Forerunner. For Runners.
If you’re ready to step up from a phone-based tracking app to a Garmin Forerunner GPS running watch, or upgrade from an entry level Garmin to a higher end model with more advanced metrics, then we are ready to assist you in choosing the right one.
With loads of different models out there (each with unique features) it’s easy to overspend on features you may not need.
A self-professed Garmin geek, I’m here to guide you through the different Garmin Forerunner models available, explaining what each does, so you can determine the best one for you!
For fuss-free tracking –
Easy-to-use, these entry level GPS running watches from Garmin are perfect for any runner looking to step up from a phone-based tracking app (the likes of Nike+ Running, RunKeeper or MapMyRun) and have a few more stats on their wrist where they can see them.
The Forerunner 25 is simple to use and provides key information such as pace, distance, time and calories burned. Garmins’ have higher quality GPS sensors than smartphones – meaning route mapping’s more accurate with the FR25. It also has some neat features to help the runner progress – the Auto Lap feature automatically starts/logs a new lap (say you’re running a circuit) and the Virtual Pacer allows you to set a pace for each run – letting you know when you’re ahead of pace, or behind it.
On top of all this, the FR25 can be worn all day as an activity tracker – counting steps and calories, and reminding you when it’s time to move (after periods of inactivity). You can use Bluetooth to upload the day’s data to your free profile on Garmin Connect via the Garmin Connect mobile app.
You get all the features of the FR25 plus a built-in heart rate monitor; an intervals setting; multiple sports profiles including Bike & Cardio; and phone notifications. The screen will display calls, texts, emails and social media alerts, when the watch is connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
All this makes the FR35 is perfect for sports and everyday wear!
For performance and PBs –
Offering more advanced fitness metrics such as VO2 max, recovery analysis and race time prediction, these models will help the serious runner know more about their fitness and performance, and give them an edge when it comes to training and racing.
The Forerunner 235 is packed with features to help the runner get a faster time in their next race. It will measure your VO2 max through the optical heart rate monitor, feeding back detailed information on your fitness level. You can use the V02 max estimate, together with the recovery advisor and race predictor data to predict race times and work out what pace to train at, to meet targets. To make things easier, training plans can be downloaded from Garmin Connect straight your watch, so all training sessions are there, ready to go.
Before heading out, you can setup pace or HR alerts so you run to a set speed or intensity, and customise your intervals by distance or time. In addition, the watch can be synced with more apps and widgets through Garmin Connect IQ. The screen can even be changed so that it doesn’t look like a running watch! And as was the case for the FR35, with full phone connectivity, phone notifications will display on your watch screen.
Forerunner 630 HRM:
It’s the ultimate running watch – featuring all bells and whistles Garmin has to offer! The Forerunner 630 will take you through a guided lactate threshold test – the Holy Grail for a keen runners. With this metric you can discover precisely how fast you should be running and run each run at the right intensity.
The watch will even measure stress levels by measuring the variability in heart rate and indicate whether or not someone should run – helping you to avoid overtraining, burnout and injury. The FR630 also measures how efficiently you’re running by recording ground contact time, balance, stride length and vertical movement.
It’s like having a coach on your wrist and is guaranteed to help the serious runner really hone their sporting performance!
For performance and music –
Forerunner 645 Music:
Go phone-free with the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music which stores up to 500 songs and includes Garmin Pay so you can leave your cards and cash at home (participating banks only – check whether your bank supports Garmin Pay here).
Music and contactless payments are teamed with multiple sports profiles and more advanced running dynamics than the likes of the Forerunner 235. When paired with the HRM-RUN strap, the Forerunner 645 Music will measure running dynamics like ground contact time, vertical ratio, stride length, lactate threshold and many more. Making this the perfect watch for any music-loving runner looking to improve and fine-tune their form.
Like the Forerunner 235, the Forerunner 645 Music will also measure heart rate without the chest strap via Garmin Elevate wrist based monitoring. This gives you all day heart rate monitor tracking, wellness monitoring features, all-day stress tracking and a relaxation-based breathing timer help balance stress and rest.
Exciting news! The Forerunner 645 Music is now available in new colours rose gold and slate grey.
For multi-sporters –
For those out there who don’t just run, but do triathlons or other multi-sport events, there’s a couple of models that are much better suited to those demands.
The Forerunner 735XT offers triathlon features in a sleek package. It measures lactate threshold like the FR630. And for those who love Strava, the FR735XT will show live segments while out on a run or cycle and alert you at the start and end of a segment – providing live feedback on how you fared against the competition!
Pay £50 more for the FR735XT HRM model (down from £429.99 to £339.99) to get a multi-sport watch with wrist-based heart rate!
For those unfamiliar with Garmin Connect – it’s a free online tool created specifically for Garmin devices and comes in two forms: a web service and a smartphone app. Each enables you to unlock a whole range of extra tools that can help you become a better runner. You can upload and view your activities, download training plans and connect and share your activities with other users, friends, and family. It’s also the place to update and upgrade the software on your device.
Hopefully this has helped you determine the best Garmin Forerunner watch for you. We are a premium Garmin re-seller, always always aiming to offer the best value and price to our customers. If you have further questions or would like a demo, please don’t hesitate to pop to your nearest Run4It store and speak to one of the team!