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Last year I decided that I needed to get fit. At the time my son was 6 months old and I realised that when the time came and he was older I just wouldn't be able to keep up with him in the state I was. My friend asked me to go running with him. I enjoyed it and decided I wanted something to track my runs. There are a few apps for phones that use GPS but I wanted something lightweight rather than carrying my phone around with me.
I did some searching online and found the Garmin Forerunner 110. It was on www.chainreactioncycles.com for £97.99, cheaper than anywhere else. Unfortunately it is now priced £125.99 on the same site so I got a good deal. After ordering my GPS enabled watch arrived in no time.
The watch I ordered is the unisex model. It is mainly black with a grey stripe around the face and down the straps. It comes with an AC wall charger that has a USB lead that can be disconnected and an instruction manual that is very easy to follow.
The first task is to charge the watch. The charger is like a crocodile clip with four prongs on one side. The prongs locate into four contacts on the watch itself. I let mine charge overnight to make sure it was fully charged but the manual doesn't actually set a time limit.
When you come to use the watch for the first time you have to configure it to your personal settings. You can configure your age, height (cm's) and weight (kg's). Pace or speed and if you want your run to be measured in KM or miles. I chose KM because I find it better psychologically.
Once configured you are ready to hit the road. The watch has four button. It has light. Which is very good. It glows blue and is very bright so you can see everything when it is dark. Secondly the page/menu button. When you press this button a message will show on screen saying locating satellites. It shows an empty bar that fills black as they are located. Sometimes this can take a while, especially if you are stood about waiting. It is best to keep moving around as that seems to make it locate quicker. Press this button a second time without it locating and you will be asked 'use indoors'. If you say yes it will operate as a stopwatch alone. Next buttons are self explanatory. Start/stop and lap/reset.
Whilst running the watch will locate you using GPS and track your run. It records the distance covered, time, average pace, elevation (hills) and calories burned. After your run you can upload the data onto Garmin connect, a website especially for recording your runs and looking at other peoples data from all around the world. This was the feature that drew me to the watch in the first place. Here is an example of one of my runs, I love how much detail it provides because it is excellent for recording your progress as a runner. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/27700​6798
Uploading the data is simple. Connect the charger to the watch and plug the USB into your computer. Although the watch charged fine, at first I had trouble getting my computer to locate the watch. The prongs wouldn't locate in the connections at first but after a few attempts you get the knack of it and it is straight forward.
Below is the specifications for the watch itself:
Physical & Performance:
* Unit dimensions, WxHxD: 1.8" x 2.7" x 0.6" (4.5 x 6.9 x 1.4 cm)
* Display size, WxH: 1.0" x 1.0" (2.5 x 2.5 cm) diameter
* Display resolution, WxH: 52 x 30 pixels
* Weight: 1.8 oz (52 g)
* Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
* Battery life: 3 weeks in power save mode; 8 hours in training mode
* Water resistant: yes (IPX7)
* GPS-enabled: yes
* High-sensitivity receiver: yes
* RoHS version available: yes
I have been exteremely happy with the watch since I've had it and can honestly say it has been money well spent but will finish with one very slight problem I have found. If you are running in the rain the watch seems to get condensation inside the screen. Not a major problem for me because I live in sunny Manchester but if you are checking stats half way around a course you may have trouble seeing it. This problem does seem to stop however if you have a long sleeve top on and make sure your sleeve is pulled down over the watch.
I would definitely recommend this watch to anybody that wants to record their sessions. I find it accurate and reliable. You can also purchase a heart rate monitor to connect with the watch. I have bought one for around £30 that is basically a strap that fits around your rib cage just under your chest. I find it uncomfortable though so don't use it anymore. There was also a couple of occasions when it didn't register which I was disappointed with, although I will point out mine isn't the Garmin monitor you can purchase as a package with the watch.
"Garmin Forerunner 110. GPS - Run. GPS-enabled sport watch Forerunner 110 is the easiest way to track your training. It’s GPS-enabled so it knows how far and how fast you run - with no bells or whistles. There’s virtually no setup required, so you can just press start and run or ...."