Sending out a GPS- Garmin, Polar or Suunto? Help!

Sending out a big, fat SOS, Poodles! Or, GPS as it were.

My Garmin died.
Sweet Dreams, Garmin Forerunner 410. It’s been real.

The party is over for her.We had a good time, she and I. But she’s gone to that place where she’s always charged and her satellites are always found. 


I’m running Marine Corps Marathon in 3 stinking weeks and my Garmin shit the bed. There’s a part of me that truly could care less. Much like how I’ve felt about my training as of late. Is it over, yet?!?! Gah. However there is a MUCH BIGGER part of me that ABSOLUTELY CARES WITH EVERY FIBER OF HER EXHAUSTED BEING! I’ve been training with Hansons’ Marathon Method and let’s just say that I’m plum tuckered. I can’t wait to run this marathon. Mostly so I can sit my tired can down and relax for a hot minute. 

I had my “peak week” last week. And after 63 miles, two crying fits and a case of pink eye later, I’m ready to wrap this puppy up. And then of course, My Garmin bit it which was simply the cherry on top of a Shit Sundae. You know how it goes. The hysterical exhausted break down that occurs roughly 4 weeks out? It’s awful. Add Dead Garmin and conjunctivitis and it becomes catastrophic. Onto the real question, Dear Readers. What kind of GPS am I getting? I’m just starting to look around, read blogs and reviews and get my act together. I know I don’t want one that will require a Ph.D in programming from MIT simply to turn on. Let’s keep it kinda simple, semi feature loaded and easy to upload. If it can yell obscenity laced cheers at me, all the better. 

So. Whatcha running with, Poodles? Help! 


32 thoughts on “Sending out a GPS- Garmin, Polar or Suunto? Help!

  1. FR235 love it, works great, easy to use. And, I was very skeptical before I got it…but if you need detailed reviews go check out dc rainmaker.

  2. My ForeRunner 225 died just over a month ago and I used my old FR15 for a bit and was considering buying a FR 235 as 50in50marathonquest suggests, but then decided to try the new Apple Watch with GPS.

    Thoughts on Apple Watch – it does a decent job … but I wouldn’t recommend it as a running watch to compete with the Garmin. It is accurate, but I miss that data rich environment of getting my heart rate with granularity throughout my run.

    So I would suggest grabbing the FR235 as suggested – the platform is one that has been solid and refined through the last few years, the wrist based heart rate works really well, and the software has stabilized and has loads of features.

    One other reason to stick with Garmin is that if it is good about grabbing satellites in you area, you will continue to have success. I had a TomTom several years ago (the Nike branded watch), and it was terribly slow getting signal for me, whereas I have friends who have great luck.

    • The Apple watch had crossed my mind too! Thank you for your input! I am leaning towards Garmin simply because I have had one for so many years, I’d hate to loose my data. At least all of my data would remain. Silly maybe. But I like to see how far I’ve come! Right now the FR235 is at the top of the list. In reading about the features my old Garmin seems like a dinosaur! I guess it was time! Thanks again for your input! I value it!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. CAnt believe no one has mentioned that if you stay in the Garmin family you save your training data as long as you’ve been using garmin connect.

    My old forerunner SUCKED. It could never find the good damn satellite or whatever. I think mine was blind and deaf or something. Anyway after 6 mos of that shit, I upgraded to the 235. Can I get a ” What What” James from 50in50 and txa1265? Like you I don’t nearly use all the capabilities and I sweat it a little bit but you can also just strap it on your wrist and go. It works the same as your old one… with a thousand more capabilities too…

  4. Garmin FR235 is my watch. LOVE IT! I thought it was a pricey splurge to have the connectivity to my messages and texts on my phone, but that feature has proved to be very valuable several times now. I can’t think of anything bad to say about it! Love how it syncs automatically when I’m done running. No more screwing with cables!
    What watch were you using (the one that died)?

    • I read that about the texts and messages. That is so cool! What I am loving most is the automatic sync when you’re done- sans fobs or cables. BIG SELLER. I have an old FR410. She’s done. She quit last week. She had been limping along, but alas she finally went. I found her clunky from the get go. But after hearing and reading reviews of the FR235- that might be my new baby!

  5. Another Garmin lover. I have the Fenix3 which has so much I don’t use but like the 235 I love that it connects to my phone and I *never* miss a text or phone call when Ben travels (which is my death–I legit cry when I miss his call).

  6. I have the Forerunner 301xT. That is probably a zillion models ago, but that is what I have. I like it except when I hate it, which is when it is telling me that I ran too slow or only ran half as far as I felt like I did. I’m sure it has features, but I stick to basics. It’s nice to have bike mode, even though I have one of those thingies on my handlebar (strava?).
    It is nice to look back at data sometimes and think damn, I have run a lot.

    • He’s talking me in to getting one for cycling too. I just bought him one for cycling that synchs with his phone. It’s so damn cool. I literally use mine to see pace, distance, time. Partly because that’s all I had been interested in and all I could figure out! They’ve come a long way since my old one!

  7. I run with the forerunner 220 and I love that it has auto pause for when I’m stuck at lights! Actually bought it at a marathon expo when I left my forerunner 10 at home ๐Ÿ˜‘ love it though, new favorite

  8. Garmin rhymes with Charmin so I say ditch any thing that connects with satellites and possibly alien space craft. Take a magic marker and write ” Run Fast” on your wrist where the watch would have been. Maybe a smiley face too. Good Luck in DC

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