For years, I ran on and off. I’d run for a few weeks, and then the runs would dry up. I had no specific goal, nothing to aim at. It was more or less the same with cycling, and this is how I would keep fit between the two.
As the family grew, I wanted to get out and about more, to balance the stresses of life with some time hitting the pavement or cycling far out along the coast. And so I bought a sports watch to start tracking those runs and rides.
A Suunto watch was my first venture, and my interest was piqued by the statistics that the watch would throw back at you. This naturally led to starting a Strava account as a place to put those runs, and the rest began to build up from there.
But my interest level took off when I traded in that Suunto for a Garmin Forerunner 255. At this point, I was in my early 50s and wished I’d started years before, with time and an increased fitness level on my side.
The Suunto was OK, but big, old and clunky. The Garmin caught my eye because it had more features, a colour screen and a better heart rate monitor built into the watch. The Suunto didn’t have that. Instead, it relied on a heart rate monitor strap. This might have made it more accurate, but I found that the strap caused itchiness while wearing it and for hours afterwards. So I was looking for a watch with a built-in heart rate monitor.
Cue the Garmin Forerunner update in 2021, and with lockdowns happening on and off and me running way more than I had before, I decided to jump ship and buy the Garmin. From the off, I realised that the Garmin is hands down one of the best sports watches out there—especially the Garmin Connect App. I had bought the Strava premium app, but as soon as I saw Garmin Connect, I ditched the subscription and got all the details on the data from Garmin Connect.
So, hands down, Garmin helped get me out more, not just running and cycling, but walking and hiking. Strava helped me connect with friends; no doubt, seeing my friends out and about helps keep me motivated to go out. Then, the monthly challenges also help keep the motivation high. All of which beats keeping score with a notepad and pencil!