So i’ve had my lovely running watch for well over a month now and figured it was time I shared my thoughts on it. Just after Christmas I purchased the Garmin Forerunner 15 in the sale and I definitely don’t regret it! I always scoffed before at the idea of buying a running watch, because they are typically quite expensive. Before I got the Garmin, I was using the free Nike+ app (which I still record stuff on so I can do the cool photos with milages) to record all my runs, but a years worth of running had taken its toll on the speed of the app and it was really starting to frustrate me how long it would take to load up and start recording things – no one wants to be faffing around for that long waiting for it to ‘begin workout’ when it’s cold outside and you’d rather just get on with it. So when I saw the amazing price of the Garmin forerunner 15 I decided to just snap it up, and hope it was a wise decision – and it was!
Things I like about my Garmin:
- It has the option of doing run/walk intervals – I do a lot of run/walk training so this is great for me. I can set it to – for example – 3 minutes running 1 minute walking and it will beep and tell me when to walk and then after a minute beep to tell me when to run again. The beep is a decent length and it’s loud enough. I think i’ve only ever missed it once and that day it was under several layers of clothing and we were running next to a road with heavy traffic on.
- I like that it shows your splits – the nike+ app never did that. It only showed your average pace. With the Garmin, it will tell you how fast each individual mile was after the run so you can see which miles were fastest or slowest etc. I do feel particularly proud of myself if I do a faster mile at the end of the run than at the beginning 😛 It also shows your full mileage, the length of time it took, calories burned & average pace. All good stats!
- It counts your steps – I’ve become a crazy person who gets annoyed if her step count is too low for the day since having my Garmin! My ‘target’ is 7500 and I hardly ever reach that unless I go out running, but it has made me more conscious of the fact that i’m not moving around enough – especially at work – so I tend to get up now and walk around the office more often. It’s also made me want to take long walks on weekends when i’m not running so I meet my step count for the day! I’m all about goals people!
- It has a backlight – your probably thinking ‘why is she mentioning that?’ but a lot of my running takes place in the dark at the moment as it’s winter and it’s really handy to just press a button and be able to see the screen of your watch lit up so your not squinting in the dark! Sort of related I guess, its pretty nice just to be able to glance at my wrist and see things like my speed and my distance, rather than have to fumble around in my running belt, drag out my phone, open it up and then finally be able to see how far i’ve gone or how much further I have left to go!
- Battery life is good – granted I haven’t got around to long long long run’s yet, but it’s supposedly adequate for a half marathon at my speed. I have heard it wouldn’t last long enough for a marathon at my speed however (not that i’m planning one any time soon).
Things i’m not so keen on:
- It does take a while to find GPS – but only sometimes. Sometimes it’s absolutely fine and as soon as I press it it’s found it and is ready to go! Other times it takes 5+ minutes to find it! It seems to take longer if i’m walking (so stay stationary to find GPS) and I feel like cloud cover also makes a difference, though I have no idea if this is just me being silly or if clouds really do affect GPS? Probably not.
- You can’t see a history of all your run’s on the watch – you need to go onto Garmin Connect to do that. That means plugging the watch into the computer and syncing it every few runs. I think you can see the last 7 runs you have done on the watch, after that they disappear, so if you don’t plug it in and sync it then you lose the data. However, you need to plug it in to charge anyway, so it’s easy to do both at the same time. It does keep your records on the watch for you to see, like fastest mile, fastest 5k, 10k etc, so thats good.
There are more things you can do with the Forerunner 15 than I haven’t tried yet. These include:
- Setting a ‘move alert’ so the watch beeps prompting you to move after a certain amount of time – i’d do this but I think it would annoy everyone around me!
- Virtual pacer – you set your desired pace and it will beep at you if you fall under the pace – I really want to try this out but just haven’t got around to it yet.
- Heart rate monitor – you can monitor your heart rate if you buy the watch with the additional heart rate monitor piece of kit that you wear round your chest. You can buy the watch with or without this and I chose without because a) it was cheaper and b) I don’t want to frighten myself by seeing how crazy fast my heart rate is when I run.
Overall, I really like the Garmin forerunner 15 and would recommend it to someone who wants a basic running watch, because there are many many fancier models out there that will record all kinds of sports; running, cycling, swimming etc, but if you just want it for running and you are not planning any crazy distances (ultra anyone?!) then I think it’s ideal. I would call it a great first running watch, and good for beginners because of the run/walk option.
Disclaimer: I have in no way been compensated by Garmin for this post. I purchased the product myself and wanted to review it purely because I think it’s a good product. All opinions are my own.