Garmin Forerunner

September 9, 2023

A couple of weeks ago I bought a Garmin Forerunner 965 smart watch. The last time I used a smartwatch was when I got a Microsoft Band almost 10 years ago. In the meantime, I wore a mechanical watch. I stopped using the Band (just before it became unsupported and they offered refunds) because I wanted freedom from being a slave to the metrics. I was worrying more than I thought I should about making sure I hit the sleep numbers, workout numbers (honestly I can’t remember how the workout tracking worked on this), etc.

I moved on from the original smart watches to something that didn’t track me. I lived carefree for a while, but then I realized my workouts were too regular and too easy. I was maintaining health, but not improving, and it felt like I was almost in a slump. Since COVID started, I was running five days a week, which was an improvement, but I wasn’t pushing myself on a daily basis. I had stopped riding my bike since having kids, so I felt it was time to make a change.

I started by downloading the Garmin Connect app on my phone and buying a Garmin HRM strap. It was a fairly minimal investment by itself, but things quickly snowballed from there. The gamification and “buying gear” aspect caused me to take the plunge and buy the smartwatch so I could track more than just my heart rate during exercise. There is a virtual coach 5k training program that creates workouts to make every day different. Just having it there on my watch is enough to get me to push myself a little harder, which is what I need to improve.

The Garmin Forerunner is more comfortable to wear than my previous mechanical watch. The battery could last for weeks the way I use it, and the physical size isn’t thrown off by being battery powered like smart watches 10 years ago. It tells me the weather, sunrise/sunset, heart rate, heart rate variability, date/day of week, phone notifications, step count, sleep, altimeter, GPS location/map, and a bunch of other things. The only thing I can think of that would make it better is if there was a way to have SIM support so that I wouldn’t need to take my phone with me.