The Garmin Forerunner 210 was released by Garmin towards the end of 2010. This was an eagerly awaited new model. With the Garmin 210, Garmin decided to maintain some features which are essential to runners while at the same time eliminating some functions which were nice to have but were not absolutely necessary and only added to the price. I am referring to the training partner function and the wireless technology.

Quick Summary

Water resistance the 210 is not designed to be a swimmer's watch, but it does have a 1m water resistance rating.

The Garmin 210 has a huge number of functions and with the heart rate Monitor it can track HR, calories, distance, time, average pace, current pace, elevation, best pace

Great interval training function with alerts

Compatible with Garmin Connect so that you can upload and view all of your data including a Google map of your runs as well as everything else.

Incorporates the "HotFix" technology for quickly locking on to satellites.

Nice looking watch, which can be worn for everyday use.

Rechargeable battery which under "normal" training circumstances should hold enough power for 5 to 7 days use. This model also has a power saving function.

Can be used indoors with the footpod ( optional )

Rating: ★★★★☆ 


Garmin's "HotFix" Technology

Garmin has made a name for itself with their GPS systems. For runners the Garmin GPS incorporated in the Forerunner watches has become so popular that I noticed in a recent half marathon that practically the whole range of Forerunner sports watches were visible on the runners around me. With the Garmin 210 the GPS receiver has Garmin's trademarked "HotFix" technology which is available in several models now.

The beauty of "HotFix" is that it has been designed to allow the receiver to hunt, find and lock on to satellites extremely quickly. It has also been designed to maintain the connection for much longer periods of time, thereby adding to the reliability and accuracy of the running and training information.

The other great thing about the receiver technology in the 210 is it's ability to find satellites quickly. One of the members of my running group has a 210 and we tried it out in several different locations. On one run we ran through a fairly heavily forested area. We could still see sky above us and the 210 had no trouble staying locked on the satellites. We then ran down to the local high school, ran through one door into the gym and out another on the other side. The watch picked up the satellite almost immediately after we emerged from the building. The time it took to lock on was less than 10 seconds.

For anyone who runs indoors, for example our recreation centre was renovated a couple of years ago and they put in an indoor track, it is possible to purchase an optional footpod for the 210. This will look after any issues related to keeping track of distance etc. when you run inside.

Pace Functions and Intervals

Some of the other features of the 210 are particularly useful. The ones that I think are really valuable are the average pace, current pace and of course the distance and time tracking ability.

The current pace feature is a great function because you can keep an eye on it to determine whether or not you are on track to finish a run in the desired time. If not, then this function gives you the information you need to pick up the pace. The average pace function gives you your average pace from start to finish. This is a particularly useful feature if you use it consistently.

Using this information can help you to determine whether or not your fitness level is improving. A Distance and Time function is of course something that any self respecting pedometer watch or GPS watch must have. The 210 will also track you individual lap times as well.

If you are someone who incorporates interval training into your workouts you will really like the 210. You can easily set your running distance as well as the rest time between each interval. You are alerted to the fact that you have run the required distance by a beeping alarm and then it rings again to let you know that it is time to run again.

Some other other functions related to the Interval function are, the warm up length, number of intervals as well as a setting for a cool down length.


Heart rate Monitor

The Garmin 210 is available as a stand alone unit or with a Heart rate Monitor. The HR monitor has been improved a great deal. It is lighter and more comfortable to wear and fits much better. Just follow the directions for the placement of the chest strap, and the watch will quickly start to read the data from the monitor.

The Garmin 210 has a calorie counting function which is based on the information regarding your weight which you enter when you first program the watch. The watch uses this as a guide to determine from your heart rate how many calories you are expending. This is a really useful function for anyone trying to lose weight or for anyone running long distances where they may need to refuel during the run.

Similar to several other models the 210 HR monitor also has heart rate alerts. These allow you to set maximum and minimum heart rate levels and the watch will alert you anytime your heart rate is outside either range. If you are a serious runner this is a really useful function for you hard and soft training days.

Garmin Connect Compatible

Several Garmin forerunner sports watches are compatible with Garmin Connect, and the 210 is no exception. If you haven't come across Garmin Connect before then this is a feature which I am sure you will find really useful. I would imagine that it is one of  important reason that has made the these watches so popular with runners. Garmin Connect allows you to transfer your running data from the watch to Garmin connect with the USB cable. As well as helping you to keep track of all kinds of data, Garmin Connect is free. Just watch the video above to get a good review of what is it all about.

Garmin Connect uses Google maps so that after you have uploaded your data you can see exactly where you have run. This is useful if you like to vary your routes. Garmin Connect does not stop there though. When you log on to upload your most recent data you will be able to see your last workout statistics.

These include everything from distance and time, to average pace, calories expended, time, best pace and much more. These are all listed under timing and are easy to read.  It will even give you an elevation readout showing your minimum and maximum elevation as well as the elevation gain and loss.

As well as showing a map and run statistics Garmin Connect also lets you run reports. This allows you to view all of the data related to your runs over any period of time you want. it is a great function which can be used to instead of a log book to give you a host of information. You can easily keep track of total distance covered over a particular time period as well as your calories burned, time and much more.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a reasonably priced GPS watch with a huge range of "bells and whistles" that is easy to use and comfortable to wear the Garmin forerunner 210 is a sports watch to consider.