**Garmin has no idea who I am. They did not provide me with this watch for my honest opinions. I just purchased this watch on my own because I needed a new one, and wanted to share my thoughts.
If you followed for my any length of time here, on Instagram or even on Facebook, you may have seen way back from consistent running days that I have a Garmin Forerunner 305 as my main running watch. I don’t hate it but it was a bit on the bulky side for my wrist, and with summer just around the corner, I have really been wanting one for swimming. I have no plans on completing a triathlon anytime soon, but it is definitely on my bucket list. But first, I need to build my running base back up. OK, I need to build a base for all three sports but that’s besides the point. One step at a time, right?
As much as I love my Garmin Forerunner 305 for my runs and bike rides, I just can’t take that thing in the water and if I really do want to want to complete a triathlon, I need to not only build a swiming base, but I really need to see where I am, so I know how to train and improve. With most of my swims will be at the lake this summer, I’ll really be at loss for my distance and speed. Guessing both of those isn’t really the best decision for training.
It’s trying to gauge my fitness levels in swimming, that started my search for a multisport watch. Already loving my current watch, I headed straight to the Garmin website to check out their options. I immediately noticed that many of the multisport watches were out of my price range, but I didn’t need it right away. At the start of my search, we were still seeing snow flurries. Let’s be honest, actually swimming in the lake will not be happening until at least June.
One of the watches that really caughht my eye was the Garmin VivoActive Smart Watch. It appeared to have a smaller face, contained the three sports I wanted (running, biking and swimming) and a few extras such as walking, Indoor (awesome feature for my treadmill runs) and Golf (you know in case this below average mini-golfer ever wants to try the real thing).
After researching some online reviews and then heading to Facebook to ask some trusty women in some fantastic Facebook groups their opinions on the watch, I knew this was the one for me. At $219.99 for the watch without the Heart Rate monitor, I knew it was out of my budget to buy right away but was totally going to happen before June. I even might be able to swing the extra for the Heart Rate bundle and get the chest strap too.
I continued looking around for better deals on this watch and found Amazon sells it cheaper, which I find to be true most of the time anyway. But I still wasn’t ready, and my husband said no. He said I either need to wait till June or find it even cheaper.
Ebay was my next stop. I found plenty of the watches but many of the ones I found were running about the same price as Amazon. I was lucky enough to find a few and lost every Auction I tried. I finally started searching for misspellings and found the watch with only one bid. I won’t lie, I added that sucker to my Watch List and then stalked it for two days. Finally right before it ended, I made my move and won!!
When the watch arrived, I opened the box and to my surprise, it came with the heart rate monitor, which was not mentioned by the seller, so for $100, I got a new watch and heart rate monitor and saved $170!!!
I’ve had the watch for a few weeks now, and I love it! It’s not nearly as bulky on my wrist as my Forerunner, I can synchronize my phone notifications on it, find my phone if I lose it, can add other fitness related apps, such as a hiking up, which is great sonce we live just a few miles from the Appalachain Trail, and even change the watch face.
So far, I have only used it for running, but it worked perfectly. Syncing the notifications was really nice, especially since I’m still working on the C25K program. Not that I forget which are run and which are walk portions, I do sometimes forget how long they are each. With my notifications form my phone synced to my watch, when the notification from the phone goes off telling me what my next interval is, my watch vibrates and displays the exact notification so I can see how long it is.I can also change the music I am listening to from my watch as well. I never hated looking at my phone, which is strapped to my arm, but it still can be a pain. With my watch, I don’t have to look at my phone. I just set everything up on my phone and my watch will be there for me.
I also wore this watch when we spent the day exploring New York City. It caught almost all 29,000 steps and synced directly to the Garmin app. I have been wearing my Fitbit for comparison and one con I had noticed is that if you don’t swing your arms when you walk, it sometimes won’t register steps. People naturally swing their arms a little when they walk and run but if you’re holding something in the arm that your watch is on, you may not be swinging your arms and it calculate those steps. This only happened to me when I was holding bigger items, or a child. You tend to hold them close to your chest for better balance and grip and so your arms don’t move. Other than that, I have no complaints.
I’ll try to remember to come back and give you my thoughts on how the watch performs after my first bike ride and swim, but I’m confident they’ll do just fine. Now if only the nice weather can stay. I’m ready for some leaves on the trees (which are slowly starting to turn up) and beautiful days outside.
Do you have the Garmin Vivoactive? What is your favorite running watch or app? What do you use for other sports?