Disclaimer: I received the Forerunner 245 from Extreme Brands, Botswana’s Garmin Distributors in exchange for my honest review and feedback.
The Garmin Forerunner 35 was my loyal running companion for two years, seeing me through epic races and personal bests. It delivered on the key criteria I’d set – simplicity, affordability, GPS-enabled with a good battery life. But as I became more experienced as a runner, I started thinking about getting an upgrade. So when Neville from Extreme Brands – Botswana Garmin Distributors offered me the Forerunner 245 in exchange for my honest review and feedback, I was thrilled. Click here for a look at my fun and dramatic unboxing video for social media! I’ve only had it a few weeks but I’m already enjoying the experience. I also realise there is a lot I need to learn to harness its true power! So in today’s blog, I’ll discuss my first impressions and in the coming weeks, I will take a more in-depth look at some of its special features.
Look. Feel. Comfort.
The Garmin Forerunner 245 is small, slim and light with a brilliantly clear screen that is easy to read on the run, even in Botswana’s bright sunlight. The screen also lights up for the various notifications you have set. My watch originally came in a grey strap but Neville was kind enough to organise a colour of my choice and I was immediately drawn to the Berry Silicone with the gold hardware which looks quite stylish in work settings, whilst still being practical and rugged for a run on the trail. The strap came in two lengths so I could choose the one that fit best and changing the straps took seconds. Just by touch, it feels soft and flexible and it fits beautifully. Now that I’m back training for a marathon, comfort is something I value greatly. So far, I haven’t had to adjust my watch because of any discomfort or poor fit.
Is It Easy To Set Up And Use On The Run?
Setting up my watch was straightforward. The only challenge I encountered was syncing it to my Huawei P-Smart phone. After multiple attempts, I realised the problem was not with the watch but with the phone – in typical fashion, I’d missed several software upgrades! Once I was up-to-date, I was good to go and haven’t had a syncing problem since. The top right button is a Stop/Start which takes you to the activity menu. My experience with other watches has always been that it takes some time to connect to the GPS but this one is definitely a lot faster. I maintained the default primary screen with distance, timer and pace in that order but this can be adapted to suit your personal preferences. Also, you have access to different data sets on your screen as you run, and simply have to use the the scroll buttons on the left to move between them. This is very handy when you’re keeping an eye on different variables.
In terms of notifications, you can choose what you want to hear or feel. I’m quite minimalist when I run so I’ve set it to buzz when I hit each kilometre and my target distance. But I removed all other notifications for phone calls, text messages and other alerts as I think it makes for a more peaceful running experience! But it’s a great option for people who need to receive notifications on the run. You can set different targets based on distance, time or pace, and even enter a specific interval training workout. When I set off on my runs, it suggests a workout, including pace and distance. So it is definitely more interactive than I’m used to!
What About The Performance Stats?
So interactive that after each run it tells you how you’ve done! On my first run after a running slump, it told me I was “over-reaching”! First, I thought, how dare you comment so rudely on my run? You don’t know me! This week it tells me I’m “productive”. Call me a gadget geek but I love this! So not only does it give you the standard performance measures such as VO2 Max or heart rate zones, it also goes the next step of letting you know how hard you’re working and whether you should increase your effort or slow it down. About 6 minutes into your run it gives a positive or negative performance condition score. This according to Garmin ‘is a real-time assessment of your ability to perform compared to your average fitness level’ and it can be an indication to take things up a notch if need be. I’m really enjoying this deeper analysis of my runs.
I’m a runner with fairly basic needs but I’ve loved transitioning to a watch that gives more information on how I’m doing and whether or not I’m being productive! I also appreciate the little things. For example, after a run, the display not only shows the usual stats but also a map of the route you took! And when you’re not running, the watch face shows the usual time/date but also the mileage you’ve covered so far that week which for me has been such motivation to keep running. I’m so excited to explore the detailed health stats, the training programmes it offers via Garmin Coach, the emergency options as well as the navigation tools.
If you use a sports watch, what are some of the features you enjoy? If you use a Forerunner 245, what features do you find useful? And what feature do you recommend I check out next?
A Special Thank you to Neville from Extreme Brands for reaching out to me. If you’re looking for a Garmin in Botswana, contact Extreme Brands, Botswana’s Garmin Distributors.
I’m joining Kooky Runner and Zenaida on their link up, Tuesday Topics. I’m also joining the Runner’s Roundup with Mile By Mile, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Runs with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running! Be sure to read their blogs and catch up with other runners from around the world.