I used to track my runs using Strava on my cell phone. I love the app and it is still what I use, as you see posted on this site. However, I do like to pay attention to my pace, as I am still trying to figure out exactly what that is. I found it difficult to do so using my phone. For one, I didn’t want to carry the phone in my hand, so I used an armband to carry it. I tried several bands and found them to be too bulky for my arm. Most had velcro closures and would sometimes pop open when I inadvertently flexed my massive bicep while running. I would literally use a large metal binder clip to prevent that from happening, which would then of course dig into my arm. Not good. It was also logistically difficult as I was constantly twisting the band on my arm and pressing the home button on my phone to see my pace, which was hard to see when running. My son showed me how to keep the screen on and active, but of course on my longer runs I would run out of battery and not capture the entire run. UGH!
That same Christmas after my first marathon, my husband bought me a Garmin Forerunner 220 watch. I love having it on my wrist so I can watch my pace as I go, though it’s easy to get too focused on the numbers and not pay attention to the run…another thing I am working on. Hopefully once I get more comfortable pacing my runs, I will not rely on looking at the watch as frequently as I do.
The watch itself is okay, but definitely too large for my wrist. My son has the exact model, and it definitely looks better on a man’s wrist. The watch works great and has a good battery life. I used it for the 2014 Chicago Marathon and wasn’t sure it would last that long, so as a backup, I also had Strava running on my phone. The battery not only lasted, but also had plenty of life to spare. I could have run another 20 miles…or maybe not. It tracked my time pretty accurately, though in some parts of the city, I lost my signal or it would come up with crazy pace times, like under a 4 minute mile (yeah…no). I now trust the watch and use it exclusively to track my runs. It’s easy to plug in to my computer and upload the file to Strava. It does so very quickly.
Overall I like the watch, but the next time I am in the market for one, I will look for one with a better fit. I would also prefer a watch that I can use while cycling. I do use the one I have, but it is constantly beeping because it is sensing my speed on my bike as a PR if I have previously run that same route. One last thing I am not thrilled with is how easily the face became scratched. I travel frequently and at first kept the watch in my purse while on the road. Fairly quickly the watch face got scratched, which was a big disappointment for me.