So...to garmin or not to garmin?

I've got some birthday money and the pesky Achilles pain that had me couch-bound and snappy is abating, and I'm wondering about a garmin. Currently using runkeeper on my phone, which is fine except I don't always want to carry a phone and as the long-term plan is to do long distance trail runs, I'm concerned battery life might become a problem as I improve as well. Dunno. Anybody want to convince me I need one? Or that I don't?

14 Replies

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  • Ooh - I love mine but I'm a total geek and looking at my run stats after the event is part of the reward for me. Previously I used mapmyrun on my phone but the Garmin is so much easier to consult mid run and also more accurate. I have a forerunner 10.

  • If you 'just want to run' and are not bothered my how far, how fast and how much improvement etc, just running for the pure unalloyed joy of it then no, you don't need a Garmin.

    If you are training for a target, be it a time or a distance or a race or simply want to monitor how you are progressing, then investing in a Garmin is the best thing you can do (or a Suunto - I rather covet a Suunto).

  • I think if you like competing against yourself a Garmin is invaluable. I love my 620 but I am a geek so love all the stats (never heard of cadence and VO2 before). If you are happy running at your own pace and not fussed about times etc then I would stick with your phone. (However you say you are looking to improve so see point 1 ;-) )

  • Ooh 620! covet covet.

  • I have the 310 and love it, if only to compare activities over time to see my improvement. It's fun if you like stats

  • I have a Garmin forerunner 10 and a fellow runner came to Parkrun the other day with a TomTom Runner and if I had to choose again I would probably go for the TomTom

  • What and miss out on being part of that elite group 'The Garmin Grumblers' when you can't get satellite or Garmin Connect goes wonky for the nth time that week?

  • I keep looking at watches too, I really want one but have no idea why I feel like that really! OK, I do, it's because you lot have all got one! I got a really good demonstration in a sports shop the other day, and frankly I can't see what it does that Runkeeper doesn't....Surely if you're going off piste you should be carrying your phone with you in case you twist your ankle or something? I'm not sure but wouldn't you have to run for hours and hours and hours to run down your battery? That said, we all deserve a little treat now and then don't we? XX

  • As we all know one of the great advantages of a garmin is you can wash it with all your running gear if you get it dirty. Can you put your phone in the washing machine ?

  • Now now Vix - for the last time washing machines are for clothes only - you'll be putting the telly in there next...

  • You don't need one... people have been running since.... well a very long time - and the last thing you did in those days when being chased by a very large animal with pointy sharp teeth was start thinking, "wow I'd really like a garmin".

    On the other hand you are going to buy one because:

    They are lighter than phones and more waterproof.

    The are a nice fashion accessory.

    They tell you things yo want to know even if you don't need to know them.

    They are fun to play with whilst running.

    I have a Tom Tom - I've no idea how different it is to a Garmin because I don't have a Garmin (having two gps watches is silly and causes confusion). But I like the easy way you can change straps to match your running gear. I like the fact that it only has one button to press, its fast satellite finding function, it's 10hr battery life and the clarity of the display and it's sleek and slim design and its vibrator which tries to break my wrist! I do not like that it does not have a built in mp3 player and phone :) Actually I use an iPod nano which is tiny for my music. I feel a lot lighter with my watch and mini iPod than with my phone. SO get a watch an d have fun :))

  • Cheers all. I am still deciding and really, I think I absolutely don't need one. But I do want one. We'll see.

  • I looked at a FR 15 as Santa offered to bring one, but I didn't like it. It looked far too big on my tiny wrist. Thinking of looking at the TomTom before the birthday pixies want ideas :)

    Also, waiting for the Apple Watch to launch to see what that will be like. It will be one of the few Apple products my OH won't have - I told him I'd buy him one when he ran a 5k so I'm safe there....

  • I just started to run last year but couldn't see spending hundreds of dollars for a Garmin. I bought a cheaper model and wasn't happy. I ended up getting an older Garmin from a seller on ebay that replaced the battery with a longer lasting battery which cost a total of $100. This was the best thing for me. It wasn't a lot and my times are improving with the ability to monitor my pace.

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