Gear Check: Garmin Forerunner 110

Why on earth did I wait so long to get one of these?!?

I relied on Nike+ as my lone means for logging runs for many years. I had the “chip” when it first came out (and I first got serious about running), and then moved on to the app when I got an iPhone. It got the job done, for the most part. Then last summer, while training for marathon No. 4, I noticed the battery drain on my phone was significant and I could only use Nike+ for up to 13 miles. Last year, that wasn’t a huge deal; I wasn’t looking to break any records. This year is a different story, though, so I knew it was time to finally get a GPS watch.

Post-run stat display.

Post-run stat display.

I did some research and asked my running friends for their recommendations, and I finally settled on the Garmin Forerunner 110, a middle-of-the-road watch that was surprisingly affordable. I still had it in my head that GPS watches are giant, clunky contraptions that cost a billion dollars because, well, they used to. (Kinda like DVD players in the late ’90s.) Obviously, I was wrong about that.

The Garmin Forerunner 110 is barely larger than my regular ol’ Ironman sportswatch, so it fits comfortably and easily on my lady wrist. (OK, I’m not that dainty, but still.) It was incredibly easy to set up, and the battery life is impressive. During a run, it displays your distance, overall time and current pace. You can set your “laps” to whatever distance you choose — the automatic setting is every mile — and it will alert you of your time after each “lap.”

Sometimes it takes a little while for the GPS to locate the satellites in the city — an annoyance but very common, I’m sure — but the accuracy is uncanny. Now, I KNOW my time, pace and distance are REAL, and that’s going to be real important in my quest to qualify for Boston. GARMIN DON’T LIE, Y’ALL.

GarminConnect

Stat city, sweetheart.

One thing I miss is hearing my overall average pace updated after each mile, but I’m getting over it. Besides, after you finish your run and connect your watch to your computer, more information than you could ever hope for is uploaded to Garmin Connect. Mile splits, elevation, route map, average overall pace, average “moving pace” (especially nice for all the stop-and-go in the city), weather info and much more. Every time I upload a new run, the nerdy statistician inside me gets unbelievably giddy, and I pore over the numbers to celebrate my good runs and learn from my not-so-good ones.

The first time I walked out the door with only my Garmin, I fretted about losing the “social” aspect of my beloved Nike+ app. Then I remembered that I’m going to be running so much and (hopefully) so fast, it’s not going to matter. Plus, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m trying to only concentrate on my training and not compare myself to others.

Garmin is going to be an awesome companion for this training season — and many more to come. — Mags

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7 thoughts on “Gear Check: Garmin Forerunner 110

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  6. Like you i always used Nike+ until this Christmas I got my first GPS Watch too. It’s a tomtom, but I love it so far. The only drawbacks is that it doesn’t have an awesome site like Garmin connect. At first it felt weird, like i was missing something, when i would go out on my run. I was so used to the feel of my phone on my arm. But it also makes me feel more free and less weighed down with the phone. You’re going to love this new way of running!

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