Couch to 5K
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Garmin advice

At the moment I track my runs using Runkeeper. I am generally happy with the information I get from the app, but would also like to be able to see my pace and distance whilst running (I don't like phone armbands, so the phone is tucked away, talking to me every so often). It would be nice to have more ability to compare data between runs than I currently get from the free version of Runkeeper.

Husband has offered to buy me a Garmin for my birthday. The question is, what model. As well as being able to see pace and distance, and compare runs, I ideally want something that could also log my swimming distances. I want something that isn't fiddly to use, that will sit comfortably on a small female wrist.

Thoughts appreciated.

7 Replies

The Forerunner 10 & 15 come in small and large versions, and do what it sounds like you want to do (I have a FR15, which can link to a heart rate monitor too). Trouble is, I don't think it's waterproof enough to swim with. I'm not sure how well a GPS watch works in a swimming pool, though - they can't receive GPS signals indoors.

When you use a Garmin, though, you use their Connect system to upload run data to and manage, and you can input details of running, cycling, swimming activities to it manually.


I have Kermit, the garish green Garmin forerunner 10, and he does the job nicely for running (Runkeeper dropped me in it one time too many so I asked for a Garmin for Mothers' day). I can't see anything on it about swimming, and checked it out as I was interested in doing likewise. According to a Gamin bod on a thread on Garmin's Q&A site (from 2013, though) although the Forerunner 10 is waterproof to 50m, it can't track GPS when under water. You'd have to stick it on an antenna on your head :D They apparently have other models for triathlon runners which work better.

Here's the thread, if you're interested:


I present to you the TomTom MultiSport Cardio - GPS and Heart Rate Monitor all-in-one (no chest strap required) and covers running, cycling AND swimming :-)

I have VERY skinny wrists for a bloke and these watches are designed with lots of wrist-strap-holes for both male and female runners. I've tried one on in-store and was pleasantly surprised that it didn't look stupid bulky.

Bear in mind that it is the Multi-Sport, NOT the "Runner", which has the cycling and swimming functionality.

If you shop around, you may find it for £150-160.

Available in different colours as well.



PS I am but a single click away from ordering the Runner version from Amazon with their "£10 off everything over £50" (code is BIGTHANKS) deal today (ONLY today).


Or perhaps a Timex Women's Ironman Triathlon watch?


The Garmin Forerunner 920XT would do what you want, but tbh adding the swimming function to a watch makes huge difference in price. The Forerunner 10 would do what you want runningwise for £60. You leap up to £350-ish for Triathlon watches that will log swimming, which is a lot. You could get the Forerunner 10 and a dedicated Gramin swimming watch, both of which would upload to Garmin Connect for less than half the price of a 920.


The garmin vivoactive will track swimming and running (as well as walking, cycling and golf). It does lack some of the higher end running features that the 920 has, such as virtual pacer and training plans but it is cheaper and a lot smaller - I was surprised how big the 920 was.


Thank you all, food for thought.


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