Just in time for the holidays, Garmin is releasing three updated versions of it's most popular GPS watches, the Forerunner 230, Forerunner 235, and Forerunner 630. With some pretty cool updated features, if you're a fan of Garmin looking to update your existing watch, here's the scoop on whats new in each watch. We anticipate inventory becoming available for purchase late October to early November.
The 230 also comes standard with the option buy a chest strap based heart rate monitor (sold separately), but differs from the 225 in that it has GPS + GLONASS technology built in. This advanced GPS stand for for Global Navigation Satellite System, and is a Russian satellite-based navigation system that works in conjunction with GPS technology o provide position information to compatible devices. Essentially this means that the GPS information on your watch is more accurate. Other key differences between the 225 and 230 include a longer battery life (12 hours), audio prompts, and a 44% bigger screen which is much easier to read on the run.
The primary difference between the 230 and 235 is that the 235 features wrist based heart rate monitoring, meaning there's no need for chest strap based heart rate monitor. On the underside of the watch is a optical sensor which monitors all heart rate data, which is much more convenient than a traditional chest strap. The screen size is also 44% larger than the 225, and also features audio prompts. Just like the 230, it also features graphical heart rate zones, which are easier to read and understand on the run. The 235 also comes standard with GLONASS GPS technology, making the GPS data more accurate.
For runners seeking much more technical data including stride length, physiological measurements, and lactate threshold, the Forerunner 630 is for you. The 630 has just about every advanced feature available on the market today and is ideal for runners wanting as much information about their training as they can possibly get. The 630 has the capability to report on some really cool and interesting data about the user:
- Stride Length- This will measure the length of each stride which correlates to pace. You'll have to review it after your run, but this can be reviewed by logging into Garmin Connect. Data recorded includes how stride length varies pace, cadence, and elevation.
- Lactate Threshold- Lactate Threshold refers to your body's ability to run at a given pace without getting into fatigue or oxygen debt. Going at a pace faster than lactate threshold pace will get your body into oxygen debt and fatigue will quickly set in. For reasonably well trained athletes, lactate threshold occurs typically at approximately 90% of maximum heart rate or at a pace between 10k and half marathon pace. Typically this information was only available by going into a lab and getting a test done, but the 630 provides this information on the watch itself, making it easy to monitor just how fast you should be running your tempo runs and faster paced interval work at.
- Performance Condition- Performance Condition analyzes pace, heart rate, and heart rate variability that provides a real time assessment of your ability. It is given on a scale of -100 to +100 and can be thought of in terms of good day versus bad day effort. In other words if Performance Condition gives you a score of +10, this indicates that you're feeling good, fit, and can anticipate feeling pretty strong on your run. The best thing about this is that you can monitor it real time on the run as a data field.