply to backintime

When I was learning to run :) I tried different phone apps but find them a bit much fuss to start them then get the phone tidied away in my waist bag. Having said that, I quite like hearing the kilometre updates when running with a friend who has his phone on a high volume.I like to just press the button and go with the watch. I only want time, distance and pace. I sold the heart monitor strap, unused, on ebay.

backintime profile image
backintimeGraduate10 in reply to RunaroundSue

Thanks, I have my phone connected to my earphones for my music, so I get my runkeeper updates via my earphones too

the only advantage maybe would be the ability to pause via the watch, I guess, I don't really care about the 10s it takes me to put the phone away in my waistband pocket

I'm just trying to decide if I want a gadget cos I like gadgets (I really do :D ) or whether there is a real plus to buying one

RunaroundSue profile image
RunaroundSueGraduate10 in reply to backintime

I don’t (remember to) use pause very often, even if I have to wait to cross the road.

damienair profile image
damienairModerator in reply to backintime

I like to run most of the time without a phone. I also like a watch for working on pace etc. It is very east to use and is also very accurate. You don't need to spend a fortune. My first watch was a Garmin Forerunner 15 which I bought second hand on eBay for £20. It was a great watch. I upgrade to my one now 2 years ago, mainly because it was smaller, I could wear it as an everyday watch instead of just for a run. And it also uploaded direct to my phone rather than having to hook it up to a PC.

backintime profile image
backintimeGraduate10 in reply to damienair

I always have my phone as I am a single parent. My children are easily old enough to stay home alone, but I like to be able to be contacted just in case, especially when I'm out for a couple of hours on a run.

Runkeeper has stats that you can setup and Kat (the name of the "voice") tells me every 500m the time, pace, etc. I can make it more or less frequent, or base it on time instead of (or as well as) distance.

I want a watch, but I'm just not sure I can convince myself that I need one :D

damienair profile image
damienairModerator in reply to backintime

Looks like you have everything you need on the App on your phone. If you do decide to make a purchase perhaps go down the eBay second hand route. But if your phone works well for you then just stick with that. Happy running.

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Ambassador

So many to choose from , I guess it boils down to personal choice and what you actually want from it .And of course how much you want to pay

Garmin are certainly very popular with many on here .

I use a Garmin forerunner 45 which is more than enough for my needs and it's a reasonable price

Hi! I think watches are even harder to decide on that shoes and bra... so my suggestion to you is to do a list of essentials and would be nice to have and also budget because there will always be a watch £80 more that does just one extra thing... Does it need to be waterproof? Do you want it to solar power? Have music? Maps (what detail)? Do you want it to look like a watch (rather than just a sports watch).

I just watched a youtube from the running channel where the watch had zones (HR / speed) and a visual indicator of if you were in the zone or not. So I would ask yourself too how you train.

There, I've answered your question with more questions :-)

RunWillie profile image
RunWillieGraduate10

I agree with Couchpotato2

Depends on what’s important to you. I wouldn’t go FitBit though. I got the Garmin Fenix 6S as it was on a crazy discount. I don’t run with music so didn’t need that option. I might look at Polar next time as run to heart rate and think they’re pretty good for that. I’m certainly no elite but do like to look at stats 🤣

yeah but saying that HR is only good if you wear a chest strap. I got a second hand Fenix 5S pro. I was quite happy with Fitbit when I started and now I'm on a less is more phase I have even considered running with NO watch, although I do like the map feature. Polar and Suunto get good reviews too. GOOD LUCK!

RunWillie profile image
RunWillieGraduate10 in reply to Couchpotato2

Just ordered a Garmin chest HR pro on Amazon prime special today 👍🏻

Oh that's great! I have the Polar arm one and the chest one. I am thinking of reselling them as I'm now running on perceived effort but procrastinating in my decision. btw there is an app called Elite HRV and if you test your HR when you wake up it tells you what sort of training you can do that day (ie, you are coming down with something / go for it etc). Have a look!

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Ambassador in reply to Couchpotato2

I have no difference between my watch HR And my chest strap.Most recent watches are within 1bpm of a chest strap

Teddybob profile image
TeddybobGraduate10 in reply to Instructor57

I find chest straps so uncomfortable that I can live with minor inaccuracies

Grannyhugs profile image
GrannyhugsAmbassador

I bought a garmin forerunner 35 on graduating c25k in October 2019. Love it. Gives loads of stats and charts, syncs neatly to your phone after your run, gives mainly accurate readings unless you’re in some obscure crevasse where go’s can’t reach. I see comments below about HR. I’ve run with a chest strap and it gives exactly the same reading as my watch. The technology has advanced and neither hubby nor I have ever found our forerunner 35’s to mix up cadence and HR - another myth. Happy running 🤗

RunWillie profile image
RunWillieGraduate10 in reply to Grannyhugs

I’m not sure whether I want you to be right on the chest strap as I’ve just ordered one but I have also been running to heart rate on my watch for nearly 10 months. Will report back 🤣👍🏻❤️🏃‍♀️

Grannyhugs profile image
GrannyhugsAmbassador in reply to RunWillie

I’m a believer in trusting the developers of technology, I reallywanted to trust that garmins were accurate. I found it useful to get all the myths busted so I could continue to trust my favourite piece of running tech

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Ambassador in reply to Grannyhugs

I also find no difference in HR between my polar pacer and chest strap and my Garmin 45 .Now I don't even look at my HR,

I find perceived effort is reliable enough for me

RunWillie profile image
RunWillieGraduate10 in reply to Instructor57

Drats 🤣 I also got one for my husband.

Interesting about perceived effort. Maybe it’s an experience thing. I still find it really hard to run easy enough without looking at heart rate. I can work out my perceived effort the other way to run hard.

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Ambassador in reply to RunWillie

I now don't even look at my HR whilst Running.I just use my breathing to regulate my pace .

If I'm running at a conversational pace I have no need to monitor HR.

Knittingrunner profile image
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to Instructor57

😂I thought I was the only person to check my breathing whilst running! However as I’m invariably running on my own and I Jeff I count my respiratory rate during the walk. If it goes up too high I walk more. Curiously since I’ve been doing that my HR has come down closer to zone 2. 😊🏃🏻‍♀️

Teddybob profile image
TeddybobGraduate10 in reply to RunWillie

Well the can you chat and run is always a good measure I find even if you talk to yourself 🤪

RunWillie profile image
RunWillieGraduate10 in reply to Teddybob

I can chat running at a heart rate of 180+ at my faster 5k pace. It’s not a great gauge on its own for me. Maybe, I’m a freak 😜

Teddybob profile image
TeddybobGraduate10 in reply to RunWillie

Lol there’s always the exception lol

Thommo23 profile image
Thommo23Graduate10

I picked up a Garmin Forerunner 45 on Amazon two weeks ago for £130 (the red strapped ones are £20 cheaper for some reason) and I think its amazing - so much better than an apple watch which I used to (try and) use.

The app is brilliant and the run tracking and pacing is a real help.

Jericho2332 profile image
Jericho2332Graduate10

I've just ordered a Garmin Phoenix 6 pro 🤦🏼‍♂️ I don't need it as I've only had my very good and very attractive looking Huawei for a few months and it's an EXCELLENT watch and fitness tracker....but there was a massive discount on Amazon so I couldn't resist 🤣 just need to hide it from the Mrs now 🤣

Hedgehogs123 profile image
Hedgehogs123Graduate10 in reply to Jericho2332

That's my trick ! I just bring things out and reckon I've had them for ages and he just hasn't noticed!!😂😂😂😇

Frenc profile image
FrencGraduate10 in reply to Hedgehogs123

Lol what this old thing? It’s just been at the back of the cupboard…

Jericho2332 profile image
Jericho2332Graduate10 in reply to Frenc

I'm just wearing it and hope she doesn't notice 🤣😂🤣

Hedgehogs123 profile image
Hedgehogs123Graduate10 in reply to Frenc

Yep that's it!!!! 😂😂😇😇

Speedy60 profile image
Speedy60Graduate10

I changed from a Fitbit to a Garmin; best thing I ever did. I found Fitbit to be unreliable and inaccurate.

My daughter in law has a Withings to track activity, but she doesn't run anymore. When she did, she said it wasn't good enough for running. It is very pretty though ...

GoGo_JoJo profile image
GoGo_JoJoModerator

It really depends on what you want. Do we _need_ them. No. The vast majority of us really, really, don't _need_ them... but they can be useful.

If you're out for longer sessions not draining your phone battery can be useful.

Heart rate (polar is most accurate, closely followed by garmin and apple... fitbit etc not so good) can be a useful stat

Phone apps can be less reliable than a GPS strapped to your wrist. I started using Samsung health to track my runs... it was very generous on distance! 🤣

They are every bit as addictive as a smartphone. They will give you so much data, some of which will be useful and a lot will be confusing.

Now that I have one (I'm on my second garmin 645m and have a 45 as back up and am contemplating upgrading) I can't bear to be without it even though I rarely look at it whilst out and use very few of its "smart" features

They are great gadgets and fun but whether really needed.... 🤔 you can be a perfectly proficient runner without them 100%

Speedy60 profile image
Speedy60Graduate10

I've been a recreational swimmer all my life, but I've only had a watch capable of recording my stats for the last year (Garmin fenix 6s). My stats are so poor, I almost wish I didn't know. 😔 I'm putting it down to very sporadic swimming over lockdown, but sometimes ignorance is bliss.

That really made me laugh speedy. The stats must be wrong 9

GoGo_JoJo profile image
GoGo_JoJoModerator in reply to Speedy60

This is one for not having them, sometimes the news they deliver is not what we want, or need. 👎🏻 the same can be said of pace, I used to have a minimum pace set, nothing worse than the blasted thing telling you to go faster when you're going uphill!!! 🤣 Needless to say, I turned that off.

Even the body battery/training status can be awful. A bit of tech telling me I'm being Unproductive is not always helpful...

Speedy60 profile image
Speedy60Graduate10 in reply to GoGo_JoJo

Garmin usually says unproductive when I've really enjoyed the run. 🤨On the plus side, it says I'm 27 when I'm 61 tomorrow.

Swings and roundabouts 🤷‍♀️😆

Oldbadknees profile image
Oldbadknees in reply to Speedy60

Happy birthday for tomorrow, you spring chicken 🎂😁

Speedy60 profile image
Speedy60Graduate10 in reply to Oldbadknees

Thank you x

backintime profile image
backintimeGraduate10 in reply to Speedy60

If it's going to tell me how young I look it might be worth it...what does it say when you ask it if the joggers make your bum look big ? :)

Speedy60 profile image
Speedy60Graduate10 in reply to backintime

Lucky for me it doesn't have a camera 🙈

damienair profile image
damienairModerator in reply to GoGo_JoJo

My Garmin Forerunner 35 has been completely dumbed down. I have turned off any features I don’t want which is everything other than the very basic time, average pace and distance. It is just a watch, it should not have an opinion.😊

Tasha99 profile image
Tasha99Graduate10

Get a 45s

I really wish you hadn’t posted this, Backintime, Amazon should pay you a commission. In other words I’ve ordered a Garmin Forerunner 45, £103, couldn’t resist despite their horrible sexist promotional ad. Honestly, picture of bloke, caption ‘do you want to run better blah blah’, picture of woman ‘do you want people to know where you are, do you want to send safety alerts.’ Fuming 🤬

Speedy60 profile image
Speedy60Graduate10 in reply to Oldbadknees

Oh for goodness sake, you'd think they'd be way beyond that in the 21st century! Enjoy anyway x

backintime profile image
backintimeGraduate10 in reply to Oldbadknees

So sorry, I was looking at the French website, which you would normally expect to be, maybe, a bit more sexist, but it honestly only had the watch and the specs and a picture of 2 gazelles with very obvious wrist watches

The offending ad was on the Amazon UK website so don't worry, you're not being blamed for that 😂 Gazelles with wristwatches? Now you're talking!

backintime profile image
backintimeGraduate10 in reply to Oldbadknees

Like this :)

Gazelle with big shiny wrist watch

Oh, I thought like this!

Gazelle in a watch
Run46 profile image
Run46Graduate10 in reply to Oldbadknees

Lol...very good 😂🤣

Cowladyrunning profile image
CowladyrunningGraduate10 in reply to Oldbadknees

😂😂😂

backintime profile image
backintimeGraduate10 in reply to Oldbadknees

haha

Speedy60 profile image
Speedy60Graduate10 in reply to backintime

It's the ponytails that always get me. It's always a gazelle with a ponytail!

backintime profile image
backintimeGraduate10 in reply to Speedy60

I have the pony tail - but it didn't make me a gazelle :/

Speedy60 profile image
Speedy60Graduate10 in reply to backintime

😆😘

Guy_M profile image
Guy_MGraduate10

I started out using a Withings watch which I found more orientated to casual fitness, it also needed the phone for the GPS tracking. Moved to MapMyRun using an iPhone and found it clumsy and sometimes the GPS tracking failed spectacularly. Finally purchased a Garmin 245 (looked at Polar and Sunnto as well) and I've not looked back since. It's a good running watch that does everything I need and the APP is great.

I bought a Garmin 10 from ebay. I found it really useful when I graduated 10k, it gave me a continuing structure with time and distance goals. Now I run regularly I find I use it less. I enjoy planning routes and music and just like being out there and feeling fitter

Interesting lack of love for the Apple Watch, which I use and think is great. I'm a big music listener, so Watch/Airpods/Strava... it's the combo which works for me. Using a watch, though, has been such a revelation to me. Being able to track myself so precisely means I push myself to go a little bit further each time. I surprised myself with a 7k on father's day... just by glancing at my watch and thinking "go on.. you can do another half-a-k"

I can only answer on my own behalf. I am one of the last people - at least one of the last IT professionals - on earth without a smart phone. So I chose a Polar M430: can be operated fully without a smart phone. To start with, I only used my watch while running, now I am using it 24 hours a day, since it also can track my sleep quality. I am very fond of my watch. Thanks, my love, for giving it to me as a Christmas present.

backintime profile image
backintimeGraduate10 in reply to DanishDutchRunner

I would love to be without a smart phone, but so many of the client systems that I log into require Duo or Microsoft Authenticate or some other double-authentication app that I gave in.

Having given in, I have embraced it and have runkeeper, deezer and my work and personal emails installed too - I don't have any social media stuff though - I only use here and linkedin and I don't have apps for either of those :D

During C25K I only used my watch, my steps per minute rate and my iPhone to calculate distance run. I’ve recently bought a Garmin Forerunner 45 Plus, I was accurate using my watch but the Garmin has other more useful features that you can find on Google. I can set it up for running, walking, cycling and cardio which for me is useful. Horses for courses, it depends on what you want to get out of it.

I have a fitbit Inspire 2. Bad choice, cant see it outside and the font is too small for my eyes.

Hi, i am using a fitbit charge 4, I've not worn a watch for 20+ years but being small and light i forget that I'm wearing this, gps locks on quickly after 2nd use and is OK for tracking running and cycling, i have been using it for badminton too to look at calories and heart rate/zones it works well, serious runners may want a more runner dedicated watch for more advanced metrics, this is a health/sports device, only criticism is in bright sun display is difficult to see but i have found after novelty has worn off looking at the display during activities is a distraction and it's built in haptic vibration is sufficient info telling me as you move from one heart rate zone to another, you get free premium membership for 3 months don't be worried in giving it up at end you don't loose much and everything you need is still there, enjoy 😀

Another vote for the Garmin 45S. I got it on special offer on Black Friday, otherwise I still would not have one. I don't go out with a phone (too bulky), just a card in my pocket with emergency contact number, as I run close to home, and listen to music on an iPod. I used the C25k podcasts downloaded to my iPod. Once I got the watch I wouldn't be without it and tend to wear it all the time (3 redundant watches in my drawer). I like the stats and it keeps a record of all your activities over time, so you can see how you are improving.

However it does sound as if you get everything you need from your phone :)

I've just got a Garmin Forerunner 245 Music which I picked up during Amazon Prime Days. It was a toss-up between this model which is a couple of years old now and a just released Forerunner 55 which is updated from the Forerunner 45.

What really was important to me was a largish display for my ageing eyesight but also one with voice audio cues, which would announce out various metrics through the connected earphones every 1km or whatever interval you want. Means I don't have to look at my watch that often during a run.

Run46 profile image
Run46Graduate10

I have the Garmin Forerunner 235 and am really happy with it.

I was really undecided about if I needed it and didn't want to end up wasting money but I've just found it so much more convenient than using my phone so have no regrets and think as a regular runner who's planning on carrying on for the foreseeable future it was well worth the purchase.

You can manage without if for sure, but I don't think you'll regret it if you treat yourself 😊

I love gadgets at least as much as the next person, but I get along very happily with a £10 stopwatch with a large display and my phone with the Adidas app. The watch gives me elapsed time and I can decide to stop after a given time. Adidas gives me info every km and a detailed rundown at the end.

Heart rate? The commonly used formulas are pretty useless for someone my age, so there seems little point taking notice of it.

Cowladyrunning profile image
CowladyrunningGraduate10

Brilliant question to ask! I'm also wondering if I really need one..... 😊

Oh wow! Hadn't even considered a watch for running until now. I have been happy just struggling to run, I don't really look at stats apart from distance covered and pace which is on my phone on the free strava app (doesn'talways register exactly where I have run). Maybe I should think about it as it sounds interesting. A Christmas present maybe from hubby.

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