The brand new Garmin Forerunner 225 has just hit our shops, and we gave it to Finlay McAndrew, staff member and triathlete, to put it through its paces and report back to you all you need to know about this new gadget.
Read on for his highlights of the new Garmin FR225!
The most impressive new feature on the Garmin FR225 is the inclusion of an optical heart rate (HR) sensor. This feature reads your heart rate by shining an LED light into the blood vessels at your wrist, reading your pulse using an infrared sensor. This means you no longer have to wear a chest strap, which can chafe on some people and can generally be uncomfortable during long runs.
Some other watches use similar, or the same, technology but these sometimes have issues with reliability as the readings will be skewed if external light gets under the watch strap. The great techs at Garmin have cleverly placed a rubber ring underneath the watch to stop this happening. This is also replaceable, should it ever wear out or get damaged.
This great new feature can really help your training move forward. Recording and monitoring your HR is a great way to know what zone your heart, and therefore you, are working in and where your fuel is coming from – whether its mostly fat or carbohydrate. With time being extremely limited in many runner’s lives, you need to make the most of your training sessions. This watch can help you avoid doing ‘grey mile’ sessions when you’re working too hard to recover but not hard enough to get significant gains so end up in a vicious circle and don’t get any faster. Ideally, you want to polarize your training so the easy is easy and the hard is, well, hard! Knowing your HR makes this a more simple process.
The FR225 has a very useful new data page with a graphical heart rate gauge, the colour bar round the edge of the display. The gauge is made up of 5 zones that you can set up on the device, based on your maximum HR. The gauge will also tell you your exact HR which can be displayed on 2 screens: HR Page (exact BPM and current zone) and HR Gauge (exact BPM and zone gauge). You can set alerts on your HR (high/low values) and for your pace. You can also check your resting HR at the touch of button throughout the day.
Another significant new feature of the FR225 is that it has a built in activity tracker. You can track your steps through the day, see the distance walked and calories burned and these can be uploaded to Garmin Connect via the mobile app (iOS/Android) via the Bluetooth, where you set your daily goals. This data is all accessible on the watch and the display around the watch will turn green when you have reached your goal for the day. The watch also makes sure you don’t sit down for too long with the inactivity bar. The bar will increase as you sit for longer until it’ll beep/buzz at you to alert you’ve been sitting too long. Sleep patterns and amounts can also be measured by the device. The watch will last 4 weeks in watch mode before needing recharged (7-10 hours in GPS mode).
The FR225 offers every kind of pace and HR record you could want. You can select from the following: timer, lap time, distance, lap distance, pace, average pace, lap pace, speed, cadence, calories, heart rate, average heart rate, HR zone and elevation. The device has 2 data pages which you can customise with up to 3 different settings and flick between on a run. Cadence is measured by accelerometers in the watch meaning you can also log training miles on the treadmill to Garmin Connect. The watch also learns each user’s style of running over time, making each run a more personal experience (and also gives you a good excuse not to lend it to anyone!).
From your Garmin Connect page you can also create workouts that can then be sent to the device. These sessions can be any duration you want and you can set targets for pace, speed and heart rate and can be set for duration or for distance. Training plans can also be downloaded to the device and is all set on the calendar on Garmin Connect so will show up on the right day on your device.
So there you have it. The FR225 is the perfect training partner and is incredibly simple to use whether you are training for a specific event or just want to track your activity and make sure that you are active in everyday life.