A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Review of my new Garmin Forerunner 10

on September 27, 2013

After accidentally running over my Timex GPS (Omaha Midnight Run), I decided to go ahead and replace it before the Omaha 10K. Rather than getting another Timex, I looked around to see what my options might be. I’m not that interested in heart rate training at this stage in my running life, so paying hundreds of extra dollars for a device that would have that capability seemed a little impractical. I looked at the Nike SportWatch, but was worried by the reports of it fogging up easily (I am a super sweater). I also looked at just replacing the Timex with the same model, as it was the cheapest option and I was familiar with it. Ultimately, I decided to try the Garmin Forerunner 10 because it had a few upgrades the Timex didn’t offer (or if it did, I never figured them out!). It was a little more than the Timex ($130 vs $80-100, depending on color) but offered both virtual pacing and a built in interval timer, which were attractive options. I also liked the idea of using the Garmin software to track runs.

So far, I’m very happy with this decision! It is definitely worth the extra money in terms of simplicity of use. There are only four buttons (backlight, a little runner that starts/pauses/selects options, an arrow to scroll through screens/options and a back button). Overall, I’ve found it be very intuitive and easy to navigate (although it also came with an instruction book that is much easier to follow than the Timex was!). The buttons are big and easy to push during a run, but the whole watch feels smaller, lighter and lower profile than the Timex.

imageYou can see two pieces of data on any given screen:

– Time and date (shown above)

– Time and distance

– Pace and calories

The numbers are big and easy to see – not much cluttering the screen, which is good for me as my eyes aren’t the best even with contacts. One of the buttons is an arrow that lets you page through those options on the run. It might be nice if you could easily configure which two you could see (pace and distance or pace and time, for instance) but so far I’ve found this easy to use for my fairly uncomplicated running regimen. In some ways, it is actually helpful because it keeps me from obsessing about my pace unless that’s my specific objective in a given workout. For the first half of the 10K, when I wanted to be careful not to overdo it and run out of gas, it was really nice to only see the distance and not worry about if I was near the 11:00 minute mark I wanted to be at per mile. It picks up GPS signal fairly quickly (less than 30 seconds) and seems accurate, as far as agreement with my prior distance measurements using MapMyRun or the Timex or the measured 10K course were concerned.

It offers a virtual pacer option and an interval option (although you cannot use both simultaneously). I’ve used the virtual pacer, which was easy to set up – you choose your pace (wouldn’t work for walking unless you’re a really speedy walker as the slowest pace option was around 15:00  minute miles, if I’m remembering correctly). With the virtual pacer, you get updates that flash across the screen to let you know that you are “On Pace” or “Ahead of Pace” periodically along with an audible beep that tells you there’s an update, which is nice.  You need to set this up before you head out as the settings can’t be changed once you’ve got the GPS on.

It also also an interval timer, in 30 second increments, that will light the screen and audibly beep to alert you to the interval period. This could be very handy if you’re using a run/walk interval plan. As I’m considering some walk intervals in my half marathon training, this was an appealing option to me. I haven’t tried it out yet, but will update you when I do. Again, this has to be set up before you enable the GPS for your run and can’t be run at the same time as the virtual pacer.

With the autolap function enabled, the watch automatically saves information at each mile and will beep and backlight screen to show you the information for each mile as you’re going. It also includes fun little updates like “Fastest Mile!”. I love when my electronic devices get excited for me. 🙂 At the end of the run, you can review your splits on the watch screen and I find the print big enough to read easily. It also will update you with “New Longest Distance” and “Fastest 5K” and things like that on the watch screen itself.

It connects to the computer via USB cable to charge and to update your information in the Garmin Connect system.

Garmin sampleThis has been my first experience with Garmin Connect and so far, I enjoy it. It will automatically track and display information for each run, including distance, pacing (the blue graph), elevation change (the green graph) and numerical info about your splits.

The battery life has been good for me so far, but I haven’t had it out for more than an hour or so continuously so that isn’t much of a test! According to Garmin, it has the battery capacity for 5 hours of GPS functionality and much longer as a watch alone. Overall, I’m really pleased with the ease of use, screen display, data collection and virtual pacer – all things that feel worth the extra amount I paid over the Timex GPS I’d had before. If you’re looking for an entry option in the GPS world, this is definitely one to look at. **As always, not a sponsored post – just my review of a product I personally purchased and enjoy.

We got the previews of the photos from the Omaha 10K and I really like a couple of them! I really do look like an athlete in the second one at least (albeit a very pink athlete!). I can’t quite justify paying $25 for each of these in my mind yet, but I do enjoy looking at them and wouldn’t be surprised if I end up getting them! (Screen shots from Action Shots Images)

10K Finish Line 9.22.13image

Do you run with a GPS?  What about heart rate monitors?

Do you buy your race photos? I can’t think of where I’d hang them if I did buy them!

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5 responses to “Review of my new Garmin Forerunner 10

  1. I have an older Garmin and I love it for the most part and it’s ease and functionality…but it’s a bit bulky. I have been looking at the Garmin 10 as a replacement, but I’m not sure I’ll like the 2 features at once. Big question for you is: Can you do PACE and DISTANCE as the 2 things you look at? Those are what I look at most often and wouldn’t have to have to keep pushing buttons to check these.

    • According to the manual, yes, although I haven’t tried it yet (plan on doing it for tomorrow’s run, so I’ll let you know!). On the screen, there is a run options menu that should let you change the data fields.

  2. Sharon says:

    I got the same watch only in pink a couple of weeks ago and started using it last week. I’m just starting out on my walk/run journey and finding it good so far (1 week in!!)

    • I tried using the interval settings today and while they were really easy to set up, I couldn’t hear the beep! I think my breathing is just too loud in my own ears when I run. 🙂 I did like that you could flip easily to a screen that showed you where you were in your intervals, so I used that for the most part. Glad you’re enjoying it! It is the rare piece of running gear I somehow didn’t buy in pink!

  3. […] to buy! I’d have to say that my favorite piece of gear would be either my SparkleSkirt or my Garmin (which I’m still loving – very easy to […]

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