Oatmeal Runner Reviews...Garmin Forerunner 25

Garmin Forerunner 25

Back in mid-December, my Polar running watch decided to stop syncing via the computer. One of the pins got bent and although it would charge, no matter what Mike did he couldn’t fix the bent pin. It was out of warranty and even though it charged, it wouldn’t be getting any of the updates pushed out to it. Since I had extra money, I decided to go back to Garmin and get a new running watch.

My first running watch was a Garmin Forerunner 15 and while I loved it, I really liked the activity tracking features of my Polar watch. Luckily, the Forerunner 25 was a good price for including activity and sleep tracking. Now that I’ve been using it for almost two months, I wanted to give a quick review of the Garmin Forerunner 25.

Wearing the Forerunner 25

I love the size of my Garmin! I bought the small size and it’s perfect. Many times, when watches have just one size, they are gigantic on my wrist. So I was very excited that there was both a small and large size for the Forerunner 25. I wear it almost 24/7 and rarely even realize I’m wearing it.

Garmin Forerunner 25

One downside is the buttons. Since they protrude from the sides, I occasionally press one on accident when I’m wearing longer sleeves or if I move my hand in a certain way. Usually it’s the “Start Run” button which if I’m not running doesn’t cause too many problems. But, I have accidently pressed that button while running this winter which pauses my run (sometimes without me realizing it).

Another downside is that anytime you press a button, the screen lights up. Which isn’t a huge problem but it’s annoying that I can’t turn this off at all. Rarely do I need the light to see the screen so it doesn’t make sense that it always lights up when a button is hit.

Running Features

There are several modes you can turn on while out for a run with the Forerunner 25 but I have not tried them out yet. They are:

  • Virtual Pacer: compares your current pace to a target pace

  • Run/Walk: set intervals for run/walking

  • Time: run for a specific amount of time

  • Distance: run for specific distance

  • Calories: run for a specific amount of calories burned

Once it gets warmer outside (and I’m not wearing long sleeves), I will be trying out the virtual pacer for my pace runs. But it doesn’t really help me to use this mode when I can’t see if I’m ahead or being my target pace. The other modes, I don’t have much of a use for right now since I prefer to just go out on my run and not have to set up anything extra.

I love that not only does this have GPS tracking, there is also an indoor mode to track treadmill runs. I’ve been using this mode a lto and find it’s pretty accurate compared to my GPS runs based on feel. The accuracy also gets better with the more you use the GPS mode since it is self-calibrating. Which has made me realize how off the treadmills I use at the gym can be….

Garmin Forerunner 25 treadmill

You can also set up two data field screens to look at on the run with a variety of data fields available:

  • Timer

  • Pace/Speed

  • Calories

  • Lap Time

  • Lap Distance

  • Lap Pace

  • Average Pace/Speed

Currently, I only look at one data page and it is set up to show: Timer, Distance and Average Pace. I also have it set to mark a lap every mile but I haven’t been looking how the lap pace/time feature works since I’m not able to easily look at my watch under my layers.

Activity and Sleep Tracking

One of my must-have features for a running watch is all-day activity tracking. I found that it’s much more motivating to get movement in through the day if I can see how much I’ve already done. Plus, move alerts (no matter how annoying they might be) keeps me from sitting for hours in front of the computer without getting at least a little bit of activity in.

I also like that the Forerunner 25 tracks my sleep. Like I said before, it doesn’t bother me to wear it while sleeping so it’s nice to see not only how long I sleep but if I had a restful night or not. The only downside is that sometimes my watch thinks I’m sleeping when I charge it later during the day. Plus, while there is a sleep goal you cannot change it from 8 hours. Unless it’s a weekday or I have the day off from work, there is no way I’m sleeping 8 hours or more.

Garmin Connect

Garmin Connect App

I love the Garmin Connect app. Not only can I sync my watch via Bluetooth with the app but it’s so simple to find information at a glance. I get a look at the previous day’s activity, the last week’s activity and my running stats for the week. I can’t wait to starting running in a new pair of shoes because I can track shoe mileage too!

Do you run with a Garmin watch? Let me know what it is and what some of your favorite feature(s) are in the comments!