When my husband told me to go ahead and buy myself a Garmin I was ecstatic. Not because he was cool with me spending over $400 in one shot, but because he qualified the purchase by declaring that he believes that I am really serious about running. Those of you who are beginner runners know that it takes some time to actually get to the point where you believe that you really are a runner. Even though I’m racking up 20 plus miles a week I still find it hard believe that in all actuality I am a real runner. For me, getting this Garmin was more than a purchase. It was a declaration to myself that I am in fact a runner.
After doing a ton of research online, polling fellow runners on Twitter and asking my real life running buddies I decided on the Garmin Forerunner 610. It probably has more bells and whistles than I need, but I couldn’t pass up its wireless syncing and touch screen attributes. I’m a super nerd when it comes technology.
Of course I stalked the UPS tracking waiting for it to arrive. Once it came I had to get my children in bed so I could unseal the package and dive in. It was a slight disappointment when I learned it was suggested I charge the watch before using the watch for the first time. It took a couple of hours for it to reach 100% battery. I imagine I could have gone ahead and set things up on the 45% battery, but I followed the directions and charged it fully. By this time I was ready for bed and decided to wait until the morning to figure things out.
I took my fully charged Garmin to work with the intention of playing around with the touch screen and figuring out the menus whenever I had a spare moment. It only took me a short while to figure out how to use the watch on a run. It’s very user friendly. Anything that I may have found a little confusing was easily cleared up after reading the quick start guide that came in the box.
After work that day I took my shiny new Garmin on a run. I really liked how I could see my pace at any time during my run. I had been using MapMyRun via my iPhone and the app only lets me know my average pace at each mile. I like knowing my actual pace not an average. I set the watch to tell me the actual pace of each mile by setting it to lap after each mile. I saw a video tutorial online that said setting the watch this way also yields more accurate pace data on longer runs.
After getting familiar with using the watch on a run I now had to figure out how to connect it to my computer. I followed the directions in the quick start guide and I eventually got the USB stick to work, but I am not really sure how I accomplished it. I followed all the directions at Garminconnect.com by setting up an account and downloading the correct applications, but I felt that the process was a little scattered and disorganized. I would never be able to go back and explain how I eventually got everything to work.
I had heard from other Garmin users that the software that they offer to track your data is not awesome. Therefore, I chose to continue to use MapMyRun’s web based software to keep track of my data. I already had an account set up and all my past workouts were already recorded there, so it was transition-less. Once I had everything set up on my computer to recognize my Garmin, importing the data to MayMyRun was as easy as one click.
Since I started using my Garmin I have been on 3 runs. I am pretty sure that I got the hang of things. I know that I am going to love seeing my running stats. I’m a sucker for organized data and spreadsheets afterall. My next task is to fiddle with the heart rate monitor and foot pod. I didn’t mention that I got all the accessories too?
Do you have a Garmin or other running watch? How do you like?