Ok - is it time to buy a Garmin?

I graduated last October, am now running up to 10k and although I hope never to lose the love of just being able to run for the sake of running, I am getting more serious about tracking my runs and improving my times. Up until now I have used the free Runkeeper app on my phone (Samsung Galaxy Prime Core which seems to have a better gps tracking device than my last phone which was incredibly unreliable! )My question is: will a Garmin (or other gps sports watch) give me more accurate tracking  and more useful information? Or should I just stick with my  Runkeeper? I would only be looking at a Forerunner 10 or 15 as I am on a budget. Any thoughts would be very welcome! Thank you🙂.


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10 Replies

  • Ooh I would like to hang around this post to see what people suggest as I was thinking the same thing. I currently use Strava on my iPhone but don't really know whether you get 'extra' stuff you don't get on phone apps. I've heard they bleep at you for different reasons! 😊

  • What's the your budget?

  • If on a budget, the Garmin 310xt is highly recommended for its very high GPS accuracy.  But the FR 10 & 15s are a great choice also.

    Happy shopping!

    PS you may want to look at the TomTom Runner (~ £90) and or Polar watches.

  • Thanks John🙂 Will have a look!

  • I've  got a garmin forerunner 10 , on Amazon for about £50  last yr. It's fast at picking up satellite's  and is really easy to use and then link it up to the free strava account. Just perfect for me not too complicated! !😊

  • The big question is: what data is it you want? What data do you need that you are not getting from Runkeeper in order to improve your times? Different sports watches provide different amounts of data (at corresponding price, usually), but which are going to be required for the kind of training you envisage? I have always done a lot of cross-country runs involving hills, so accurate measurement of vertical gain has always been a key feature for me. I do quite a bit of sprint and HIIT running at the moment, so the Vo2 max levels my current watche records are interesting to me. It also offer me a record of vertical oscillation though (how much I bob up and down while running) which is of no practical use to me whatsoever.

    The best thing is to work out what your training plan is going to entail, what information will be pertinent and then look for a watch that supplies that.

    Garmins are pretty notoriously crap for speed of GPS lock and random problems with the website - refusing to upload data, losing data etc. I became so frustrated with this in the end that I destroyed my Garmin wth a large hammer. Since switching allegiance to Suunto I have had a much happier experience. I also hear pretty much exclusively positive things about Polar watches too.

  • Thanks. In all honesty, I get everything I need at the moment (and more) from my Runkeeper app - but everyone always raves about their gps watches so I thought I must be missing something!  I think my Runkeeper is pretty accurate (?)Maybe  I need to spend my money on new running clothes instead... or even better, not spend money I don't need to at all😮!

  • Hi, I've been using Map my run on my phone, does enough for me without investing in more technology. Interesting article from Vassos Alexander theguardian.com/lifeandstyl... 

  • Thank you for that link - an interesting read! I know I could never become gadget obsessed and if I went down the sports watch route it would be a basic model! I would never count steps or monitor my sleep (or even HR). So maybe all is ok as it is. The article reminded me of a feature comparing run apps with watches and wristbands which I saw on tv a few months ago and the free apps fared pretty well if I remember correctly. I think also there is a beauty in keeping it simple and listening to your body as you run, which is worth being reminded of from time to time.☺

  • I love my Garmin Forerunner 10, Runkeeper was very hit and miss on my phone, always switching itself off during a long run, but I think that was more down to my phone than RK itself. You can also have "connections" - friends if you like, so you can see what other people are up to, and the support helps a lot too! I have people from here. The downside is you can't import runs from RK so you data is not all in one place.

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