Today’s fitness fashion post isn’t really fashion, but its definitely something I am wearing on nearly every run these days…it’s my Garmin 220!
The Garmin 220 is considered a “mid-range” (price-wise) running watch. I received this as a gift right after I returned from Singapore. My first race with it was the Tokyo Marathon.
Opinion? I LOVE this Garmin!
Why do I love it so much?
Well, my old Garmin, the 210, was okay for a few years. It was with me for about 5 marathons, but it was time for a replacement. My biggest complaint about the 210 was getting it to charge! For some reason, I had a lot of trouble getting it to charge. It would take several attempts to get it to rest correctly on its holster, and even when I thought it was charging, it wasn’t! When I was traveling abroad, I had a few mornings when my old Garmin 210 was completely dead when I woke up and I ended up having to run on the treadmill until it charged. (I didn’t know Singapore well enough to just wing it in terms of miles.)
Here are the basic features of the Garmin 220 according to the website:
With the Auto Pause feature on, the 220 automatically pauses when you pause your run (at an intersection for example) and starts again when you start your run.
Design your workout or get a free training plan on Garmin Connect then load it on to your 220 for real-time coaching on pace, time and distance.
220 keeps you motivated by letting you know when you’ve achieved a personal record from the mile to the marathon.
220 features a high-resolution color display putting essential features at your fingertips and in vivid colors for quicker comprehension.
Get vibration alerts so you know when you are ahead or behind the pace you set your watch to track. You can also get vibration alerts for your mile split, lap, or customize alerts for various other information.
Wirelessly link to Garmin Connect Mobile anywhere on your smartphone through Bluetooth. Upload your 220 data to Connect on your home computer with a USB connection.
And here are the things I really love about it:
1. It picks up the satellites WAAAY faster than my 210 did.
2. The display is big and easy to read.
3. I like the vibrating feature when you clock a mile.
4. It’s SOOO much easier to charge. I don’t have to worry about it being dead when I wake up in the morning for a run!
5. What can I say, I like the purple and white. It also comes in red/black.
6. It’s light and doesn’t bother my wrist. (According to this review, my 210 was 11 grams heavier than the 220, which is 41 grams.)
7. It’s really easy to use. You don’t have to read the entire instruction manual to figure stuff out.
8. And Dustin’s note, “No touch bezel!” His old Garmin had a touch sensitive bezel that would go nuts in the rain or on an extra sweaty run. “Can’t go wrong with good ole’ fashioned buttons.”
“Cons” of the Garmin 220?
There is one sort of “downside”- in the middle of a mile, it will round your current pace to the nearest 5 seconds, i.e. if you’re running an 8:47, the display will show either 8:50 or 8:45. Your mile total pace will still be correct at 8:47. It’s just the current pace that’s rounded. It’s not really a big deal for me, but I could see how it might be annoying for some.
For a full review that is much better than mine, read THIS ARTICLE!
Do you have a Garmin and if so, which one? Or do you run with a good old fashioned watch? Or an app on your phone? Please share!
I have a garmin forerunner 110. I like it a lot- slimline, unobtrusive, works fine.
It can be a little temperamental on cloudy days, otherwise spot on!
I have read that the 110 is a good choice. Great to hear you are happy with it!
Jessie, I literally took my brand-spanking new Garmin 220 out of the box last night! This is such a timely post 🙂 I also got the heart-wrap monitor strap, because I need to keep that in check and want to use it during other non-running workouts. I’m excited to use it for the first time on my long run tomorrow!!
How perfect Jenna! I think you will love it. Good call with the heart rate monitor.
I will probably see you tomorrow with our matching white/purple Garmins at the long run 🙂
I absolutely love my Garmin Forerunner 220. I find it really hard to run without it. I agree that the small downside of your current pace being rounded to the nearest 5 second mark is a little bit of an inconvenience, but I try not to look at my current pace too much – I only check my mile splits and adjust as needed. This is my first Garmin watch, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I have occasionally had some trouble connecting to GPS. Unfortunately for me, these few incidents happened on some particularly cold… Read more »
Great to hear Brad! It sounds like you are quite happy with your 220!
Brad – are you syncing your watch with Garmin Connect regularly? See my comment below – for quick GPS lock you need to be syncing every 3 (bluetooth) – 7 (USB) days for the watch to have the updated GPS satellite data.
Helpful info, thanks Eric!
I would really love to get a Garmin or something similar but I just don’t know about the GPS/Satellite service in our extremely rural area, where I do most of my running. I think it would probably be fine, but I just don’t KNOW. I used to use a FitBit Force but it broke and they discontinued them, plus they’re not specifically designed for running, taking splits, mile times, etc. Now, I run with a good old-fashioned Timex Ironman (lots of buttons!) that I got for like $30 on Sierra Trading Post. It leaves a lot to be desired, but… Read more »
Katie, I bet it would work! I have used mine in some pretty remote areas and it still picked up a signal just fine. You could always order one from R.E.I. and if it doesn’t work, they have a very flexible return policy.
GPS watches will work in rural areas – there are essentially only 24 GPS satellites serving the entire earth (there are more, but only 24 need to be operational). The failure point for GPS is tall buildings (i.e downtown) or running in thick forests, etc. where you block the signal or get signal bounce. So you should go for it!
How do you know so much about this topic Eric?? Impressive!
I’m a geek. (Term of endearment!) I think I was reading a book where the enemy sabotaged the GPS network, and I wanted to understand how the GPS system works, so down the rabbit hole I went.
Switched last year from the Flintstone era Garmin 305 to a TomTom Multisport: love the new device.
Flintstone era?? I’d like to see this!
This brick on a wrist.
Ah, yes, I had one like that too! It was HUGE!!!!!!!!
How does the high resolution display to your old model? I’ve seen that in numerous posts and wonder what needs to be high Rez about numbers?
The beep/vibrate feature is the most awesome… probably because my Garmin is so old it doesn’t make any sound at all anymore. 🙁
The high resolution might refer to the colors as well (battery is green, when you hit “stop” its a red square), but generally as I mentioned above, I find it easy to read, even in bright sunshine, etc. vs. my 210, which wasn’t quite as clear.
Gotcha. Is it significantly easier to read than a traditional digital watch? I need to just go into a store and just play with one 🙂
I would say YES, easier to read. Runners never claim to be able to read good…but they want to learn to read good and do other stuff good too.
I find the resolution to be perfectly fine. It isn’t an iPhone style Retina display, but it is perfectly legible. I run without my glasses, and when I glance at my watch I can still read it perfectly without having to concentrate.
I picked up a Garmin 620 in December. It was a splurge due to my work fitness subsidy covering 50% of the cost. I only really needed the 220 but the actuary / numbers geek in me wanted the advanced metrics coming from the 620. I also liked the blue/black of the 620 better than the 220 color options, which is really petty of me, but hey – therightfits is a judgment-free zone when it comes to fashion splurges, amiright?? I’ve been running using an iPhone 4s for about 3 years, using RunKeeper to track mileage. I finally upgraded to… Read more »
The Right Fits would NEVER judge choosing a Garmin by its color 🙂 Um, how awesome that your company gives you a fitness subsidy! And Costa Rica- LUCKY! I agree with you about Garmin Connect- “Minneapolis Running” for every run, haha! When I was in Singapore, it actually named each run “Johor Bahru” which is a city in Malaysia. I have no idea why it did that. I agree with your comments about the GPS accuracy, as I know that at Tokyo, my 27 miles was because of not running the tangents, weaving around, and all the buildings in that… Read more »
Yes – the fitness subsidy is really great – up to $500 per year. Covers race registration, coaching, certain fitness equipment, and even treadmills and bikes. But *not* shoes or apparel!! Costa Rica was awesome to visit, but not to run in. On each of my runs I lost 800-1000 vertical feet in less than 1.5 miles, then had to gain it all back, all at >10% grade (often a lot more). All without any time to acclimatize to the heat and humidity. I thought of doing a Running Costa Rica feature for you, but it would have just been… Read more »
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