Garmin Forerunner 235: Initial Thoughts

Hey there!

I am off to South Carolina this morning for work, but I thought I’d pop in quickly and share some of my initial thoughts on my experience so far with my Garmin Forerunner 235.

I had been using the Forerunner 10 for the past year, so this has been quite an upgrade.

Garmin Forerunner 235To be clear, I have only been using the watch about a week, so this is not a full review – I’ll post one of those in the next month or so after REALLY putting this watch to the test. 🙂

My first GPS watch (the purple Forerunner 10 on the left) was strictly a GPS watch. I used it on my runs and that was about it. It did not monitor heartrate and so it was really only useful if I was moving. I didn’t usually wear it if I was doing a treadmill workout or doing stationary biking since there was really no data it was useful for in that instance.

The Forerunner 235 basically does EVERYTHING and then some. It has Bluetooth capabilities and I was able to easily pair it with my phone. This means any notifications I get on my phone also pop up on my wrist along with a small vibration to alert me. Initially, I had some concerns that this might get annoying, but so far, I am actually liking it. It is also pretty straightforward to turn the notifications off at night when I’m going to sleep.

Another reason I selected the 235 was because it monitors heartrate (without a chest band). It does this through an optical sensor on the back of the watch that measures changes in blood flow. I have never I had access to heartrate data before so I’m finding this really interesting so far. It shows you your current heart rate along with a graph of the past 4 hours and you can also press a button to see your average resting heart rate over the past 7 days.  Interestingly, you will see my resting heart rate has been steadily decreasing this week – probably a sign that I am still in recovery mode from Baystate!

Garmin Forerunner 235I also tested it on one short treadmill run at the gym. I was curious to see how indoor running mode would work. It had my pace as slightly slower than what was displayed on the treadmill and it ended up being off by .1 mile after 3 miles. I don’t know how accurate the treadmills are at Planet Fitness though, so who knows which is actually correct. I’ll be curious to try this out on the Woodway treadmills at Mystryde to see if my Garmin matches up better there.

I have also been wearing it around during the day for activity tracking. It’s been really interesting to see how many steps (or lack thereof) I take in a day. I had toyed with the idea of getting a Fitbit for a while but I am happy to now have a really solid watch for running that can also double for activity tracking. It also gives me little notifications to ‘Move!’ along with a vibration. I feel kind of guilty ignoring  it when I’m at work. 😉

Do you use a GPS watch – Garmin, Tom Tom, other? Do you use heartrate data as part of your training?

2 thoughts on “Garmin Forerunner 235: Initial Thoughts

  1. I have a fitbit for steps and an old Nike +watch to track my runs/distance/time it does have a GPS also. I love knowing how many steps I take and my distance and time but I would love a watch that does everything instead of having a fitbit and a running watch and have been looking into the garmins.


  2. Kim K.

    i continue to use my garmin forerunner 310xt from my ironman days; i really dont need much in a running watch other than GPS and pace data (i like how it has up to 4 display features, so i use time/distance/current pace/lap pace (which is set at a mile). i will definitely consider another watch when mine shits the bed! glad you are enjoying yours so far!


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