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?

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What’s Next?

Hello and Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a good weekend. I ran this weekend for the first time since Baystate! In all honesty, I really probably shouldn’t have (see below). But I was so antsy to test out my beautiful new Garmin that finally came in the mail!

Garmin Forerunner 235I opted to get the Forerunner 235 because I really wanted the wrist-based heart rate monitoring. It also doubles as a smart watch/activity tracker which I am loving so far. I had the Garmin Forerunner 10 previously, which worked really well for me for just shy of 2 years but lately, it had been showing signs of being on the decline. I had it fully charged for the marathon and it started giving me low battery warnings 3 and a half hours in! I was ready to upgrade anyway so it was kind of good timing.

I also recently received a pair of Legend Compression socks through my ambassadorship with Bibrave and I had to test them out too! SO MUCH RUNNING GEAR!

Legend Compression SocksWhile it was a very short run, my initial thoughts on the socks are very positive. I find a lot of compression socks too tight around the toes (which is why I tend to wear sleeves more often), but that wasn’t the case with these ones. I’ll post an in-depth review in the next couple weeks after testing them out a bit more.

So I ran 3 and a half easy miles on Saturday morning (I am finally back to being able to wear closed shoes, although 5 out of 10 of my toenails are a nice, dark shade of purple currently.) And then that afternoon, I was browsing around the internet and discovered the Hansons Coaching podcast! I had heard of the Hansons Marathon Method, but didn’t know they made a podcast so I was excited to check it out. Of course, the first episode I had to listen to was on marathon recovery. And the first point he made was that most runners should take 10 days – 2 weeks off after a marathon (meaning NO running). Whoops. On Sunday, I revised the error of my ways and went to a yoga class instead.

Whoops GifThe good news is that I’ll be traveling for work this week and will be way too busy to even think about running. When I get back, I’ll be past that 2 week mark and ready to dive back into things! Which leads me to my next point –

What’s next?

I’m really looking forward to getting back to working on my speed. With marathon training, I had to really focus my efforts on increasing my mileage and keeping most of my runs in my aerobic zone. That’s all well and good but I feel like I’ve been doing the same thing since last December when I began training for Delaware. Now, all I want to do is get some turn-over back in my legs by focusing on running some miles in the 7:00-7:30 range! Could I even run a mile sub-7 if I tried?? Maybe! I want to crush some 5ks and 10ks. My new watch doesn’t have any of my previous running data and it currently thinks my Fastest Mile is a 9:32 and Longest Run is 3.5 miles. Not gonna lie – I’m irrationally annoyed by this.

Luckily, Boston is a great place for running in the Fall. 🙂 There are 5ks practically every weekend and I am thinking of taking a page out of Hollie’s book and doing a lot of racing over the next few months. I’m considering targeting a half marathon PR in February.

I’m far from being done with marathons. But I’d like to give myself some time to get some speed back and THEN see what I could do in a marathon heading into a training cycle with a stronger foundation.

So that’s the plan in a nutshell for now!

What’s on your calendar for the next few months? Any Garmin fans out there?