Misc. Monday: Running Tech Roundup

Since I began seriously running nearly five years ago, I’ve tried what seems like all manner of wearable technology. Some GPS watches were decent (like the Garmin Forerunner 10), some sucked (*cough* Fitbit Surge *cough*), but now I’ve got a GPS watch that I am totally enamored with.

Join me now for my review of the Garmin Forerunner 630 and HRM-Run strap (sold separately)!

My last GPS watch was the Old Faithful Forerunner 10 — basic but not too clunky, decent enough to get the job done, but with a poor battery life and a lag in detecting GPS coordinates at the start of a race (talk about nerve-wracking!!). Then one day between my December marathon and the one I ran this April, my Forerunner inexplicably stopped holding a charge. Like, at all.

So, I actually ran my latest marathon sans GPS. If nothing else, it was a good practice in self pacing, but not one I’m ever eager to try again on that distance.

I began researching my next running watch purchase, and settled on getting another Garmin. The price tag for the Forerunner 630 was really steep, but its specs fit the bill, and I was able to get it $100 off through my company’s wellness program.

Here’s a run down of the specs I love about the 630 (this list is by no means exhaustive):

  • Built in pedometer
  • Lactate threshold detecting
  • VO2 max detecting
  • Sleek touch screen
  • Bluetooth syncing with smartphone
  • Alerts you to calls, emails, texts, etc
  • Settings for outdoor runs, treadmill runs, and specific race distances
  • Race predictor based on aggregated data

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The battery life is superb — I run using the GPS most days of the week, and I only have to charge it about once a week. Unlike with every other GPS watch I’ve had, I’m not concerned about the battery draining during a super long run.

This was also my first time using a chest strap heart rate monitor, which I was concerned would feel awkward or constricting. But I actually love the HRM-Run strap, and I trust that it provides a more accurate heart rate reading than any wrist-based in-watch monitor could.

Overall, I give the Garmin Forerunner 630 two thumbs up!

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