As the amount of schoolwork has increased, running has been put on the back burner. I’ve still managed to get in a few runs every few days. I tested myself on 40 minute a trail run 1.5 wks ago with some high school boys who were kind enough to let me tag along. I was probably cramping their style a little, but they didn’t seem to mind. I was breathing heavy five minutes in (their pace was a little quicker than what I’ve been accustomed to lately), but I didn’t get dropped. Victory! My foot held up fine. I experienced some soreness the next day, but surprisingly nothing that didn’t seem normal. On another run recently, I was feeling good and zipping along (for me) at 8:15 pace when a young boy, maybe 13 (I’m a terrible judge of age), started running behind me. I heard him laughing as he clunked along behind me. I may have sped up just a smidge, enough that he made an embarrassed “ugh” noise and gave up. Yes! I can still out run middle school boys in boots!
My job allows me to feel much more like a runner than I really am right now. Tonight, I’m going to give a presentation on the new Garmin Forerunner 10 even though I have yet to use the watch myself (It’s amazing how helpful YouTube can be). I thought I’d tell you all about it as practice. If you’re looking for a simple GPS watch that tells you how far and how fast you’re running and that won’t break the bank, this watch may interest you…
The FR 10 is the most inexpensive GPS watch that Garmin has made, but don’t let the cheap price tag fool you. It has several important features not necessarily included in more expensive models that make it more than just a glorified stopwatch.
Run/Walk Feature: Allows you to set a run time and a walk time and then the watch will alert you when it’s time to switch. For example, you can set the run time to five minutes and the walk time to two. After five minutes, the watch will beep, signaling your transition to two minutes of walking. Of course, you can do whatever you want in those time intervals (meaning: just because it says ‘walk’ doesn’t mean you have to walk). The alerts will repeat until you finish your workout. At the end, it will be recorded as a “run.”
Virtual Pacer: This feature will help you maintain your goal pace. Set the pace you would like to maintain per mile or kilometer. During your run, the watch will alert you when you’re ahead, behind, or on target with your goal pace. Expect to hear beeps, see the screen highlighted and flashing words indicating where your current pace is in relation to your goal pace. According to one reviewer, this alert works slightly differently than the rest of the Garmin line up, noting that is more persistent and louder than other units. I was able to get in contact with the reviewer and asked him whether the watch gives you a window of time to accommodate normal fluctuation in pace that occurs during the course of a run. He said that it does give you a few seconds (about 10) before it beeps at you.
Auto Pause: Once in place, this feature will automatically pause the watch when you stop moving.
Store and Share: Are you unfamiliar with Garmin GPS watches? One of the many benefits that comes with having a Garmin watch is access to an online community at garminconnect.com. Once you set up a free account you can upload all the information on your watch to your own profile. From there you’ll have access to:
- Maps—you’ll be able to see where you ran
- Charts—provides more details like average pace and elevation
- Share—from there you can let friends know what you’re up to through facebook, twitter, etc…
The FR 10 stores your last 7 runs and 2 personal records. The oldest runs will be overwritten when the memory is full so be sure to upload your information to Garmin Connect if you want to keep records of all your past runs.
Nuts and Bolts: As you can see from the picture above, the FR 10 comes in three different styles. The pink/white and green/white styles are considered women’s watches so they are smaller than the black and red manly man version, which has a larger watch face and thicker wrist band. Included with the watch is a charge/date cable (no additional power block for wall so you’ll need to have access to USB port) and a manual.
- Battery Life: Typical use (GPS on 30 min./day) = 10 days. GPS continuously on = 5 hours (some debate on the truth of this). Power save mode = 5 weeks
- Waterproof 50m: This is an excellent feature that is not available in all Garmin models.
- Indoor Mode: Tap the lower right button when the watch is searching for satellites. You will be asked if you want to use GPS. Say no. The FR 10 will then function as a simple clock.
- Accessories: The only additional accessory available really is the standard bike mount from Garmin which allows you to wrap the Garmin around the handlebars of the bike as opposed to your wrist.
- Cannot add anything to this watch: i.e. heart rate or foot pod.
Getting Started. Before your first run, be sure to charge up to 4 hours. It’s always good to do that with most devices like this even though they come pre-charged. In order for your watch to find satellites, you’ll need to step outside. Press the top right button and your watch will begin searching for the signal. The first time may take a minute or two and times after if you are in a new location or the satellites are blocked. The top right button also functions as the Start/Stop button.
If you have questions feel free to ask me or check out the Garmin website for simple, informative videos. Also, here’s the link to the review I referenced. I’ve covered the basics in this post, but I know there is information I’m leaving out. From what I can tell, it’s a pretty neat watch. Going on my wish list for sure!
Until next time!