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Run Helper–Garmin FR110 Watch

November 8, 2011 1 comment

This year it became pretty clear that I needed to improve my run, and as always there is technology you can apply. I needed to track my runs, understand if I was improving and also to get a sense of what “speed” feels like in a sense (more on that later).

I was using Cyclemeter on my iPhone 3 and it was ok, but had a few problems. One it required that I run with my iPhone and that wasn’t always the best. Also, and this is more the problem of my iPhone, but it took a while to find the GPS and if I got an email or text the tracking stopped! I was hard to look at when I was running and I don’t think it was always all that accurate (again that is probably because I have an older iPhone 3).

So I wanted to get something more focused on running and a watch naturally was a better fit. I also didn’t want to spend too much and I wanted to keep in the Garmin family as I am now a big fan of their stuff. I did some internet research but for the casual training I was going to do the ForeRunner 110 was probably the best for me.

I ended up picking one up at the local Running Room and it came out to around $200 which seems to be standard for this watch. Opened up and was pleasantly surprised to find it had an ANT+ HR monitor.

Garmin FR110

So then started to run with it and it has helped. With the iPhone I don’t think I really got comfortable but with the FR110 it’s just normal. While at the beginning of the year I was struggling breaking 30 mins for a 5k, recently I was able to push out a 26 min 5k, a savings of 4 mins so far. Naturally a lot of that is simply now focusing on the run itself but even I was pleased. My time for the shortened 4.4k in Smiths Falls year was 26:14 at a pace of 5:54, so a 5k at 5:13 per k would save me 4 minutes probably in the full Tri now that the run is back at 5k. Aim is to get this down a lot as well!

image

One thing I also wanted to see was how fast was for example a 4:40 pace, a 4:20 pace, a 3:99 pace. You simply run until the watch shows that pace. Ouch is all I can say. But it shows me what I have to do and I can compare my stride and pace to these times and understand how I need to push.

The watch is super easy to use. It does take a bit of time to pick up the GPS which is annoying and its not consistent (sometimes its seconds, others a minute or more). It always picks up the HR monitor.

USB and powering up so far hasn’t given me any grief. It discharges the watch pretty quickly so you have to remember to charge it up. It hooks up into my Garmin connect account fine.

Definitely a welcome addition to my growing Garmin stable!!

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Categories: Fit Kit, training Tags: ,