I ran 8 easy miles around the neighborhood this morning. I’m seriously loving my new Garmin and all of the information that it gives me. It’s helping me to keep my pace slow and easy, which I should do more often, and it’s helping me with my running form. I know I’ve talked about it in pieces on the blog before, but I thought I’d give you a more thorough overview of the things you can do with the new Garmin Forerunner 620.
First off let me just mention that this new Garmin has a touch screen and a color display. It’s awesome, not really necessary but awesome nonetheless and I also have the Heart Rate Monitor. Without the heart rate monitor, you won’t be able to utilize some of the features that I am going to tell you about so if you’re thinking about purchasing the forerunner 620, I highly suggest you get the HRM.
The 620 is just like having a running coach, it has a recovery advisor, race predictor and it estimates your VO2 max. With the heart rate monitor, you can track your cadence, your vertical oscillation and your ground contact time. It even works when you’re running on a treadmill but I haven’t used it on the treadmill yet so I can’t really say how well it works in that capacity.
This morning I put the heart rate monitor on, hit the start button and started running. At 8 miles I hit the same button. The 620 then asked me if I wanted to save or discard the info, I touched save and then a bit later I uploaded the info into my Garmin Connect account.
And this is the data that I got:
In the lower right you can click on details and that’s when the info gets interesting. The first thing you’ll see if a summary of your data which includes distance, time, avg. pace, etc. Under the summary is where you’ll see the details along with graphs on the right.
This first part of the data is your Timing. This tells you your total time, your moving time, elapsed time, average pace, average moving pace and best pace. This is great data but it’s about the same data you get from other forerunner models, not really any more advanced.
The next data is the elevation breakdown which is nice especially if you’re doing hill work but again this is nothing really new.
Now the data gets interesting because the next section is heart rate. This tells you your average heart rate, max heart rate and your training effect. Using your heart rate, the training effect tells you if the exercise you do is maintaining your current fitness level or improving it. With that information, you can vary your intensity to achieve your goals. For more information about heart rate training you can read my post here.
Next you can analyze your running dynamics. You’ll see your Average run cadence, Max Cadence, your vertical oscillation and average ground contact time and even your stride length. The running dynamics graph displays a color gauge for the primary metric. The color gauge shows you how your running dynamics data compares to those of other runners. The color zones are based on percentiles.
The Garmin Forerunner 620 also tells you your VO2 max and lets you compare it to others. This is one of my favorite things because I can actually see myself improving over time and it motivates me.
You’ll also be able to see your splits and information about the weather. All very useful information.
You can also choose from optional training plans within garmin connect and download them to your 620. I haven’t used any of the plans but I think they would be great for a first time marathoner.
You can also set goals and the 620 will help you to achieve them.
With Forerunner 620, you don’t have to guess how much recovery time you need between workouts. Based on your heart rate data, it factors this against your last workout and then shows how much time you need to rest so you’ll be ready for your next workout.
When you’re wearing the HRM, the 620 provides a recovery check, which tells you your state of recovery within the first several minutes of your run. This feature kind of freaks me out a little bit because I haven’t exactly been following the recovery portion and a few times when out on a run the 620 vibrates and when I looked down it said, FAIR. It makes me feel like it’s giving me a bad grade and it sort of is because the recovery time shows how long you should rest before you run again and it’s another valuable feature of this watch that I really should be using more often.
I’m really enjoying learning how to use this valuable tool to help me become a better runner and I’m discovering new features everyday. I tend to be a little on the geeky side when it comes to technology so I may be posting on this subject quite often so consider that a warning… 🙂
Do you use a Garmin to train? Which Model do you use? Will you be upgrading to the Garmin Forerunner 620?