The appeal of a Garmin running watch

Training like an athlete

On conspicuous consumption

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It has been around a month since I purchased the Garmin Forerunner 245, the mid-tier running-focussed smartwatch in their range. While it has not been as revolutionary in my life in the way the purchase of noise-cancelling headphones have been, they have been quite a delightful surprise. My motivation for buying them was the fact that I had been running everyday across two months and desired a heart rate sensor. I am grateful to say that I got more than I could have ever hoped.

What surprised me the most is how often I delve into the Garmin Connect app to look at the various statistics available. Running, sleeping, breathing, stress, heart rate. There is such a wealth of data that makes any number-loves freak; as graduate in statistics, I got hooked almost instantly. Seeing the improvements in these numbers is such a gratifying feeling. It is similar to playing a video game, where over the course of the story, you see your character get better. Funny how something as inconspicuous as a smartwatch can offer so much.

The Garmin can do all this in such an understated form factor. This was my biggest gripe with other smartwatches, it is that they were big, heavy, and unappealing in many situations. My Garmin, however, honestly looks like an analogue watch. The black colourway makes it versatile enough that I would be comfortable wearing it for a formal occasion. The weight is what surprised me the most, coming it at 40 grams, it is feather weight. I have gotten to the point now where I know forget I am wearing it. This is not a feeling I have had with any other watches before, smart or analogue. What takes the cake is that it can comfortably hold charge for 5-7 days. There is nothing more I could ask of it.

The value, I realise now, is not that I will be able to track my running more comprehensively, but rather it has made the idea of running into such a fun outlet. Before, running was a means to an end, to get fitter and shed some weight, now it’s to truly enjoy it.

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