Garmin is famous for their gps running watches and have recently entered the activity tracking market with their Garmin Forerunner 225 model. So you can have the best of both worlds now. It will function as a regular watching tracking your activity, remind you when you have been sitting too long and also use it to keep track of your pace and time on your runs. Let’s look in more detail and review the pros, cons, benefits and where to get this at the best discount in our review below.
Garmin Forerunner 225 Features & Design
- Color display to show Heart rate zone and beats per minute
- No heart rate strap needed
- Built-in accelerometer – track your distance on a treadmill indoors
- It keeps tracks of running pace and how far you have ran
- Serves as a fitness activity tracker. This will count your steps you walk and your calories spent for the day.
- Can be used with existing garmin heart rate strap if purchased separately.
- Can be used for biking if you have the extra accessories for it.
- 1.3” x 1.9” x 0.6” (287 mm x 48 mm x 16 mm)
- 1.0″ (25.4 mm) diameter
- It will last up to 4 weeks in watch mode
- It can go up to 10 hours in gps mode
- Water resistant up to 50 meters
- Has vibration alerts
- Stores 200 hours of activity data on the watch
You can see a preview of it below in this video:
Garmin Forerunner 225 Benefits
Outside of having built in gps tracking your distance and pace, it has a built in heart rate monitor on the back of the watch face. Garmin uses a technology called Mio Heart Rate Technology. It has a small built in sensor that shoots light into your skin and measures the total amount of light that actually comes back.
As you are working hard, the blood pumping in through your wrist changes slightly for each heart beat. They take this information using a sophisticated algorithm to calculate your heart rate. Man you have to love technology. Who thinks of these things! To ensure this works properly you want the watch snug against your wrist. They designed the watch to seal out any other regular light to ensure it’s calculating it accurately.
Visual Heart Rate Zone Display
Ok, anyone who has done any training using heart rate zones will love this feature. Here is a great example on why. For one type of of training runs I will start out in zone 1 to warm up. Then I will spend time where I’m running in my aerobic zone. For me this would be in the 130-40 bpm. With my old watch I would have to glance down while my arm is swing and try to read the digital numbers representing what my heart rate is. With the forerunner 225 you can glance down and look at a color coded display to tell you what zone you are in. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
Color Coded Heart Rate Zones
Here is what the different colors represent. Garmin uses a standard calculation that is used throughout the fitness industry to calculate your max heart rate by taking 220 minus your current age. Not entirely accurate but it gives you a baseline to go off of.
- Gray is the 50% of your heart max heart rate and is the warm up zone.
- Blue is 60% of MHR
- Green is 70%
- Orange is 80% and would be the start of your lactate threshold
- Red is your maximum zone that is 90%-100% max rate.
Built in Fitness Tracker
Here is a big difference in the 225 forerunner model vs say the 220 forerunner. They decided to take advantage of the accelerometer to track your steps throughout the day and your heart rate to figure out calories you are burning. It also has setting in there to remind you to get up and move every hour. A nice feature for anyone who sits at their desk all day long. I like this, I do sit at desk and I have back problems. It help reminds me to stand up and stretch.
You have the following functions built into the watch: auto pause, auto lap, auto scroll, create custom workouts to follow, pace alerts, option to setup interval training, heart rate based calorie consumption, calories burned, customizable screen.
Fitness Tracking Features
It counts your steps like any tracker does and helps determine your activity level so you can then have a daily baseline to go off off. It has move bar in there that shows inactivity, so that it will alarm you after you have been non active for a certain period of time. It also tracks your sleep period.
It syncs with the garmin connect software for tracking your results and it has the ability for live tracking and syncing automatically. It needs access to your phone though to transmit the data live.
I love this review of the 225 by one customer who is very ocd about his heart rate metrics. 🙂 The guy lost his 220 watch but still had his heart rate strap. So, he did a quick run on the treadmill using the 220 strap to display his heart rate on the treadmill monitor. He then used the regular forerunner 225 heart rate display by itself. He mixed up his workout and was delighted to find that they were very accurate. His one comment was that the 225 seemed to lag a little bit before displaying the heart rate to make sure it was accurate. He also said it took some getting used to wearing the watch. That’s pretty normal though.
Another runner has been using garmin watches for more than 7 years had some really helpful information about it. His main point was the documentation stunk. He said to skip the manual and go straight to the website for more accurate information on using the watch. He did give us some helpful hints you will not find in the manual.
There are 4 operating buttons to setup the watch for your own linking. The top left button is considered number 1 in the manual. When selecting this it will move clockwise to identify buttons 2,3 and 4 to use.
The manual will have you start with the menu command. They are not clear how to get there. Really? Anyways, try pressing the #3 button until it goes back to the home screen where it list the menu at the bottom of the display. If this does not work your watch is locked so press the #2 button to unlock it. Then do the steps list above with button #3 to get there.
So, one downside is that setup time. You have to spend time with the new toy to get it rolling. Once you do, you won’t have to go back and mess with it again. So, get some coffee and just take your time getting it setup the way you want it to work for your workouts.
Hopefully have a much better understanding of what the forerunner 225 can do for you. It’s a great running watch with the additional fitness tracking features included. You can find the best discounted price for it here on amazon and also review more testimonials about it before you buy the garmin 225. In the event you didn’t find what you like here you can also view our reviews on running watches here.