Monday, February 17, 2014

To Garmin or not to Garmin...that is my question

Yesterday's run. I think the miles were pretty accurate but those splits? If I'm running that fast, watch out world! At least, watch out women in my age group....

I've been a runner, it seems, forever. I always talk about how running is fun, that I don't ever want to take my training too seriously--otherwise it feels like a job. Normally, I don't track my miles or my times, I just run by feel. But when I'm training for a long distance event, I like to know my miles on my long runs. Knowing that distance keeps me honest plus it gives me the confidence to know I can go that far. 

In the past, I always used Endomondo. Endomondo has a great looking interface. 

This is from last fall...

The app was a little quirky--sometimes it would quit in the middle of a run, and I'd have to stop and restart it. Overall, tho, I was pretty pleased with it. I felt that it was pretty accurate, and my split times reflected what I believed I was actually running. But then I ran the Fox Valley Half Marathon last fall. The app started calling out miles before I passed the mile markers in the race. Every mile was shorter than those marked out on the course. Hmmm.

So this winter, I thought I'd try Map My Run. This is a really popular app, and a lot of my runner friends seem to use it. But I'm having even more struggles with this app. First of all, my splits are crazy fast. Come on, I've been running a long time, and I know how fast I run. I'm a 9 minute miler at best on long distances. When Map My Run calls out my splits, I laugh out loud! Mile 9 7:25? Hahaha! You've heard of vanity sizing? Maybe Map My Run employs vanity timing! 

The other issue I'm having with Map My Run is that it quits suddenly. Then I have to stop and restart the app. Sometimes I stop to take a picture with my phone and that also makes Map My Run quit. So frustrating!

I could go back to Endomondo...the splits were certainly more realistic...Or....

I'm actually considering getting a Garmin. Normally I love gadgets, but not while I'm running. I think I've talked about this before. The iPhone is ideal for me...all my gadgets in one handy, run Plus I don't want to be one of these people: 

The great thing about those running apps is that they are FREE! But considering all the issues I'm having with my mobile running apps, a Garmin may not be a bad idea. So readers, I need suggestions. I don't need bells and whistles. I just want time and miles, accuracy, and the ability to upload my routes. Something economical. Small, watch-like. And easy to operate. 

Any suggestions?

Do you find your Garmin to be pretty accurate? 

Have you ever run a race and found your Garmin miles to be different than the race miles?


  1. I've had a Garmin from the beginning of time. Actually it was the Caveman's and I borrowed it. He was a runner before I was. I've always found it to be dead accurate, except when I do races around tall buildings it screws up. I've been using Strava lately but a couple of times I'll go out with a fully charged phone and it'll be dead 3 miles into a run when I use Strava + music. So weird. I don't use my Garmin that often anymore but like you, I like having it for longer runs. I think I'd bite the bullet and get a Garmin.

  2. I never have found an of the phone apps to be very accurate, so I really don't use them. I love my GPS watch, the Garmin and Timex are both really reliable.

    Would love if you'd link back to the Bestfoot link up, thanks!

  3. I hear you (about the idiot part!) but I absolutely love my Garmin. I've had several over the years but now, I have the Forerunner 110 and it's VERY basic. It's insanely accurate and, although pricey, you can keep it for years without fail. Plus, you can put it outside 5 minutes before your run so it picks up the satellite before you strap it on your wrist :-) Good luck! I found you from the link up at The Sweet Life...

    1. Looks like I'll be shopping...I just hate the uncertainty while training for a long distance race.

      Thanks for stopping and commenting!!!

  4. I love my Garmin just for the mileage feedback. I've got the 405 and love it. It has some features that I'll never use but it works for me!

  5. I LOVE my Garmin. I have had 3 210'2, 1 410 and now I have the 610...what? I sweat a lot and they warp out during the summer. Lol. I honestly don't know what I would do without my Garmin. It's nice to just look down on my wrist and know what I am doing. :)

  6. Like you, I've been running forever and have always been happy with as little technology as possible. I do have a Garmin, now, but have come to some middle ground with it. I use it for training but mostly to check my miles, or if doing speed work, my splits. I never upload the info, however. I really don't ever want to analyze my info to that degree. I also never use it for racing. I tried it once and it was a disaster! So I think using a Garmin can be done, even if you are a minimalist with tech, with some adjustments!

    1. That's all I want...just to keep me on track with those long runs. I wouldn't even use it for speed work. Thanks for weighing in! Glad to know I'm not the only one who wants to keep the technology to the minimum...