Choosing the right Garmin watch for you

2. Forerunner 235

Hello, I’m Colleen. I was a competitive runner for 17 years and a triathlete for 7 years. I used to define myself by my personal bests, threshold paces, and podium finishes. But over time I didn’t feel the same enthusiasm for racing. I took some time away from it and instead focused on aerial arts and strength training. Since moving back to Edinburgh, I’ve found so many great places to lose myself. Whether it’s taking a quick blast up Craiglockhart Hill or a steady spin over to West Linton, I place more emphasis now on the joy in the process.

Garmin ForerunnerAdvanced Fitness Metrics

When I was looking to buy a Garmin, I wanted more than just fitness tracking and I knew that I didn’t need a lot of the multi-sport features of the Forerunner 630 or the 920XT. I really like that I can use the Forerunner 235 with my speed-cadence sensor on my road bike to track indoor and outdoor cycling metrics. I’m not currently using a training plan, but I have my Forerunner 235 set up to sync with TrainingPeaks and Strava. I can also create a workout on Garmin Connect and sync it to my watch with my custom heart rate zones or training paces. After years of keeping a paper running log and having to memorise myForerunner 235 training zones, I have to say this is too easy!

 

After my workouts, I also get advice on recovery time and an estimated VO2 max. The more you train, the more accurate those metrics and the race predictor become. I find these features a good gauge of my fitness. And one day maybe it’ll inspire me to race again… maybe.

Wrist-based Heart Rate

Having the wrist-based heart rate allows me greater flexibility in wearing the watch during the day or at night, without needing to also wear a chest strap. You have the option of downloading an analog-style watch face through Garmin IQ (which I did) and you can hardly tell your wearing a fitness watch!

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Smart Notifications

The Forerunner 235 has the ability to get real-time weather alerts, text notifications, and allows you to change your music if you’re listening on your phone, but watch out — this requires that you use Bluetooth which can run down your battery charge. If you’re looking to use the 235 for its bicycle compatibility, keep in mind you’ll need to purchase the Garmin ANT+ sensor separately.

I’d recommend the Forerunner 235 to anyone who wants a bit of a healthy push. With this watch, you’ve got a lot of space to create, record, and analyse your running (and cycling) training and racing.

It has a lot of room to geek out without being overwhelming. With wrist-based heart rate measurement, it’s versatile enough to wear to sleep, work, the gym, or a race. Best of luck with your training!

Buy It For: Wrist-based heart rate, advanced fitness metrics
Battery Life: 11 hours in training mode
Price: Now £235 | Save £45

Next up? Read Finlay’s blog on the Forerunner 920XT

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Colleen Barlow

Colleen Barlow

Over her seventeen-year athletic career, Colleen raced the 1500m to Half-Ironman distance. Now she finds more joy in aerial arts and picking up heavy things in the gym. Maybe, with enough convincing, she’ll dust off those racing flats and sign up for another 10km.

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