With the release of the new Garmin Forerunner 10, I have been asked to try it out and give my honest opinion, so here it goes…
A bit of background
First here is a little background on me, I wouldn’t consider myself fit or very knowledgeable about fitness and health although I do like to keep active and have fun. My current activities of choice are walking, skateboarding and playing tennis twice a week.
Since I have started working at Highly Tuned Athletes as the Marketing Coordinator I have been interested in getting a GPS watch but have always put it off because I could never really rationalise a reason to spend a bunch of money on a GPS watch that I knew I’d never use or understand 90% of the features on.
Early September, when the Forerunner 10 was announced and from what I had read of it, the answer to what I wanted was on its way. I’m not interested in knowing my heart rate so purely a GPS watch was right up my alley and I couldn’t wait to try it out.
Out of the box
Setting it up for the first time was simple. I opened the first page on the Quick Start manual so I could understand which buttons did what and taught myself from there. To be honest, if it was going to be a complicated process I probably would have given up and it would have sat in the corner of my desk for another couple of weeks.
The set up process didn’t take me more than 3-4 minutes. You get prompted to choose your language and from there you go through the setup menu to put in your weight and change the clock to the correct time in the Settings menu. You do need to manually adjust it to Day Light Saving time, and I assume you’ll have to do the same when Day light Savings ends unless there will be a firmware update between now and then.
You also get 2 screens to customise so you can look at the data most important to you by going Run Options>Data Fields. Personally I set my first screen to time and distance and my second screen to pace and calories, this is the way I prefer my screens for walking and playing tennis but if I were to go skateboarding I would set my first screen to distance and pace.
Overall, I find the Garmin FR10 comfortable to wear. The watch itself is quite chunky so it does sit a bit out from my wrist but I understand why it is this way, it needs to fit an antenna to have built in GPS functionality so I’m happy to look past its thickness. It is still smaller than other Garmin GPS watches I’ve seen. Also admittedly I do have a wrist size of a 5 year old so really any watch seems chunky on me. See images below.
The first time I used it I went walking with my dog, Buffy. It took approximately up to 3 minutes to get a satellite lock. The guys in the office succeed this will be quicker the next time I use it. Finally we were away, with one press of the button to Start. With every Kilometre we reached, the watch alerted me with a beep and flashed the time it took. I liked this feature a lot, it made me feel like I was accomplishing something. At the end of my walk I pressed the “Select” button and you get the choice to Resume, Save or Discard. Once you press ‘Save’, it then proceeds to list out all the data it’s collected. I especially liked the feature that told you your fastest kilometre and that you have made a new personal record.
The second time I used it I took it to tennis. I found the satellite lock a lot quicker this time, approximately 1 minute. I’ve always been interested to see what sort of distance I cover when playing a game of singles. It turns out I run just under 2km in a 1 hour game of tennis. (See image below)
The mapping is a great feature of Garmin Connect. You may have noticed that the red line is slightly off from where I actually was on the court. This is because I made a rookie mistake, I was walking and moving around while I was trying to get a satellite lock, therefore it has slightly misread where I was. It couldn’t accurately calibrate where I was because I kept moving around. So my advice is to try and be a little more patient than me and stay still while you’re FR10 is finding satellite.
Below is a graph displaying my pace against time. Obviously because I was playing a game of tennis the graph is showing bursts of pace, but you would get a lot smoother line if you were to go running or walking at a constant speed.
After using the FR10 at its most basic level, I really like it. It is not only a tool to track your data but a fantastic motivational tool as well. Just knowing my distance and keeping track of my personal records really motives me to keep going. At the moment I clearly don’t use the FR10 as a proper running watch, but what I found was its versatile enough to take it skating to see your speed and to take to the tennis courts to see what distance you are covering.
I plan on getting further into running and soon I’m going to start training to participate in a Trail Run in February 2013 and I think that the FR10 will be the perfect training tool for that. The features that I look forward to exploring during my training will be using the Run and Walk Intervals and using the Virtual Pacer.
The Forerunner 10 is a great GPS watch that has all the basics plus a little more. It’s an attractive watch with very easy functionality. The buttons are easy to press and easy to understand.
My favourite feature of the watch is that it identifies your personal records and that it alerts you each kilometre you accomplish.
Remember this is not a watch for someone who wants to know their heart rate as this watch does not have this functionality.
The Garmin Forerunner 10 is available at:
Highly Tuned Athletes
579 Hampton St, Hampton VIC 3188
Or online at www.highlytunedathletes.com.au
Highly Tuned Athletes