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Item # GRM005K

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Item # GRM005K

Make every moment count.

Add some sporty style and — more importantly — massive metric-tracking capability to your suffer sessions with the Garmin Forerunner 230 Bundle. The Forerunner 230 tracks and saves workout data and daily biometrics for analysis at your leisure. During your daily life, this watch tracks steps, distance, calories, and sleep to accurately assess your non-exercise time. For workouts, it tracks distance, pace, time, and — when paired with the included Garmin Premium heart rate monitor — heart rate and estimated VO2 max.

The housing and crystal-clear face conceal a GPS and GLONASS antenna, which is the basis for all the activity-tracking capabilities of the Forerunner 230. It can tell you how fast you're going, how far you've gone, whether you're on pace, how fast your heart's beating, how many calories you've burned, how much elevation you've gained, how soundly you're sleeping, and host of other metrics. It even provides custom, goal-oriented workouts that are downloadable with Garmin Connect. For indoor sessions, the 230's built-in accelerometer accurately captures distance and pace on the treadmill — no need for bulky foot pods.

Once the Forerunner 230 has tracked all of these things, it can save them or automatically share them with Garmin Connect so you can see what you've done, the progress you've made, and start planning for the future. Among other things, it's compatible with ANT+, which lets your tracking devices talk to each other and share even more data. The 230 boasts a water-resistance rating of 5 ATM to withstand the forces of up to 50 meters of water, and the bundle is finished with a charging/data clip and user manual.

Tech Specs

Heart Rate Monitor:
yes, Garmin Premium (soft strap) heart rate monitor included
Sensor:
ANT+
Wireless:
yes
Clock:
yes
Mount Type:
wrist
Battery Type:
rechargeable lithium ion
Recommended Use:
cycling, triathlon
Manufacturer Warranty:
1 year

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Forerunner 230 Review After 1 Month

    First I have to give a shout out to the folks at backcountry.com who have been extremely helpful in getting this product to me in 1 day. My old running watch broke and as stupid as it sounds, I was really bummed at the thought I would have to go a week without a device for my runs.
    A little side note here - my old watch was 8 years old so you might not be as excited as I have been about the Forerunner's features. I don't know how long some of the things I describe below have been the industry standards. For me they were new discoveries so forgive me if my excitement is exaggerated. I acknowledge that it might be due to the fact I am coming from the age of walkmans to the age of MP3 players.
    I've been using the Forerunner 230 for four weeks now and I will try to summarize my thoughts and feelings about this watch.
    Usage: I only use it for running and I run about 50-60km per week. I do not use it for cycling or any other activity. I do not count steps with it and I only wear it for running. Here is a typical training week for me when I am preparing for a race:
    Training 1: Intervals such as 800m-600m-400m-200m, recover for 2 min, repeat 3 times
    Training 2: 3 x 1500m at race pace
    Training 3: 10-12 km at heart rate below 160
    Training 4: Long run 20-30km

    Pros:
    - Finding GPS and heart rate monitor is really quick. I guess it takes somewhere between 5 and 20 sec at the most.
    - Display: I read some people complaining about the display brightness being too low, but that hasn't been my experience at all. Granted, I only use the watch outside, but I never had any issues whatsoever with the brightness and can see all the numbers displayed clearly on sunny and cloudy days. Even at dusk I had no issues.
    - Manual activities: This has been one of the most useful features for me. Through the Garmin Application (only desktop, you can't o this on the phone) you can design your workout pretty much however you want to. Until now I have been limited by my 8 year old watch that only allowed setting up your own intervals that were of the same length plus a rest interval. Garmin's application provides a nice way for you to set up custom workout such as the one I mentioned above under "Training 1". Really cool stuff! You can also set the pace at which you want to do a certain interval (different pace for different intervals) and the watch will buzz if you go over or under the desired threshold. I recommend you set the desired pace as a range because otherwise the watch will constantly be buzzing for you to go faster or slower, unless you are really able to hold that exact desired pace the whole time.( If I want my pace to be 4:40 per kilometer, I set the desired pace for the interval 4:00-4:50.)
    - Heart rate monitor and pace information: My old watch didn't have a GPS so I had to calculate my pace going by trail markers and/or rely on the heart rate monitor. Having the pace displayed and updated at all times is a great tool and I find myself using it more than my heart rate. In fact, had I known how useful it is I probably wouldn't have gotten the heart rate monitor with the watch and would save myself $50.
    - Battery: After using it for 50-60km of running utilizing GPS and the heart rate monitor, the battery life is at about 25%.

    Cons:
    - Sometimes it has trouble syncing with the phone app and I haven't found the reason why yet. Sometimes it syncs as soon as Bluetooth is connected and other times I have to click 'sync' multiple times. Go figure.
    - Automatic Laps feature overrides the set intervals. In general I have the auto lap set to 1km so that I have a nice breakdown of pace and elevation after my run (per kilometer). However, if I do interval training (4 x 2km, for example) and I forget to disable the auto lap function, the watch saves my training in 1km intervals instead of 2km as I would find it to be logical. It is only a matter of remembering to always set the auto lap function depending on the training I am doing. No biggie.

    Fantastically detailed review Marko. Thanks! I hope the training is going well for your upcoming races this summer.