Why I picked the Garmin.

There was a lot if talk last week about sports watches first with Beto’s Pick on the Garmin and then Chris’ CBC segment comparing a variety of watches that help keep you fit.

It made sense because it is that time of year where many runners dust off their shoes, get off the treadmill and hit the trails. We have entered the beginning of race season where you start to set goals, you begin your training programs and the transition to shorts, tanks and sunglasses is in full affect. It is no surprise that sports watches are top of mind but figuring out if the investment is right for you is probably the conversation you are having with yourself. I don’t think there is a clear answer but hopefully my story can reassure you that sometimes may investments go a long way.

Disclaimer: I have been running endurance since my first year University (I will avoid mentioning the exact date) so my switch to a sports watch happened many years ago. This was before the era of receiving text messages to your watch and before you could sync it to an app that tells everyone how far and how fast you ran. I decided I was ready to stop calling myself a “leisurely runner” and ready to invest in my commitment to the sport. I chose the Garmin then and still choose it today. Thankfully, they are no longer the size of a small clock and sync easily with most sports apps – making them as applicable to running needs today as they were then.

I learned what training with and without a Garmin looks like as I bought my Garmin after my first two marathons – which were run with a Timex on my wrist. I remember hesitating about the purchase, as I am sure a lot of university students would have, because I was not completely clear on all of the benefit or exactly what I really needed it for. Regardless, I made the leap – rapidly learning how much easier it made my running life (especially the patience associated with mapping routes and tracking mileage).

As I sit here and date myself, you may see differences between yourself and someone contemplating the same thing “a while ago”. I cannot argue that there are some differences but I can guarantee the purpose and results are similar. If you are ready to get a little more serious with your training (or already have) and you are looking for something that would help you stay accountable – you are exactly where I was when I decided to purchase my first running watch.

Looking back – I am very glad I chose to invest sooner rather than later.

It has made me a more informed runner and I believe, as a result, made me a better runner because I was able to see progress and really understand what type of training I needed. My Garmin allowed me to retire my methods of relying on mapmyrun.com to plan routes. It replaced my Timex and the process where I would calculate my average pace based on the time it took, after I got home. I no longer had to think about anything – the watch did it for me. I still track my mileage by writing down my distance on a calendar I keep on my fridge but that’s more habit and desire to be constantly reminded of my workouts past and future.

Don’t get me wrong – I am happy with the product but I wasn’t an overnight convert. It wasn’t until I moved to Edmonton a few years ago that I really starting using all the features. Once I started running with the group I ran with now (we have grown a little) I really learned how to properly train – including the importance of tempo runs and interval training. I ever started programming my workouts into my watch the night before so I had one less thing to do in the morning and a way to hold myself accountable to getting up and meeting the group for a run.

This was actually something I took for granted until a few weeks back when I watched one friend teach the other friend how to program their Garmin for intervals before a workout. Knowing this friend would soon experience the simplicity of running until you hear five little beeps telling you that interval was over – brought me comfort. I know a feature like that may sound like a minimal selling feature but trust me when I say it is a game changer. When you want to focus on hitting paces, when you are tired and dread that last set, and when you want to avoid constantly checking your watch – this really makes a difference and allows you to focus on the bigger picture.

What I am trying to say is that I didn’t wait until I was training as much as I do now before I bought my first running watch. I loved running, I loved seeing improvements and I wanted something that would help me be accountable to meeting my goals. I chose the Garmin but that doesn’t mean you have to. I bought it because there wasn’t many options at the time and it was sold at most retailers but now that I have the chose – I still choose the Garmin because it is reliable, accurate and meets every one of my running needs.

Go find what meets your need. Go beyond being a “leisurely runner”. And go crush some goals.


  1. I have loved all of the Garmin products I have purchased.

    I currently use the Forerunner 620 for running and I also have a VivosmartHR. Really happy with both purchases.

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