Happy Friday! I am 8 hours away from getting in the car with my husband and pup and heading to the beach. I don’t even care if it is going to be cold; there is something so relaxing about just being there. Plus it gets us away for even a short while!
In just 8 short hours I will be looking out at this.
I do look forward to the long summer nights again. Sitting out on the dock with a glass of wine is probably the best place in the world.
I get asked a lot of questions, especially on Instagram, about my Garmin. As you know I received the Garmin Forerunner 220 for Christmas. The 5 years pervious to that, I ran with the Garmin Forerunner 110. I never had a problem with the 110 and it actually was given to my mother-in-law to use as she trains for her first half-marathon, but it was just time for an upgrade.
I thought this might be a good chance to do a full review of the Garmin Forerunner 220. I also posted on Instagram to get your specific questions; I made my best attempt to answer all of those as well!
Here are the specs on the Garmin 220 right off the website:
- GPS running watch with high-resolution color display
- Tracks distance, pace and heart rate
- Identifies personal records
- Connected features: automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking, social media sharing
- Compatible with free training plans from Garmin Connect
The Garmin 220 is able to be used right out of the box. All you need to do is unpack it and turn it on. Mine was already about 80% charged when it came out of the box.
The first thing that I absolutely loved about the 220 was the charger. I loved my 110, but the charger left a lot to be desired. You had to get it hooked in just right to be able to get it charged and if it ever got bumped slightly it wouldn’t charge. The 220 charge locks onto the watch quickly and easily and I haven’t had a single problem with it charging.
The screen itself is color obviously, which is nice but to me really isn’t a reason I would buy it. It tracks the same items that my 110 did for the most part. The 110 averaged my pace but on the 220 it does give you the option to have it track current pace as well. That has taken some getting used to, but I like being able to see both!
You can edit the screens with what information you want shown. You can choose from:
- Lab distance
- Lap Time
- HR Zone
- Average Pace
- Lap Pace
- Heart Rate
- Average Heart Rate
I did not purchase the heart rate monitor along with the Forerunner 220. I have several heart rate monitors if I choose to use it, but it just isn’t something I use very often so I opted to save a little money in this area.
It shows three forms of information on the screen at a time. You can scroll down however and see another three as well.
The first thing I noticed when I put the watch on was how light it is. The Forerunner 110 wasn’t heavy by any means, but in comparison it definitely weighs a lot more! I almost forget I have this one on most of the time when I am running.
One feature that I didn’t have on the 110 was the ability to turn the watch on vibrate. Previously I had turned off the sound when running and I’d just glance at the watch from time to time. On the 220, I can turn off the sound and turn it on vibrate instead. That way it alerts me by vibrating at each mile to check my pacing.
The watch is waterproof, though I have to say I have not yet tried this out. It is one of those things that I don’t want to risk unless I have to, even though knowing the quality of Garmin’s product I’m sure it would be fine.
Another nice feature is that when you take the watch off it lays completely flat. This makes it easy to store and charge. I don’t think many people care about this, but it made it much easier to work with!
The watch also comes with the ability to extend the “timeout” period. This means that next time you are the starting line of your marathon, instead of having to keep pushing to keep your watch from going into power save mode it will allow it to not time out for 25 minutes. I thought that was pretty neat!
The best features of the watch hands down are the workout creation and the Live Track.
The Live Track feature allows others to track you through email, Facebook or Twitter. I actually didn’t even know about this until someone commented on one of my blog posts about it! The only catch to this is you must be carrying your smart phone with you on your run so it can stay connected via Bluetooth.
You can create manual workouts and put them into your 220. The device will follow and prompt you throughout the workout. You can set paces, heart rate, speed etc. as targets throughout the workout. You create the workouts in Garmin Connect and then transfer them to your watch by either hooking up the USB or through Bluetooth.
I am still playing around with it, but I do know that one of the awesome ladies that ran the marathon with me had it set to alert her when she got out of a range of paces.
Here are a few questions I got on Instagram:
How is the battery life and charge time?
They are GREAT! I would charge my 110 after I finished a run and it would almost drain the entire battery life in one run. However, I had used it for 5 years so maybe that is expected. The 220 charges very fast and easily, as I mentioned earlier.
After a run (usually 8-9 miles) I still have about 85% battery left! I could probably fit in about 4 runs before having to really charge it, depending on the length.
Is it accurate on the treadmill?
When I first got the watch I honestly didn’t know that it could be used on the treadmill. It can be used with a foot pod if you want better accuracy, but it also has a built in accelerometer to use when on the treadmill. I have worn this maybe 3-4 times while running on the treadmill to test it out.
According to Garmin, you have to use the Garmin a little bit for it to get a feel for you cadence and speed. The first run I tried it on the treadmill said I had run 5.05 miles and my Garmin registered around 4.90.
The second run I did was off a bit more. I think this was due to the fact that I threw in speed work and it couldn’t quite keep up with my speed. That day the treadmill said I ran roughly 11.5 miles and the Garmin was around 10.6.
If you are someone who really wants to be able to use it on the treadmill, I would suggest using the foot pod along with it.
It looks like based off Garmin’s site, that the Foot Pod runs for about $69.99.
Does it upload easily to the iPhone 6? Can you pull up splits on the screen?
This is another great feature of the 220. It has Bluetooth capability and will automatically sync to your phone’s Garmin Connect App.
When I used the 110, you had to hook it up directly to your computer to upload the data. While it was still quite simple this is even easier and allows you to look at your stats quickly and easy! You can still plug the 220 into your computer if you prefer that method.
All you need to do is download the app, turn Bluetooth on in the Garmin settings, turn Bluetooth on in your phone’s settings and let them connect! From the Garmin connect app you can pull up your splits, route and much more!
Overall, I love the 220! It has all the things I loved about 110 plus more! If you are in the market for a new GPS watch I highly suggest the Garmin Forerunner 220. On top of being a great watch, Garmin has excellent customer service should anything happen with your watch!
What GPS watch do you use?
What features do you look for when purchasing a GPS watch?