Guest Post – All about the Garmin Forerunner 220

Drum roll please! Today I want to welcome Lesli from Fit & Happy. I had the pleasure of meeting Lesli at Boom Boom Athletica’s launch show earlier this year and I love her! As I am a complete beginner when it comes to fitness trackers, I have asked her to talk all about her Garmin Forerunner 220. Enjoy! !unnamed

A couple of weeks ago I decide to splurge on a new GPS watch and when it arrived it literally had me jumping around with excitement.

I’ve had a Garmin Forerunner 210 for two years now and it’s been with me through a marathon as well as all the training — so I’m pretty loyal to the brand and it’s been a great little watch. Nothing too fancy (I opted for the version without a heart rate monitor and never invested in the foot pod), just a good solid GPS watch. Or so I thought.

One thing that always bothered me about the 210 was how long it took to pick up satellite. There were times when I did a 5-minute warm-up and was another 5 minutes into my run before it registered my location, pace and anything else GPS-related. Super annoying, especially when my phone could get the same satellite connection in less than 30 seconds.

So I had been reading and lusting and drooling over the newer Forerunner 220 for a while now and, with a 10k and half marathon in my goals for the next six months (and the added bonus of a discount on the watch on Wiggle), I finally took the plunge.

And it’s SO PRETTY.

Okay, sorry, girly lapse ;o) It’s pretty AND an awesome piece of tech, too.

Look & Feel

The first and most noticeable difference is the colour options available (black & red or purple & white) and that the screen is a colour display and larger than the old model. Although the screen is bigger, it’s got a lower profile on the wrist and the strap is more flexible so it actually sits a bit more nicely to my arm than the older model.

Getting Going

Once you get into the menus, it’s pretty easy to navigate, especially if you’re familiar with the Garmin set-up, but even if you’re used to a different brand it’s very intuitive. The Quick Start guide literally reads ‘1. Charge device 2. Put on optional HRM 3. Go for a run’. Gotta love something that amazingly simple!

So, with a little playing around, I got my details into it, the right settings (I’m a km girl–why must everything be in miles?!) and was off on my first 5k.

All the Awesomeness

The best thing about the 220 was the fast GPS pick up. I was out of the house less than a minute when it had found the satellites and, afterwards when I was playing around with the watch indoors, it managed to find the signal in a matter of seconds. Huge plus vs the 210.

The next best thing was the alerts. The sounds and vibrations were WAY more noticeable than with the 210. Even if I was running with headphones or on a busy road, I would’ve noticed the vibration at least, which to me is a great new feature that the 210 didn’t have.


The model I bought came with the HRM, which I didn’t have on my old model. The band is comfortable and very adjustable, though it takes a little playing around to get the size right. I tried it on runs and it’s easy to use, and linked up right away without having to press any buttons or do anything at all. Then, just for fun, I used it without the GPS while doing yoga one evening and during a spin class.  It told me I burned 73 calories in 30 mins of light yoga and 347 calories in a spin class. Are either of those good? Is there a point to measuring your HR during yoga? Who knows, but it was totally fun to play around with and know the stats for my various activities!

Other Stuff 

The watch also syncs up with Garmin Connect, their web interface that the old watch also used, so I can just keep updating the same account with new stats. There’s also a phone app which you can sync to by Bluetooth, something I’ll play around with when I have a bit more time (and memory space on my poor ol’ phone!).

Overall, I’m SO happy with my upgrade and can’t wait to get more runs under my belt with this little guy. It may be my favourite new fitness investment of the year.


Hi! I’m Lesli and I blog over on fit & happy about all things health & fitness. I’m a marketer by day and a fitness, health, wine & baking obsessive the rest of the time. Hope you’ll stop by sometime! 

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