The Garmin Forerunner 620, it’s chock-full of coaching power!

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.

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:

info from Garmin Connect

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.

garmin forerunner 620 summary

garmin heart rate graph

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.

data details garmin connect

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.

cadence graph

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.

My VO2max

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.

Garmin Training

You can also set goals and the 620 will help you to achieve them.

training goals

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?

22 thoughts on “The Garmin Forerunner 620, it’s chock-full of coaching power!

      • Thanks for the info.
        can you tell me how the coaching works? Do you get a vibration if you go to fast, does it beep, do you connect it to your phone via bleutooth?

        • Hi Nicolas,
          It will connect to iphones but not yet to android phones, at least it doesnt work with my samsung galaxy. And it doesnt beep or vibrate if you go to fast but it analyzes all the data including your heartrate, (after you upload it), and it tells you how much recovery time you need based on the duration and intensity of your workouts. It really is awesome and has helped me improve greatly. If you decide to get one please come back and let me know how it works for you.

  1. Hi there,
    Maybe anyone can help me?
    I bought 620 in November, and been using it until Holiday break. Today, when I want to use it, it didn’t want to turn on. When I charged them, it’s 100%.
    Help? Thanks!

    • Hi Lia,
      Without knowing where you’re located, I wasn’t sure if this was the right link bit it’s the best place to start. I do not work for or with Garmin so I don’t really have any information other than what I found on the internet. I will say, their customer support is awesome so contact them and I am sure they will help you. 🙂

    • I know what you mean, it took me forever to learn the 405 and I still didn’t learn it all in 5 whole years. I’m sure the 620 will be much of the same but at least it’s fun learning, 🙂

  2. I have been using the forerunner 405 for a couple of years now that I bought used. It has done well but it is time to start looking for a replacement. Thank you for the 620 review. I like to get as much info as possible before spending the cash on a new one.

    • David,
      Garmin has a mini site for the forerunner 620 with lots of info and even videos, check it out at this link It’s definitely worth it’s weight in gold in my opinion and I’m a hard sell.

  3. My old Garmin died and I can’t find the charger. I was what initially go me started back up and running. You have inspired me to go out and get this asap! I need something to give me a little motivation, so thankful for this post…and I look forward to the help this watch will bring as I try to work towards my goals.

    • I am positive you will love it! It has so many features that I cant even say enough about it and it is definitely motivationg.

  4. When I started running in May I was using an app on my phone to track my distance and pace but came across a good deal on a Garmin at a race expo. I started with the basic Garmin 10 in September and upgraded to the 220 a few months ago when I found a wicked deal in Costco (199$ for the watch, HRM and footpod). It’s rather bulky for my skinny wrist but love the data I get from it. My last job involved a lot of metrics and I totally geek out on that kind of stuff so it’s easy for me to get sucked into the info the Garmin gives me. Yes, I am THAT girl when it comes to data, spreadsheets, etc. 🙂

  5. Great review! Also, I love the check box I use can use at the top of the harts page to visually see on each graph how far above and below the line my data falls. It’s quite a tool!

    • Thanks, it seems like everyday I find something cooler about this watch or it’s just taking me a long time to learn the entire thing, LOL

  6. Oh my word! That is so cool! My Garmin 305 is dying a slow death. I’m hacing trouble downloading the data from my watch now too.

    This model looks AMAZING! I also need one that works for swimming. I’ve never used the hart rate monitor. I need to read your other post about that.

    • The heart rate monitor is amazing. It completely changed the way I think about my workouts and the intensity and improved my pace tremendously. 🙂

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