Say hello to my (new) little friend

Picture me doing a little jumping around, excited dance. THAT is how excited I am about my new watch.

Garmin Forerunner, GPS, watch, running

I've had a Garmin Forerunner 210 for two years now and it's been with me through a marathon -- so I'm pretty loyal to the brand and it's been a great little watch. Nothing too fancy (I opted for the version without a heart rate monitor and never invested in the foot pod), easy enough to programme for intervals... just a good solid GPS watch. Or so I thought.

One thing that always bothered me about the 210 was how long it took to pick up satellite. There were times when I did a 5-minute warm-up and was another 5 minutes into my run before it registered my location, pace and anything else GPS-related. Super annoying, especially when my phone could get the same satellite connection in less than 30 seconds.

So I've been reading and pining and drooling a bit over the newer Forerunner 220 for a while now and, with a 10k and half marathon in my goals for the next six months, finally took the plunge.

And it's SO PRETTY.

Okay, sorry, girly lapse ;o) But it's an awesome piece of tech, too.

The first and most noticeable difference is the colour options available (black & red or purple & white) and that the screen is a colour display and larger than the old model. Although the screen is bigger, it's got a lower profile on the wrist and the strap is more flexible so it actually sits a bit more nicely to my arm than the older model.

Once you get into the menus, it's pretty easy to navigate, especially if you're familiar with the Garmin set-up, but even if you're used to a different brand it's very intuitive. The Quick Start guide literally reads '1. Charge device 2. Put on optional HRM 3. Go for a run' Gotta love something that amazingly simple!

So, with a little playing around, I got my details into it, the right settings and was off on my first 5k.

The best thing about the 220 was the fast GPS pick up. I was out of the house less than a minute when it had found the satellites and, afterwards when I was playing around with the watch indoors, it managed to find the signal in a matter of seconds. Huge plus vs the 210.

The next best thing was the alerts. The sounds and vibrations were WAY more noticeable than with the 210. Even if I was running with headphones or on a busy road, I would've noticed the vibration at least, which to me is a great new feature that the 210 didn't have.

I haven't tried the HRM yet but the new model also has a built in accelerometer so it worked out my cadence even without a food pod. Brilliant! Apparently it should be usable on an indoor treadmill so I'll look forward to having a go at that soon.

The watch also syncs up with Garmin Connect, their web interface that the old watch also used, so I can just keep updating the same account with new stats. There's also a phone app which you can sync to by Bluetooth, something I'll play around with when I have a bit more time (and memory space on my poor ol' phone!).

Overall, I'm SO happy with my upgrade and can't wait to get more runs under my belt with this little guy. It may be my favourite new fitness investment of the year... although it's only April so it may be a little early to say that!

What's your favourite piece of technical kit for running or working out? Do you prefer to be able to measure your progress or just go out for the joy of it when running?

#review #healthfitness

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I try to mix things up to keep life, health and fitness interesting and fun. I hope you'll enjoy reading about my adventures and maybe even get involved...

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