Garmin Forerunner 235 Review

img_4374As promised, here is my review of the Garmin Forerunner 235, albeit not as comprehensive since I no longer own the watch. Josh pre-ordered me the Forerunner 235 from Amazon and it finally came just in time for our trip to Florida in the middle of December so I can test it out for some outdoor running before bringing it on the treadmill back up north. I love my Forerunner 220 but when I saw the Frost Blue colored strap, activity tracking, and notifications all in one device, it was hard for me to say no to this present.

img_4376While in Florida, I wore the watch as an activity tracker (instead of the Garmin Vivosmart HR) for 3 of the days we were there. This meant I wore the watch all day except for when I was sleeping. While the watch is like that of the Vivosmart HR where it could track sleep, the idea of wearing something that large on my wrist to sleep was odd to me. While back home, I wore the watch only for running.

—I absolutely loved the black face with frost blue strap. The strap was also a little more comfortable than that of the Forerunner 220 (though it has never irritated my wrist before). I think it might be due to the extra holes in the strap that allow for a more flexible fit.
—I generally love all the data, stats, and notifications from my Garmin Vivosmart HR, so having a watch (meaning I only needed to wear only one device) with a bigger face to track all of this was even better!
—It was so much easier reading notifications (i.e. text messages or other alerts you set up on the phone) on the watch due to the larger face.
img_4372—The menu of the watch was very similar to that of the Forerunner 220 and Vivosmart HR so it was fairly easy to get the watch set up.
—There are more running features to this watch than that of the Forerunner 220. Not only can it track heart rate, it has a VO2 max estimator, recovery advisor, and race predictor all of which are not on the Forerunner 220. There is also the accelerometer, cadence tracker, and storage of personal records similar to that of the Forerunner 220.
—The watch similar to that of the Forerunner 220 and Vivosmart HR can wirelessly sync with Garmin Connect. This allows for easy access to all the data from the app right on your phone.

—Heart rate monitor did not work as well as the Vivosmart HR one. The main reason I didn’t like the new Forerunner 235 is because the active heart rate was off. When I was running a very easy, slow-paced 3-mile run, it said my escalated to 191 bpm and average was around 170. This I knew was wrong based on feel and the Vivosmart HR. Typically my heart rate has been around 130-140 for easy runs based on the Vivosmart HR. At one point, I decided to wear both on different arms though and the resting heart rate was almost exact but the active heart rate was very different on the Forerunner 235. I tried the watch out on multiple runs during the week I had it and every time it showed my heart rate went above 190 bpm for very easy runs. When the heart rate is wrong, it also affects the recovery advisor which then said I needed to rest for 5 days after a 3 mile easy run?!
—I would prefer to wear an all-in-one device meaning watch and activity tracker, it doesn’t have to be a GPS watch but if it were it would be an added benefit. That is the reason I really liked the Forerunner 235 when I read about its launch. However, this watch was just too bulky and the color scheme was not neutral enough (I know the black/gray one would be better but I would still prefer something more plain watch-like) for me to wear around all day and to work.

img_4373All in all, the cost of the Forerunner 235 at the higher price of $329.99 was not worth it due to the some of the issues I experienced with heart rate monitor. In a lot of the forums I read this was a common complaint but for some it seemed to resolve itself. I ended up returning the watch after a week and perhaps didn’t allow the time it needed to adjust. In my case, I already had a GPS watch I really liked (Forerunner 220) and an activity tracker that tracked heart rate (Vivosmart HR) that it didn’t make sense for me to keep this one. Though with all the new features with notifications and activity tracking, I am starting to consider the new version of the Apple Watch (hopefully it comes out soon, I don’t have much patience!).


Friday Favorites #2

It’s that time of week again. At the rate I blog, you’ll only be reading Friday Favorites from me. I’m sorry and hopefully I will be over this busy hump soon.

Like the blanket and the yoga blocks on the lower shelf?

Like the blanket and the yoga blocks on the lower shelf?

My nook – that’s what I call it. It’s my little corner of the apartment (well, I have a lot of corners) but the one I designed to intentionally look intellectual. I’m supposed to sit there and read in my free time. Haha, what free time? Anyway, I don’t have a desk at home, so when my small piles of clutter started taking up room on the kitchen counter and Josh started nagging (it takes him a while to get to that point), I knew I had to find a way to organize. Enter this new rolling shelf from CB2 which will hopefully be versatile piece and cool new containers from The Container Store. I love my little corner even more now.

I really should have included a picture of me wearing them, huh?

I really should have included a picture of me wearing them, huh?

Cole Haan Oxford Shoes – I’m so excited that the weather warming up means I can wear these shoes more. I’m having one of those weeks and just wearing these shoes to work one day changed my attitude. They feel like I’m wearing running sneakers so I can’t help but feel peppy!

If you look here:, you'll see pictures of me wearing this!

If you look here:, you’ll see pictures of me wearing this!

CamelBak Circuit Hydration Vest – I survived my 20-miler on Sunday because of this vest. I really hate running with water in my hand and in the winter with all the layers, I’m not a fan of the belts either. This vest is perfect. It fits snug and I was able to carry more water than I would normally with a fuel belt. I barely feel the weight on my back as it is equally distributed. Also, I don’t need to stop to drink water. The only problem is what I will do during the actual race, but supposedly running with extra weight on your back for long runs = feeling lighter during the race and makes you go faster. Hey, whatever it takes for me to run faster right?

Apple and Christy Turlington Burns – Okay, so I’m in love with basically everything Apple announced on Monday but I guess that was to be expected, they just have that effect on me. But the biggest announcement that excited me was that Christy Turlington Burns was running the London Marathon with her Apple watch and her goal time is my goal time! I’m trying to convince Josh that in order for me to run sub-4 in London, I’ll need an Apple watch, though I’m not sure he’s convinced and rightfully so because I’m not convinced that the new watch is a better substitute for my Garmin. Regardless, I’m just excited the London Marathon was a part of the big announcement at the event.

"The lights will inspire you Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York"

“The lights will inspire you Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York”

Central Park – the weather has been warming up in the New York / New Jersey area. I haven’t run on a treadmill in over a week (well I lied, until last night when I was scared of the wind, the warmer weather really spoils you) and it’s helping me fall in love with Central Park all over again. After work is a perfect time in the park, there are no cars and lots of runners everywhere. When it gets dark, you can see all the bright lights. Also, I can run in just one layer. Man, I feel so free.

Cheering for friends during the NYC Half – I’m bummed that I won’t be able to cheer for everyone live from the race but excited to have the app ready to go for Sunday morning. This is one of the first years that the weather for the half won’t be freezing (crossing my fingers for everyone). I loved every minute of the race when I ran it and looking forward to hearing all about everyone’s experiences.

#TBT (though it's not Thursday) to the 2013 NYC Half

#TBT (though it’s not Thursday) to the 2013 NYC Half

Interesting reads from the weekNew models are challenging the traditional structure of a pyramid training plan and 12 Signs You’re Sick of Winter (I’m guilty of 10 of the 12)

Happy Friday everyone! Have a wonderful weekend and good luck to everyone racing this weekend!