Fitness trackers 🤷🏻‍♀️ Help ⚠️: Hey everyone... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

109,626 members141,627 posts

Fitness trackers 🤷🏻‍♀️ Help ⚠️


Hey everyone! Interested to hear what u all use to track ur runs. I currently have a Fitbit Charge 3 and also use Strava. Considering getting a Garmin but not sure which one to go for or perhaps I should upgrade my Fitbit. Ideally I’d like something that has its own GPS so I don’t have to always carry my phone but I like all the things Fitbit has (sleep, HR, steps, woman’s health etc) It would be good to have a device that automatically updates to strava. Im looking for something that is gonna help me run better but I’m not really sure what all Garmin does... I’d love some help please. 😊

35 Replies

Hi! I use a Tomtom watch which is cheaper than the Garmen. I need to update mi e to include the cardio. I also use strava which is great.


Garmin's are not necessarily more expensive than TomToms ...

Both have their own GPS and will automatically export/sync to Strava (and a load of other similiar sites should you wish).

The FR235 is/has been very popular and you can probably find 2nd ones quite reasonably priced. Or the FR30 or FR35. They all use the Garmin Connect platform (also a phone app) and can be worn as day/fitness watches to track sleep etc. Not sure about Women's Health stuff tho.


Hello CJMumma. In July 2019 I bought a garmin forerunner 35, it has gps and you can upload it to the garmin connect app and it gives you distance , pace, cadence,heart rate and lots more and I've also got it connected to strava. Good luck making your decision 😊

CJMummaGraduate in reply to Buddy34

Thanks I will check this one out. Not sure why, but somehow in my head if I have a Garmin it means I’m a proper runner hahaha 😂

Buddy34Graduate in reply to CJMumma

🤣🤣its the silly things that make all the difference


Hi CJMumma I use a Apple Watch with Strava which works fine for me as I can play music through my watch and make phone calls 👍

CJMummaGraduate in reply to pete1212

See I suppose from a safety aspect that would be good too. I carry my phone with me and although I bought a running belt I’d maybe prefer not to have to carry it. Sorry for my ignorance but do u have to be within a certain range of ur phone to actually make calls with the Apple Watch?

pete1212Graduate in reply to CJMumma

I carry both so the one I got I think I can answer using my watch with the phone in my pocket or if you buy the expensive one I think it can be used like a phone I think 🤔

pete1212Graduate in reply to CJMumma

Depending what phone you got I got a iPhone so find the watch great 👍 if you got a Samsung then I wouldn’t bother with a Apple Watch if that makes sense

CJMummaGraduate in reply to pete1212

Yeah I’m iPhone so will definitely look into this. Thanks 😊

pete1212Graduate in reply to CJMumma

I use a series 3 Apple Watch you can pick them up cheap ,I have been thinking of getting a garmin forerunner 235 but I happy with the Apple Watch the only down side to the watch battery life on series three will only last a day if you lucky

pete1212Graduate in reply to CJMumma

You will need a Apple cellular version of the watch not to carry your phone 👍


I have a ForeRunner 735XT (with the HRM-Run chest strap), this is linked to both Strava and MyFitnessPal, this allows me to track runs, walks, gyms sessions, etc, along with the things I eat giving me a more accurate illustration of my calorie intake and expenditure.

The GPS is spot on and the Garmin app gives you a great view on the run, etc, that you capture, it even plays it through for you if you want and highlights the HR, pace, cadence, etc, at any given point.

I've thought about upgrading it to either a 945 of a Fenix 6 Pro but at the minute it's doing everything I want it to bar the music which I keep on my phone for now.


I use a Garmin 645M which have come down massively in price however I also ended up buying a second device, a Garmin 45 which is super value for money.

I invested in the 645M (built in music) thinking I could go without my phone but the reality is, for safety, for maps and other reasons too I always have my phone with me anyway even if not in use.

The 45 was less than half of what I originally paid for the 645 and although it's now my backup or second device I really am impressed by what you get for the money.

CJMummaGraduate in reply to GoGo_JoJo

So the 645M do u just link it up with say Spotify or something or do u actually store fav tunes directly to it? Can u listen to podcasts (I still like Laura’s encouragement 😂) Gosh it’s all so technical haha. Yes from a safety aspect maybe like Pete1212 suggests, an Apple Watch may be worth considering 🤔

GoGo_JoJoModerator in reply to CJMumma

You can link it to spotify but I don't. You can also store music on it which I do, and podcasts, which I've never tried but would be simple enough.

You can link the 645 to your phone to get messages etc and to do basic tasks like answer/make calls, none of which I have tried (run time is "me" time, I don't want to be disturbed).

Being connected to phone by bluetooth the whole time drains battery faster. Now I know that may not be an issue really depends on where you think your journey might go. I never, ever thought I'd want more than 5.5hrs usage... but I did and quickly discovered that I can't use it for music too on long (long) runs. More than 4 hrs expected I use my phone for music to increase tracking battery life.

Depends on what your phone is really, apple watch needs charging every day religiously so if you want it for sleep tracking... tricky. I charge my Garmin once a week or so. Also Garmin HR is still rated higher in accuracy than Apple, although Apple is higher than Fitbit... Polar is still seen as most accurate too.

Have a think what you really want from it. Apple has ApplePay which is handy, you can forget GarminPay... unless you bank with Santander... UK bank uptake is pathetic..

If you want more of a "smartwatch" go Apple, if you want "fitness/GPS" I'd still go Garmin...

Oh, you mentioned "safety aspect" you can only leave your phone at home with Apple Watch if you buy the cellular version, much more expensive and has it's own sim sort of, allowing it to connect to the phone network itself. Otherwise the "standard" one still requires your phone in your pocket...

CJMummaGraduate in reply to GoGo_JoJo

Thanks that’s all really helpful. Yeah I’m actually leaning more towards Garmin. I just want something that will help me track how my running is progressing. I’m still so new to all of this! I use strava but it doesn’t show on my charge 3. The charge 3 does auto detect the run though but I’d like to be able to see a map on whichever device I use. To get the map on charge 3 I need to start a run... but I’d need to track it on strava too as it doesn’t connect. Aaargh not even sure I’m making much sense but I’m grateful for everyone’s suggestions 😂

GoGo_JoJoModerator in reply to CJMumma

You can use "auto detect" but it's not that reliable. You really need to still "start" your run. It will upload automatically (once you've linked accounts) though.

It is a total minefield! 🤣👍🏻


I have the Garmin Forerunner 35 which amazon had on offer. It does everything I need and is connected to Strava. Maps runs, pace, distance, heart rate etc.


I'm currently using an older Huawei Band 2 pro because it has a built-in GPS and heart metrics but I'm tempted to move up to one of the Garmin Forerunners. There are loads of reviews online, but a few things to point out:

- the Forerunner 35 is an older model and has been superseded by the FR45, hence it is available cheaper but it is older tech,

- the FR235 is also getting long in the tooth, but still gives you a lot of functionality. More of these are available second-hand.

- the FR45 is a newer model and is much better at tracking heart rate,

- the FR45 also has incidence detection and safety features: you should take a look at those in the reviews online.

To conclude - I'm looking at the FR45 as it seems to be the best bang-for-your-buck for beginner to intermediate runners. Tough choice though - let us know what you go for.

CJMummaGraduate in reply to MrWomble

That’s fantastic, thank so much! 😊

I’ve recently bought a garmin vivoactive 4s, and found it all very confusing after using fitbit for years, it does have gps it does have women’s health tracking which took me a while to get rid of because i no longer need, it does have music so i download playlists from amazon as a prime member, it has send alerts to my contacts if need be if i ran alone would be handy to know, it has spo2 which is oxygen levels, i didn’t know mine were low but my daughter is a pharmacist and was a bit concerned, i explained it’s not a medical device and probably inaccurate but low and behold within 24 hours i was in hospital way sicker than i realized and it was accurate to the thing they stick on your finger to measure in hospital so it’s good to see the number rising daily as i get better. This also uploads to strava and shows it’s own map of where you ran with all the stats, it also shows heart rate sleep body battery and stress throughout the day

I think most garmin do most these things and i love mine and although only ran once since getting it i can’t wait to get back out there

Have fun choosing

CJMummaGraduate in reply to WillowandSola

Wow, that’s unreal about the oxygen levels! Glad ur seeing the levels rising as u recover. Sounds like a good choice so I will definitely look into it. Thank you 😊

WillowandSolaGraduate in reply to CJMumma

I was looking for ages and almost decided not to spend money because like you i believed garmin is for real athletes, then i dropped my phone on a run and smashed the screen and that decided me

I bought the 4s because i didn’t want anything too big as i wear to work

I have a charge 3 n love it


I have a Fitbit Versa 2 and like it but no GPS. The only Fitbit that has GPS is the ionic which I think will be replaced soon. I take my phone with me so not an issue for me.

I have a Garmin vicoactive 3 music and

Have to say I love it 🙂 it has built in programs including C25K and a 10K and i can store upto 500 songs which means I don’t need to take my phone with me when running 🙂


I have a Samsung Active smart watch (Christmas pressie) as it works well with my Samsung phone. I can use the Samsung health app, or Strava which I downloaded to the watch. I still need my phone though if I want to use the C25K app, or I could download the podcasts, but prefer the app at the mo.


Hi CJMumma

I was using a Fitbit versa, like you loved all the sleep tracker bits and bobs, but found it to be out on my run distances every time. I invested in a Garmin forerunner 45 3 weeks ago and have to say I love it!!

It took a couple of days to get used to the app but it does everything that the Fitbit did and is far superior for the running stats, distance and pace etc. I would 100% recommend. It’s not top of the range for Garmin but like you, I’m in the early stages of my running journey and I can’t fault it. Can’t see that I will need to upgrade for some time.

Plus you only have to charge it once a week 👍🏻😊

Good luck with your choice, looks like you have a lot of options 😂😂

CJMummaGraduate in reply to Potato1210

Wow, that’s interesting. I definitely think it’s a strong contender. Thanks so much! One question though, what length is the strap? Keep seeing ‘S’ but unsure if that’s strap size 🙈

MrWombleGraduate in reply to CJMumma

The 'S' refers to the size of the watch, more specifically the bezel around the watch. The straps also seem slightly narrower too. Can't comment on the strap length, but you can probably get that off the Garmin website if you really need it.

This website is great for reviews of these kinds of things, below is the link for the FR45 which I was just reading today:

You can see a pic of the 45S next to the 45 in his review.

Potato1210Graduate in reply to CJMumma

I have the regular forerunner 45, my wrist is quite small, but it’s no bigger than my Fitbit and fits fine. The strap is thinner and has ‘holes’ all the way along it so you can get a good fit. It’s also a softer rubber than the Fitbit, so all around more comfortable I am completely converted 😂


Strava sync isn’t pretty much there with all brands of tracker, it’s usually a case of just linking your Strava account... something I haven’t done, my Strava account has one walk on it from almost 2 years ago and nothing else.

Some Garmin devices do women’s health, but I’m no expert on using that feature 🤣 HR, steps, sleep etc are pretty standard and some now cover hydration too.


I am an athlete and coach, don't spent too much money on a Garmen, they are over priced. There are lots of watches out there that do the same for half the money. Don't buy one with a wrist heart rate monitor, they are a waste of time, buy a belt.

best wishes. runningcoachonline

I like my fit bit versa lite, it tracks everything you said, that’s all I need to stay on target.

As for the physical side of helping me run, I go to the fields/ farm tracks , not many people there, it’s spacious and I can concentrate . it’s really refreshing.

You may also like...