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Running watch recommendations (Read 66 times)

Wisteria


    Hi.  New member here. I just recently got back to running after 7 years and I'm looking for running watch recommendations.  I had been using a Garmin Forerunner 305 (with HR) that I loved because it was just for running and it worked very well for me.  The only thing I disliked about it was the size.  In the last few weeks I've tried Garmin Forerunner 45, Vivoactive 3 and Venu SQ but found they were all too much watch for me.  I don't want a smartwatch that tracks everything from sleep to how much water I've consumed.  All I need is a running watch that does everything the Forerunner 305 does and nothing else.  I've been researching but can't seem to find what I'm looking for.  Maybe I'm asking too much?


    Elite Jogger

      I upgraded from a Garmin 305 to a 235 a few years ago and have no complaints. No need for a chest strap as it has a built in HR reading sensor. And you can also have up to 4 data fields on display.

      5k - 17:53 (4/19)   10k - 37:53 (11/18)   Half - 1:23:18 (4/19)   Full - 2:50:43 (4/19)

        Why not just get the forerunner 45 and turn off the features you don't want to use?

        Runners run

          I've been using Polar M430 for years. It does everything I want/need except I wish the GPS-active battery life was long enough for ultras. It has a setting where it only takes a reading every 10 seconds or something to extend battery life, but it's not very accurate on curvy routes. The standard setting IS accurate and gets a good signal even in trees and canyons.

          55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

          CalBears


            Not sure about your concern re Vivoactive 3 (or 4, which I have). The beauty of these watches is that they are like computers with apps - if you do not like an app, remove it. Do not like Steps tracking - delete the app, do not like Health tracking - delete an appropriate app, do not like Water consumption tracking - delete the app! Delete everything you do not like and leave the bare minimum you want - that's what I did.

            paces PRs - 5K - 5:48  /  10K - 6:05  /  HM - 6:14  /  FM - 6:26 per mile

            LedLincoln


            not bad for mile 25

              Since it's been superseded, the Vivoactive 3 is really cheap now ($129).  Mine's still doing fine after 3+ years.

               

              https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-v%C3%ADvoactive-Smartwatch-Contactless-Payments/dp/B074KBWL9J/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=garmin+vivoactive+3&qid=1632329106&sr=8-3

                I have now had three Garmin units.......FR305, FR15, and now the FR245 (sans music feature).  I was like you in that I thought I wanted only the most stripped-down features.  When I tried to find such a beast when I eventually bought the 245, it seems like everything is trending to max feature sets.  I bought the non-music version of the 245 but liked the fact I no longer had to wear a heart rate monitor strap.  After only 6 months or so, what I realized is that the data and information I was getting from the watch was helping me perform better in my running and in other parts of my life.  With the Garmin Connect app, I was able to see and track my sleeping better, my stress, my fitness.  As I said, I tended to more of a stripped-down feature set in the past but I think the 245 has plenty of great stuff but not at that $600 to $800 price point like lots of the ultra-loaded units.

                 

                If cost is really a major factor, maybe you could find a re-conditioned FR 10, 15, or 25 that meets your budget limits/ideals????

                Keep the running and fitness up and keep the weight from coming back.

                Run more miles than last year.

                Wisteria


                  Thanks everyone.  I had no idea I could delete/turn off the features I don't want.

                  kcam


                    Not sure about your concern re Vivoactive 3 (or 4, which I have). The beauty of these watches is that they are like computers with apps - if you do not like an app, remove it. Do not like Steps tracking - delete the app, do not like Health tracking - delete an appropriate app, do not like Water consumption tracking - delete the app! Delete everything you do not like and leave the bare minimum you want - that's what I did.

                     

                    Cal, you wearin' the Vivoactive 4S?!  First thing I see when I look at Garmin's page for that watch is a woman doing a yoga pose.  I think 'perfect for Cal'! .

                    Now, a real man's watch is the tactix Delta Solar Edition.  "You're on a mission.  To find a rugged GPS smartwatch with special ops functions that help you travel in the shadows".  SPECIAL OPS FUNCTIONS!!  And for only $1099*!  This is the watch for me!!

                    To be fair to Garmin, I guess this is meant for Government employees, maybe Blackstone or Blackbriar or somesuch type folk.  Not sure John Q Public could buy one.  Just surprised such a thing exist, and it's on their website.  Not so stealthy, that.

                     

                    * $1399 if you want the Applied Ballistics Calculator

                    CalBears


                      Cal, you wearin' the Vivoactive 4S?!  First thing I see when I look at Garmin's page for that watch is a woman doing a yoga pose.  I think 'perfect for Cal'! .

                      Now, a real man's watch is the tactix Delta Solar Edition.  "You're on a mission.  To find a rugged GPS smartwatch with special ops functions that help you travel in the shadows".  SPECIAL OPS FUNCTIONS!!  And for only $1099*!  This is the watch for me!!

                      To be fair to Garmin, I guess this is meant for Government employees, maybe Blackstone or Blackbriar or somesuch type folk.  Not sure John Q Public could buy one.  Just surprised such a thing exist, and it's on their website.  Not so stealthy, that.

                       

                      * $1399 if you want the Applied Ballistics Calculator

                       

                      Ha-ha. I actually have Vivoactive 4, not 4S. 4S is smaller, so, I picked up a bigger version (my eyes are old and they need all the size they can get Smile

                       

                      I still have FR-935 and I was (and still is) very happy with it. But one thing always bothered me on my runs - I ran with a music player, just like it, I know some people prefer running without music but I prefer otherwise. Anyway, to listen to a music you have to carry an MP3 player (please don't mention a phone - it is way too bulky for me). If MP3 player doesn't have a Bluetooth, you have to also have a wired earphones - another pain. Just to add to the picture of pain - you have to have a music, MP3 files (or whatever format is supported), and if you want to update music, you constantly have to hunt for those MP3 files.

                       

                      I really got tired of it. I was looking for the "right" device for a long time - I knew what I wanted even before they came up with it - I wanted a GPS watch which is able to download music from Amazon Music - I am a subscriber of that service - it gives you unlimited amount of music and you can update your playlists whenever you want (I am already describing the features of the watch that appeared on the market).

                       

                      There were two options I was considering - Vivoactive 4 and Garmin 245 Music (Vivoactive is made by Garmin too, btw). I was leaning towards 245 Music as more professional than Vivoactive, but the last thing that decided in favor of Vivoactive 4 is the fact that it had NFC - that way I do not to carry a credit card or cash with me when I want to drop in to a nearest shop and buy something.

                       

                      So, now I am a happy camper - I wear a watch that has Bluetooth and music of my taste (which I update regularly) and I also have wireless earbuds (no wires) - exactly what I wanted for a long time. Vivoactive 4 has the same GPS functionality as any other Garmin and very good at it - during my last marathon Vivoactive 4 was closer to 26.2 than FR 935 (yes, I ran that race with two watches - just in case Smile.

                       

                      I never was considering expensive, top of the line, Garmin watches - neither Fenix one nor Enduro not the ones you mentioned. Most of the time I go for only what I need, not for the latest and greatest (I make exceptions though - sometimes Smile

                      paces PRs - 5K - 5:48  /  10K - 6:05  /  HM - 6:14  /  FM - 6:26 per mile

                      kcam


                        I'm still using my boring 230 (put in service in 2016).  No body battery or music or built-in HRM but, oh well, life goes on.