Technological conundrum: Since embarking on the... - Couch to 5K

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Technological conundrum

Since embarking on the c25k journey back in March, my faithful companions have been my samsung galaxy and runkeeper.

I now think it is time to get some professional running equipment.

What does everyone use?

I have heard good and bad things of garmin. Whats everyones opinion/suggestions?

12 Replies

I really love my Garmin watch (220) but I don't think they last forever like most electronic equipment, so my advice would be to spend the least amount of money you can on the model that gives you the features that you really need/want. Bells and whistles cost more and may well not add anything to your running progression unless you are uber-serious about it.

There are loads of models out there and many, many reviews available. Bargains can be had online is you are happy with older models so shop around.

I have heard bad things about Garmin customer service, so make sure you buy it from somewhere that you can be confident will be there for you if something does go wrong.

The Garmin site also has a useful comparison tool to allow you to see what features each model has, but take their pricing with a pinch of salt as there are much better deals out there (as mentioned above). I found Ama$0n to be very reasonable.


I have just ordered a Garmin Forerunner 220 from the same place as Maysie. Not cheap, but I have been procrastinating for ages and ages about what to get and finally decided on this.

Part of the reason for my decision is I do think you get what you pay for - I bought a GPS watch from Aldi a couple of months ago for a bargain £65 (well, it had good reviews) but whether it was just a dodgy one, or a more general fault with the model, I found the GPS tracking extraordinarily inaccurate - I had better results on my phone with free Endomondo. Luckily Aldi have a 60-day return policy so I took it back and got a refund.

Don't know if that's particularly helpful, considering I haven't got the thing yet, but I will report back once it's arrived and I've had a play!


My 220 is a great mid-range watch and I have been very happy with it. I am sure you wont be disappointed.

There is quite a step up in cost for the 620, which I personally just could not justify for the additional features that it offered me.

All of the other models with a HRM were just too closely priced to the 220 making it an easy decision for me in the end. It also has the added benefit of being fully waterproof, which for me was essential.


My new 220 just arrived this afternoon. It's running club tonight so am going out to test it, but I have played with the controls and it's all very intuitive. It's feather-light, like an ordinary wristwatch (much lighter than the older-generation Garmins like the 110), and very flat, doesn't swamp my wrist even though it's wide. Even found satellites by sticking my hand out of the window. So far so good!


Great stuff!

I hope you enjoy the watch and your run.



I only wanted basic tracking - gps and my time plus pace info so I got a garmin forerunner 10 love it easy to set up. Though I can't comment on easy of uploading yet as I done currently have a working laptop. I did consider a HRM but decided that I didn't really want one.

I think you really have to consider what features you want and go from there. The comparison thing on the garmin website is good. Of course there are other sports gps watches best thing is to spend time on amazon reading the reviews


Thanks folks. Do you find that it takes time to connect to the gps system?


I got mine 3 weeks ago and the first time it took about 1.5 minutes to get a fix on the satellites but now it only takes a few seconds, sometimes it even does it when I'm still in the house. I have a 220 and was a bit worried it would be too big, and while it is big, it is so amazingly light you forget it is there.


'ow do, Runner. :-)

I have a Forerunner 10 too, in pink. :-)

I really like it. Easy to set up, easy to use and it's great to see all the data on Garmin Connect. I only wanted basic features but recently have been fancying a HRM.

It varies on how long it takes to find satellites; sometimes it's quick but other times it takes about seven minutes. Only on one occasion, at a race, no less, it didn't connect at all but that was only one occasion.

Go for a GPS watch, you won't regret it! :-)


I love my Garmin (620) and I'm really glad I purchased it. There are a number of Garmins out there so I would advise you to make a list of your requirements that you would like in a watch and then check the specs/prices to suit.

PS It hooks up to the satellites very quickly indeed.


I bought my Garmin 410 on Ebay. I think I paid about £65 or so, plus I bought the heart monitor new which was another £30 or so. I have found that a lot of 'serious runners' change their kit like most people change their socks, and update to the newest model frequently. The secondhand market is very good.

Apart from some connectivity issues, which Garmin have sorted with the new website, I have had no problems with it. Although to be honest, I am aware there is loads of stuff it can do that I simply do not need. The functions I want: time, distance, speed, elevation gained and heart rate are all probably on even the cheapest new models.


My Garmin FR220 gets plenty of use and has proved solid so far but if you're looking for just the basics then the FR15 seems to be the sweet spot at the moment. I can recommend as an excellent site for kit reviews and not just for Garmin either. Also look for one of my previous posts where I went in to more detail on 220 functionality.


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