Garmin Forerunner 110 GPS Running Watch Review
The Forerunner 110 is the latest in the highly rated Forerunner GPS enabled running watch series from Garmin. This long awaited watch records and displays vital training information in real time, making recording and mapping your runs as easy as hitting the start button.
Garmin Forerunner 110 Features
Based on its big brother, the Forerunner 405, the Garmin Forerunner 110 incorporates a number of important features that makes this watch an ideal training companion, no matter what kind of running training you are undertaking.
Garmin Forerunner 110 – GPS
Along with all the usual features that you would expect in any standard sports watch, the Garmin 110 has a powerful built in GPS receiver that allows for the accurate recording of your pace, distance and location of your every run. Accurate to within 5m, the GPS receiver only needs 4 of the 24 GPS satellites orbiting the earth to accurately plot your location, which means that unlike conventional ‘foot pad’ enabled watches, your runs are recorded to the same level of accuracy no matter how far you run or how much your stride and pace alters.
The GPS feature of the Garmin Forerunner 110 allows you to accurately record and view your distance and time as well as your pace either over the entire run, or over your last lap/split, as well as current heart rate and average heart rate (more on that later)
When using the GPS for the first time, I was apprehensive that the watch wouldn’t be able to pick up a signal thanks to all the hi-rise buildings around my neighbourhood. Within twenty seconds however, the watch had a signal that didn’t drop until I turned the GPS function off at the end of my run in order to prolong the battery life. On all subsequent runs the watch had picked up a signal before i had even finished tying up my Asics running shoes! Even when running through tunnels or indoors, the watch picks up a signal within five seconds of returning outdoors…something that I wish my Car GPS would do just as well!
Garmin Forerunner 110 – Heart Rate Monitor and Calorie Calculator
Although the Forerunner 110’s big brother (the Forerunner 405) has the same wireless enabled heart rate strap, the Forerunner 110 has one over when it comes to recording heart rate. Using the comfortable and fully adjustable heart rate strap that fits round your chest, the Forerunner 110 is fully capable of recording your heart rate and average heart rate over the run and uses this data to work out in real time just how many calories you are burning. If you enter in your body weight into the Forerunner 110 this feature becomes even more accurate and is an excellent tool for anyone looking to run for weight loss. Counting calories aren’t just for those of us looking to shed a few pounds, the calorie calculator in the Forerunner 110 can also be really useful when it comes to long distance marathon or ultra marathon training as you can see just how many calories you are burning and therefore increase of decrease your food intake accordingly. This feature truly does make the Garmin Forerunner 110 one of the best and most powerful GPS enabled running watches on the market at the moment.
Garmin Forerunner 110 – Garmin Connect
One of the best features of the Garmin Forerunner 110 is the ability to use Garmin’s Connect web portal to record and view all of your training data. It is this feature that makes a Garmin GPS watch much better value for money than any other GPS watch brand, and when used correctly is a powerful training tool that will help you accomplish your training goals (that is after all why we buy these gadgets isn’t it!?)
All of that lovely GPS recorded data that the Forerunner 110 collects doesn’t have to stay in summary form on your watch (although the large inbuilt memory of the Forerunner 110 does allow it to store up to 180 hours of data). You can connect the watch up to your computer and upload your runs straight to Garmin’s powerful and easy to use online training platform called ‘Garmin Connect’ Once uploaded you can break down each run into individual seconds and using a variety of maps and charts you can analyse every part of your run and amongst many other things, see just how fast you were going at exactly what point in time over the duration of your run.
The Garmin Connect platform uses the GPS data recorded from the Forerunner 110 to plot exactly where you ran onto a Google map so that you can see exactly where you ran – Great for fell runners, ultra runners, or even cross country skiers who like to run off piste and explore a bit!
Once recorded on the Garmin Connect portal your runs in their summary form (map, distance, speed, calories etc) can be renamed at whim and shared across the Garmin website, sent by email or even embedded into your own blog, allowing your friends and training partners to keep track of your training progress. Using the Garmin Connect portal, you can search for runs around the globe and let other people find your running routes, meaning that you will never be short of new runs to try out in your area or anywhere that you visit.
The Garmin Connect portal also collates all of your runs and lets you keep track of your total mileage and distance, as well as giving you averages for things like speed, distance, calories burned and heart rate across different weeks, months and even years, allowing you to track your progress over long periods of time. You can also set up your own personalised goals on the website ( eg to run 100 miles in one month), and every new run you complete and upload to Garmin My Connect is recorded and contributes to your target – displayed as a handy ‘percentage done’ statistic.
The Gamin Forerunner 110 is a multi sport GPS enabled watch and as such has a handy feature that allows you to categorise your various activities once they are uploaded to the Garmin My Connect, allowing you to keep track of all your various training types, whether this be just different types of running (e.g. training VS race, or Road VS Fell), cycling or as I have already mentioned, even skiing (I haven’t tried that one out yet though!). I split my runs up into ‘long’ and ‘short’ runs and that way I can track my average speed in these two different training sessions so that I can see if I am actually getting faster as my training progresses.
For more information on the capabilities of the Garmin Forerunner 110 when combined with Garmin Connect, see the Garmin Website.
Garmin Forerunner 110 Look and Feel
At a lightweight 52 grams, the Forerunner 110 sits virtually unnoticed on the wrist and is much more slimline than the Garmin Forerunner 405 or the 305. It can even can pass for a normal sport watch if it needs to and wouldn’t look out of place at the office if you had to wear it to work (it does by the way also even tell the time!).
The watch is very comfortable to wear and unlike some other sports watches that I have used, it doesn’t start to chafe or irritate my wrist the moment I start sweating, and I barely notice that it is on my wrist.
Garmin Forerunner 110 Water Resistance Information
Although the watch isn’t meant for prolonged use in the swimming pool, its rating of IPX7 means that it can be submerged for up to 1m of water for 30minutes and is definitely water resistant enough to survive any tropical storm that you might want to run through! Also, as it doesn’t have the heat activated touch bezel controls like the Forerunner 405 (think of the Apple Ipod controls), it doesn’t have that added problem of being unresponsive in the freezing cold or rain, giving it one over on the 405.
Garmin Forerunner 110 Battery Life
I have been using the Forerunner 110 for a month now so have a good idea of what its battery life is like. If I just use the watch for running five times a week then the battery lasts for about a week also. It is however to turn the GPS receiver off in-between runs (power save mode) which makes the Forerunner 110 revert to a standard sports watch and virtually doubles its battery life.
Charging the Forerunner 110 is done using the provided mains adapter and takes about 90-120 minutes for a complete charge.
Garmin Forerunner 110 Price and Where to Buy
The Garmin Forerunner 110 is not only the latest bit of high performance kit in a long and very successful line of GPS enabled running watches, but it also represents the best value for money GPS enabled running watch from Garmin as it gives you all the essential training tools that you need without the hefty price tag of previous models.
The cheapest place to buy the Garmin Forerunner 110 is online from Amazon (where I bought mine from), which you can navigate straight to using one of the links below.
Daniel over at Runners Passion has written a Garmin Forerunner 110 Review which offers some great insights into his experiences whilst using the watch, including how he finds it a great improvement on the Forerunner 101 and how to reset the watch if it freezes.
Run4it.com are now stocking the 110 and have posted several Garmin video’s showcasing the watch
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