Road Tested: Garmin Forerunner 935®️

Disclaimer: I received a Garmin Forerunner 935®Multisport GPS Watch from Garmin to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Little known fact about me: when it comes to transporting things, I like to make things as difficult as possible for myself.

No, no, really. I do. It’s very hard for me to condense. My husband always laments that I’m the least efficient when it comes to packing.

This applies to running too. I have… a lot of things. An iPod. My iPhone. A FitBit. An interval timer. Headphones. Watch. Gels. Belt. Hydration vest. You name it, I probably have it somewhere on my person.

Or… well, I did.

After six years of running, I’ve realized the error of my ways. When I’m running I should carry the least amount as possible, not the most; I’ve been trying to par down my running gear. While these things are all extremely useful unto themselves, there’s gear that can pull double, even triple duty!

Cue the Garmin Forerunner 935®️!

Since getting the watch last month, there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I’ve not worn it. I don’t wear it to sleep (but I could, and perhaps should) because it has sleep tracking.

The Garmin Forerunner 935® has so many features that if I were to include them all, I’d be writing a novel that rivals War and Peace in length.

As such, I’m going to share the top three features that I use and as blog posts go up, I’ll be sharing links at the end of this post to other BibRave Pros blogs so you can read their highlights too.

The Garmin acts as my step counter, so the first thing I shed was the FitBit One. My FitBit hadn’t been working well recently. And since I’m trying to par down, making the decision to switch over to the Garmin was an easy one.

My goal is to hit 10,000 steps every day and I do check on this number throughout the day (more than I care to admit). I’m a stay at home mom so on the days that I don’t have a run scheduled, I use the step counter to keep me honest and motivated throughout the day.

Additionally, the Forerunner 935® has a move alert. If I’ve been sedentary for too long, a vibration reminds me to get up and move!

I’ve also said goodbye to the interval timer that I used to clip to my belt because I can just use the one on my Garmin! You can easily set the intervals for distance, time, or open (which means open-ended intervals).

I’m a fan of the Galloway method for longer races, meaning that I use set intervals to pace myself throughout a workout or race.

One of the main reasoned I used a separate interval timer was that it allowed me to change my intervals mid-race. This is slightly more challenging using the Garmin.

For example: Occasionally I begin a run or race at 2 minutes/walk 1 minute and decide that I’d like to switch to a run 1 minute/walk 1 minute. Changing intervals run on the Garmin breaks a run into segments, rather than a continual overall distance.

However, I feel like I’ve gotten better over the past few years about gauging what type of timing I’ll need on a particular day so I’ll continue to use the Forerunner 935® for this feature. The interval timer is getting moved to the back of the running drawer.

Speaking of moving, the third feature that I’m loving on the Garmin Forerunner 935® is its wrist based heart rate monitor. This is a new to me feature; my old watch had a chest strap heart rate monitor, which I rarely used.

I’ve been keyed in on this data the past month. I’m always interested to see my resting heart rate compared to my heart rate when I’m doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or running.

While this is a multi-sport watch, I haven’t had the opportunity to use it during a different type of workout yet. However, the fact that I can use it while swimming has piqued my interest! Without a doubt, I’ll be trying when we open our pool again in 2018.

I could go on and on about the other things that I love about this watch.

The long battery life is unparallel to any previous devices I’ve had.  The texts/app alerts so I’m not constantly grabbing my phone are so convenient. The ability to change music directly from my wrist so I don’t have to constantly take my phone out of my belt is awesome.

The Forerunner 935® stops just short of cooking and serving my family Thanksgiving dinner. (Oh, how lovely that would be!)

I have everything I could ever want or need in one spot and that spot is the Garmin Forerunner 935®.

Reviews from other BibRave Pros:

Jenna
Mai
Gina
Brenda
Vanessa
Frank
Casey
Angie
Lindsey
Emily
Mark
Ryan

What are your must haves during a run? I’m a reformed pack-rat and I’m doing good with the paring down on items that come with me on long runs/races. Do you have any specific questions about the Garmin Forerunner 935®? Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer from personal experience and if I don’t know, I’ll ask around to my fellow BibRave Pros.

Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving!

BibRave Pro: Garmin Forerunner® 935 (with giveaway news!)

Disclaimer: I received a Garmin Forerunner 935 Multisport GPS Watch from Garmin to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

My BibRave Pro one year anniversary is coming up soon! It feels like just yesterday I announced that I was chosen as a BibRave Pro and I can’t believe how quickly it has flown by. It’s far and away ranks highly among the best experiences that has come along with blogging. That’s saying something, since I started an online journaling way back in June 2001.

Through BibRave I’ve met and connected with tons of incredible people, both online and in person – I want more of the in person variety! The opportunities to try so many cool products and races as a BibRave Pro have been wonderful.

What I love about BibRave in general is that it’s consistently good. I love the positivity, the unconditional support from my fellow Pros, the people I meet during the Tuesday Twitter #bibchat!

Last week I got the news from our BibRave Pro coordinator, Erin, that I was chosen to try the Garmin Forerunner® 935 and I lost my mind. If you live anywhere in the New Jersey area, you might have heard me freaking out! I definitely scared a few children (my own so it’s okay).

I charged it overnight, synced it with my phone, and then put it on my wrist. I immediately started getting alerts!

I love my previous watch, the Garmin Forerunner® 220, but it isn’t nearly as fancy!

The Forerunner® 935 is really awesome and has great features like a heart rate monitor (really pumped about that), step counter, sleep monitoring, calories burned, V02 max, gym, running and swimming features (among others), and that’s just to name a few.

I’m still learning all the watch has to offer because there’s a lot!

I’ll keep you posted as I go along about all the new and exciting things I come across. I’m sure there will be many!

In the meanwhile, there’s a Twitter #bibchat happening this evening and there’s going to be a Garmin Forerunner® 935 given away to a participant!

If you’re the lucky one then we can both find out all the cool things TOGETHER. Join us tonight on Twitter at 9pm est.

Running naked

I ran naked this weekend and it felt great.

Now don’t get the wrong idea. I wasn’t in my birthday suit!! Inspired in part by blooming, aromatic flowers in my community and my friend Cori, I decided to run watch-free this weekend.

Let me explain.

Spring finally arrived here in Rochester, NY, which means the lilacs are in bloom. Rochester’s climate is ideal for lilacs, and my county’s oldest park has more than 500 varieties and 1,200 lilac bushes on the slope in Highland Park. They smell amazing!

lilac3Lilacs in bloom! Pic by Chick Vic

When I headed out the door for a run this week, I found myself stopping repeatedly to smell the flowers. That’s right. I literally paused at each and every lilac bush along my route and shoved my nose into the buds.

After several 3-ish-mile loops on my road this week, I realized:
1. I really do love the scent of lilacs
2. I enjoyed pausing mid-run for a fun reason
3. I often out too much pressure on myself mid-run, to run on pace and not stop.

So. I decided Saturday morning to add another fun factor. I left my Garmin on the nightstand and went for a run.

Ahhh! I felt free! I ran until I felt like walking. Then I walked a for about a minute and continued on my way. I turned off on a side street I had never ventured down before. Then I stopped at another lilac bush and drank in the scent. By the time I got home, thoughts were whirling in my head.

What if I run my Sunday morning 10k race without my Garmin? How nice would that be? Heck – I could stop and smell the lilacs for the Lilac 10k!

So I did. When I headed out the door Sunday, I left my Garmin behind. A few running pals saw I was sans watch and offered to tell me the pace as we ran.

“No need,” I responded. “I’m going without a watch.”

“What?!” Running pal Ray answered. “No. That’s nuts. That would drive me crazy.”

Normally it would drive me mad as well. But not this week!

We reached Highland Park early since much of our group was running the 5k AND the 10k. Since I registered for the race Tuesday, I was fine running a mere 6.2 miles through Rochester and adjacent suburb Brighton. While the others ran, several of us explored lilac hill.

Soon enough, the rest of the crew was back and we lined up to race. Much of our group ran as part of Team Red, White and Blue, a group running to raise support and awareness for our veterans.

flag1Meet Mike, team organizer, who ran Sunday with an American flag.

I took off with Traci and Ray. And boy was the crowd thick! We weaved and bobbed for the first mile. Lots of people were running the popular 10k! Soon enough, we turned our first corner and hit our stride. Ray found his rhythm and pulled away. About a mile later, Traci moved ahead as well.

I cheered them along and settled in for my second half of the course, I ran through neighborhoods, up and down hills and smiled at cheering residents and fans. I thanked officers and volunteers as I ran along he course.

Soon enough, I rounded my last turn, pushed myself up a hill and set my sights on the finish line.

I spotted the clock as I crossed in the Low 59s. Instinctively, I looked at my wrist for my own time. Ha! No watch!

Overall, the experiment was a success. Yes, I started out too fast by keeping up with Ray. But would I have done the same if I’d worn my watch? Probably. Would knowing my pace change my race plan? Doubtful.

But I led the event and I actually liked not knowing how I fared. It was sort of like playing the lottery.

Last night, I finally looked up my race time – 58.16 – which over a minute slower than my 10K PR. I was completely fine with my showing and loved running naked.

I will admit, I don’t plan to run without my Garmin for  a big race, but running naked was a nice change of pace.

lilac1From left: Katie, Traci, Ray, Vic and Aaron post-race.

Have you run without a watch or Garmin recently? Are you a slave to your pacesetter? What’s the silliest things you’ve done mid-run? Tell us in the comments!