All I can say is “wow.” My new watch–the Garmin Forerunner 220–is fantastic!
I woke up this morning, super duper excited, practically bounding out of bed to go on my early morning run with my running partner, A. The weather was again perfect for running.
Even better was that it’s starting to get lighter earlier (gotta’ love living at this latitude), so I didn’t really need my headlamp.
Coach had me running an easy 6-miler today, so we decided to run our easier, flatter route. I was wearing my watch of course as well as the heart rate monitor (HRM), a first for me. I was a little dubious about wetting the HRM sensors, as if I would suffer an electric shock. I was also concerned that the HRM strap would irritate me when I was running.
Both of these fears were unfounded. Not only did I avoid electrocution, I didn’t notice the HRM strap or even the monitor itself when I was running. The strap was really soft elastic that fit perfectly underneath the lower edge of my bra. HRM strap success!
And the data—the data! I am truly amazed at everything it tracks. After my run I hooked up to Garmin Connect to upload my data. It was so much easier and faster than with my old Garmin. This is what the basic data page looked like for this run:
There were several different data categories, each with their own windows. First, pace (what Garmin calls “timing”):
By the way, one of those deep, deep canyons of no pace at all correspond with my stopping to laugh hysterically at something my running partner told me.
Easy and flat. Nothing earth-shattering here.
On to the new, fun stuff like heart rate:
An average of 146 beats per minutes, with my highest rate occurring when I was running up a teensy 50-foot hill. These numbers mean little to me right now because I don’t know what my maximum heart rate is. All this tells me is that, with my current fitness level, my heart beats at this rate when I’m running at an easy pace. I found this helpful article about Heart Monitor Training and plan to test my resting and maximum heart rate in the next few days so that I can determine my own personal heart training zones. Neato!
One completely unexpected set of data gathered by the HRM was my cadence:
I don’t remember reading anything in the 220’s list of features indicating it tracked steps taken, etc. I know that the much fancier (and more expensive) Forerunner 620 tracks that info (and a lot more—such as how much a runner bounces up and down!), but not the 220. At any rate, it tracked my cadence, which I’m happy to see is around the 180 steps per minute sweet spot endorsed by Chi Running and other running form advocates.
Finally, the watch tracked my splits:
I am overjoyed with my 220 so far and how it performed today. The only crummy thing about today’s run was how I’ve been feeling after it. I felt fine, energy-wise, during the run, but after I came home I felt this heavy curtain of fatigue settle over me. I think it has very little to do with today’s run and almost everything to do with the hard-as-hell TRX class I took during lunch yesterday. Yeeowch! Mama has muscles she never knew existed!
That’s it for now. I need to go back to bed.