Things I love - Garmin Forerunner 210 GPS Watch | explodedsoda
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Things I love - Garmin Forerunner 210 GPS Watch

Back in early May I finally finished a major part of my journey into fitness by completing the Couch-to-5k program. Since finishing I've tried keeping up with my running and pushing myself to improve my pace and go further. I even ran my first 5k race last month (although according to Runkeeper, the course was short by half a mile). Running has definitely become a hobby that I love and one that I want to continue for a long time and especially one that I wish to improve at.

In celebration of finishing my first race, and partially because of the race length discrepancy and this thread on Reddit, I decided to look into getting a GPS watch. I started looking at the maps of my runs from Runkeeper (and Nike+) and my route always seemed to be all over the place, through buildings and cutting corners. I even spent one day moving all the points of one map so that they actually followed my route, and after I did my run came out to a further distance and faster pace than it had been before. I did a little more Googling on the issue of phone GPS vs dedicated GPS watch, started looking up reviews, and finally decided on the Garmin Forerunner 210.

So pretty. I love it.

I chose the Garmin Forerunner 210 over the Garmin Forerunner 10 because it supports the use of a heart rate monitor. The white/green one that I chose didn't come packaged with heart rate monitor packaged like the black model did, but I can easily buy one later! Also it's definitely a lot prettier than the black model.

Of course, the first order of business once this baby came in was to test it against Runkeeper.

Runkeeper's Results:

Garmin Forerunner 210's Results:

That's a good .06 mile  and 17 second pace difference! The map of the Garmin was also far more accurate than Runkeeper's. I've continued running both on my runs (mainly since I still need my phone for music, so why not), and I've seen anywhere from a .04mi difference to a .13mi difference between the two, always with Garmin having the further distance.

Another great thing is not having to pull my phone out whenever I want to check my time, distance or pace. Yes, Runkeeper has audio cues which are pretty amazing, but sometimes I don't want to wait until my the intervals I've set to know! The 210's face displays your distance (in miles or km), your current run time and your pace (or speed, if that's what you prefer). You can choose to have your pace displayed as either the average pace for your current lap, the average pace for the run as a whole, or your current pace. A quick glance at my wrist is a lot more convenient than digging my phone out of my sweaty sports bra and risking dropping it or, as I've done plenty of times, accidentally pausing my run without noticing!

Now, I'd been using Runkeeper for a while. I have a lot of past data saved on there and friends who use it, so I was pretty reluctant to just give it up, especially since I have no friends with Garmin watches, so I have no friends to add on GarminConnect. Plus, Runkeeper doesn't support importing data from the Garmin watch like Strava does. Luckily, CopyMySports (formerly GarminSync) exists! Just a one time setup and it automatically syncs your Garmin activities to Runkeeper!

If you're seeing (and unhappy with) inaccuracy on your running apps and are getting more serious about your running, I'd definitely recommend investing in a GPS watch. I completely love mine. Now all I need is a little iPod shuffle to put my awesome running playlist on so I can stop lugging my phone around on all my runs!

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