Apple Watch vs. Garmin Forerunner

Which is the better watch for every day and for running?

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It is well documented how much I love my Garmin watches — I’ve had 4 in the last 12 years and have been happy with all of them. I do get a good giggle out of pics of my first one (the 305 model) because it was like a small computer on my wrist but oh how I loved that watch. It was with me through all my best running days.

It only got replaced because the battery died and would no longer charge. One of the saddest days for sure. For the last two years, I’ve had the Garmin Forerunner 235 Music and it’s been fantastic. I haven’t just used it as a running watch but an every day watch.

I got an award at work and one of the options was an Apple Watch. I’d looked at them before but had no need to spend $300+ on a new watch — but for free, I figured I could try it out. I’ve had it for a few weeks now and am happy with it though definitely still figuring it out.

I thought at first that it wasn’t tracking my pace correctly but then I realized I was running with Mo and he really is slowing me down by 60-90 seconds per mile. How did I figure this out? Well I wore both watches on a run, of course!

They were actually pretty spot on when it came to distance and pace. I also didn’t have Mo with me so I was a little faster. I do think there are pros and cons for both watches but maybe not enough to keep two watches.

My Garmin has a lot of features — more than I’ve ever used — but I love the training functionality, especially for intervals, I love that it tracks my steps and sleep, it’s user friendly with its buttons and prompts. The battery life is amazing — like 5-7 days without a charge and multiple activities. For cons, it’s a little clunkier looking than the Apple Watch. It can receive texts but not respond. On multiple occasions, I’ve accidentally made it start counting down to call emergency services — not sure if that’s a pro or con that it’s so easy to make happen.

For the Apple Watch, it has a sleeker design and works well as an every day watch. I love that I can respond to texts and even answer calls with it. It doesn’t have all the running-related bells and whistles that the Garmin does but for just tracking a run, it’s great. I wish they could communicate and I could track all my steps/sleep/workouts for the day if I wanted to swap watches depending on activity but I’ve found myself defaulting to my Apple Watch. The battery life is awful and it needs to be charged just about every day. I do love that the Apple Watch syncs with my peloton. But think I’ll switch back to the Garmin when I’m actually training for a race.

Speaking of races, I’m signed up for my first in-person race in 2.5 years. my friend Virginia and I are running a turkey trot on Thanksgiving. I’ll be wearing a mask (and only one watch!) because crowds still make me a little itchy but looking forward to a ‘normal’ Thanksgiving activity.

Do you have a watch preference between these two brands or a different one you just love??

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