Garmin strikes again with what might very well be one of the best sports watches out there. For the distance runner—and I am one—it packs it all. Sure, the usual suspects are included: The Garmin tracks speed, pace, time, distance, and heart rate. But it gets interesting with a few new features, such as a foot pod that calculates ground-contact time and vertical oscillation. These are probably the two most overlooked aspects of running by most amateur runners.
Of course, this is nothing like a professional high-speed camera set on a treadmill—where you can analyze every bit of your movement and correct it all to near perfection—but this gives us the tools to make better and more efficient strides. Garmin also packed a VO2Max estimator into it. While this is, again, not up to par with a real VO2Max test, you can easily use this feature to track your fitness progress.
It doesn’t stop there; there is also a swim mode where the watch will display pace, speed, and stroke count. The watch also sports features borrowed from the Foretrex series, such as a compass, ability to mark waypoints, and an altimeter that keeps track of, well, the altitude.