/ "Running" watch recomendation

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Newbuild100 - on 06 Apr 2019

Guys, when I walk in in the hills or cycle I dont mind using my iphone (6) to record distances/times etc on Strava.

However, Im geting back into running and obviously I dont want to hand hold my phone whilst running(to record on Strava). I have put my phone in a bumbag once or twice but thats not real good.

So, Im after one of these modern watches that can not only record what I do on Strava but can be used as a stopwatch (and record mile/400M times etc at the push of a button for instance). It needs to be something very simple therefore. (Im no techy so ease of use and probably at the cheaper end of the scale) Im not bothered about calorie counting or getting a signal when a txt/email comes thru etc etc etc etc (Which I know some of them can do)

I guess the ability to record/check heart rates would be good too, preferably via the wrist strap and not using a chest strap !

Theres that much on the market that I dont know what to go for and as you can see from above, I probably wouldnt use that many functions.

What should I go for guys ??

Thanks in advance

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DrDan - on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to Newbuild100:

Garmin forerunner range are pretty well regarded. Mrs uses forerunner 30 which should do everything you need and more. think you could find one for around £100.

I've had a 235 for several years which has many features I will never use but one useful thing is that you can download third party 'apps' and 'widgets'. I have one which will display OS grid ref which is useful from time to time on the trails. You're probably looking at c£150. Worth checking out battery life of models if you are planning to be out all day logging data. 

I find the Garmin connect app quite user friendly but others have had issues. You can easily set it up to send everything straight to strava/runkeeper etc if you use another platform.

Edit: looks like the FR35 has wrist based HR for only another tenner or so over the FR30 which makes it pretty good value IMO. I do find the wrist based a little erratic especially if its cold but it is another interesting metric to look at if you're into that. ;)

Also if you want to spend an afternoon reading some eyewateringly detailed reviews head to https://www.dcrainmaker.com

Post edited at 19:05
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mbh - on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to DrDan:

On battery life for activities that last more than 8 hours or so, note that many devices, including the 230/235, can be charged on the go, without interruption, using a USB power bank.

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Dave B on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to Newbuild100:

One alternative would be the suunto spartan trainer that does have different modes for hike, swim, triathlon and many many more.. 

Read reviews before you decide 

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the sheep - on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to Newbuild100:

I have a tomtom runner3, it’s lovely and simple with wrist hr monitor so would say it’s great.

however it’s the only watch I have had so cannot compare to others 

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ianstevens - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to the sheep:

My girlfriend has one of those, has never had another watch and thinks it’s great. In contrast, I’ve used an original Ambit, a F235 and currently an Fenix 5. Borrowed the Tomtom and hated it - uncomfortable and awkward to use. 

To the OP: in your case I’d go for a basic Garmin - the 30 or 35 if you’re really interested in HR (probably worthwhile if it’s only a tenner more). Will do everything you want. Regarding days out and battery life, you’ll need to experiment - they may well do 8 hours on the default setting, they may not. This can be worked around by changing the settings, which is easy. To do so, switch the logging time from 1s to 1min. What this means is that the watch records your location 60x less a minute (ie one a minute alrather than once a second) and saves loads of battery. Trade off is that your track will be less smooth as it’s made up of less points. In all honesty 1 min logging is fine for walking, not really for running. Might not be an issue depending on battery life and the length of your days.

Regarding timing a specific section of your run, you need a lap function - even a £7 Casio has this so if a sports watch doesn’t I’d eat my hat/fire a designer. However, most watches will have an auto-lap function (Mile or km, depending on your units) which you’ll need to turn off for your laps to work properly. There’s a little more background but the same end - just turn off the auto lap. This then ends up in the file on Garmin Connect (or whichever brand of watch you gets software) and then pushed to Strava. 

You can directly link Garmin Connect to strava - so upload your run/walk, and it will appear on strava almost instantly, except when the system is down.

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ianstevens - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Dave B:

> One alternative would be the suunto spartan trainer that does have different modes for hike, swim, triathlon and many many more.. 

> Read reviews before you decide 

Nice watches, neither basic nor cheap however

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Dave B on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

Its £170 ish.

Garmin 35 is 105ish, Tom tom around 130 with wrist hr.

It has more features for sure and has proper triathlon modes and other features missing on the garmin, but misses others the garmin has.

My wife has the tom tom and its OK. 

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ianstevens - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Dave B:

I stand corrected, always assumed that Suuntos were expensive across the board as they have been historically. Software any better than it was in early 201xs?*

*Now I feel old...

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SouthernSteve on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

Have a look at this site which reviews lots of watches. https://www.dcrainmaker.com/product-reviews/garmin

from your description a Garmin Forerunner 35 or 235 would do the job (£135 to £199)

hth s

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Wilderbeest - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to DrDan:

Hi DrDan,

i’ve got A Garmin Forerunner 10 which works fine.....but takes several minutes to “find location” which leaves me standing round in the cold waiting to start running.

Are the newer models better at this?

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Newbuild100 - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Wilderbeest:

Thanks so far guys

Another naive question . . . If i buy a used watch, would it cause problems given that the previous owners details/rides/runs would on there ? (I presume id have to tell the watch its got a new owner on strava)

Told you i wasnt a techy !!

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SouthernSteve on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Wilderbeest:

> Are the newer models better at this?

Yes, but not perfect. My 610 - currently on loan to a friend as the battery life is rubbish for my needs takes 60-120 seconds on occasions which seems an age when you are standing outside the front door. My Fenix 3 is usually very quick especially if not in a new area, but I regularly run in the Midlands and then in the NW and it seems to flip back and forth between those very easily.

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SouthernSteve on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Newbuild100:

This should not be a problem! I would hope the watch has been emptied and then needs to be linked to your Garmin Connect ID or alternative

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Wilderbeest - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to SouthernSteve:

Thank you..

My iPhone that I use for bike rides and Strava find location pretty much instantly and the difference is frustrating.  

@Newbuild100... the Garmin 10 is old and basic and you can get them cheaply second hand..

it works for me for my similarly old and basic needs.

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Ridge - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Wilderbeest:

Newever GPS watches tend to have better Almanac data so get a fix quickly. The more often you use the watch (in the same geographic area) the quicker it aquires a fix.

On the subject of second hand watches, just bear in mind the batteries usually can't be changed as the watches are sealed. An old watch may well have a degraded battery that won't last as long as claimed.

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Wilderbeest - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Ridge:

Thank you, good shout about second hand battery life.....mind you I barely make it further than warming down after ParkRun 😀

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mbh - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Ridge:

> The more often you use the watch (in the same geographic area) the quicker it aquires a fix.

How does that work?

My Garmin 230 gets a fix within a few seconds, pretty much anywhere i have used it.

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Ridge - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to mbh:

> How does that work?

> My Garmin 230 gets a fix within a few seconds, pretty much anywhere i have used it.

IIRC the watch caches the GPS fixes from the last time the GPS was used. When the GPS is switched on again it uses that cached information to help fix the position more quickly. I also think syncing via PC and the Garmin website downloads an almanac of satellite data that again allows a quicker fix.

I certainly notice a difference with my FR220. If I'm using it every day or two at home it fixes in a couple of seconds. If I travel or don't use it for a few days then can take 30-40 seconds. Newer watches might be different.

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DrDan - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Wilderbeest:

Yes. As it happens my wife replaced an FR10 with the 30 and it is much better on that front!

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mbh - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Ridge:

Thanks. I should have said that my watch takes 'up to a few seconds'. Outside my front door, it's a second or two.

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Dave B on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

Its not great the software. It has fewer features. It's currently on a reliable phase. I've had fewer problems than with the garmin products I've had..  

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ianstevens - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Dave B:

> Its not great the software. It has fewer features. It's currently on a reliable phase. I've had fewer problems than with the garmin products I've had..  

It was actually the reason I replaced my Ambit with a Garmin, great watch but frustrating “ecosystem”. Garmin is still not perfect of course!

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stevevans5 on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to Newbuild100:

Second hand is fine data wise as you can factory reset. As mentioned above I'd be more worried about battery life. I've got a forerunner 235 which is now about 2 years old. Battery life is not as good as when new but is still enough to track a fairly long day out on the bike. The fact you can get an OS grid ref is really nice but if you will never need this then it sounds like the 30 or 35 would be ideal for what you want!  

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afx22 - on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to Newbuild100:

Amazon have a sale on certain Garmin watches at the moment.  It might worth taking a look at that.

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Roadrunner6 - on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to Newbuild100:

I love the forerunner 25, bang simple basic watch. I dont think it does HR though. Lasts for ever, blue tooth to phone, distance, laps. Just a simple cheap neat watch.

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ianstevens - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to Roadrunner6:

Superseded now by the 30/35

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colinakmc - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to Newbuild100:

I went for a Garmin 235 a few months ago after years of unreliable chest strap hrm’s. I like the 235, once you get the hang of it simple to use and does everything I want without using too much of my wee short attention span. Price was £140 from Black’s.

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