the GARMIN specialist

The Forerunner 225 adds a lot of new features to a great running watch, until now, Garmin’s stayed out of the wrist-worn heart rate territory the company’s previous watches required pairing a separate chest strap to track heart rate.

What it does
The Forerunner 225 is an all-day activity tracker, running watch with GPS, and heart-rate monitor all wrapped up into a single device. The GPS is used to accurately measure pace and distance when running outdoors. Thanks to the optical heart-rate sensor on the back of the watch, you can track beats per minute both during workouts, and whenever you’d like to start measuring it during the day. The advantage of optical wrist-based heart rate monitoring is you get to skip wearing a chest strap monitor. The drawback, in many cases, is that wrist-based monitoring ends up being less accurate. This Garmin’s optical heart rate measurements were a lot better than most.

This Garmin watch also has an accelerometer for tracking all-day activities. It can measure steps, distance traveled and calories burned. It can also automatically measure your sleep at night, but it doesn’t provide detailed information on sleep cycles or how long it took for you to fall asleep.

Forerunner 225 Key Features:

  • Tracks time, steps, distance, pace, heart rate and calories burned indoors and out
  • Built- in sensor to measure your heart rate at the wrist and show heart rate zones
  • Customized training plans from Garmin Connect on your watch for real-time coaching
  • Activity tracking counts steps and calories and reminds you when it’s time to move
  • Sync with Bluetooth to your smartphone for live track, quick uploads and to share your runs

How Does A Wrist Based Heart Rate Monitor Work?

Forerunner 225 has built-in technology which includes LED’s on the back of the watch. These LED’s shine light in to the skin, which then enables the electro-optical cell to detect the pulsing volume of blood flow, and the user’s heart rate. The flexible silicone ring shapes to the runners wrist and helps prevent ambient light from interfering with the LED’s and affecting the signal.

Why Get This Garmin 225?
Well, for me it was a matter of having to return my Garmin Fenix 3 to Garmin for replacement, and not wanting to lose the stats in the time that I will be without my other watch, so a spare was in order. As usual the team at Map World here in Christchurch were great with their service, and sorted both the return of the Fenix to Garmin, and also the new Forerunner 225 as well.

Setting up the 225 seemed nice and easy, just have to remember when you initially go to pair with your mobile phone, use the Garmin Connect App, and not directly under the Bluetooth (took a few minutes to work that one out)

First Run
Well, I am very impressed with this watch, aside from the fact that it does not show the train effect like the Fenix 3 does, it is nice to wear, and looking at the first run I had today, the mapping is very very good.

With the correct mapping, now I have managed to get my best 5km time, best time round this park, which does feel great.

1.0 km05:02 min/km00:04:59
2.0 km05:10 min/km00:05:04
3.0 km05:10 min/km00:05:09
4.0 km05:16 min/km00:05:16
5.0 km05:10 min/km00:05:05

Well, I think for the money spent, this is a great wee watch. I do miss my Fenix3, and hope to get the replacement shortly, but in the meantime the Garmin 225 is tracking really well, and I love the fact that it has the built in heart rate monitor as well.

Looking at the data from a couple of runs, it does seem to be very accurate in the recording of the heart rate, which is something I was really not sure about with it being wrist mounted, I was expecting it to be all over the show. Well done Garmin on this.

Garmin have also added a small circle of silicone to the underside around the OHR sensor that hugs the wrist, helping prevent ambient light leaking in and affecting the accuracy of the LEDs.

It is not overly tight – and really is simple to use. GPS fix is very fast as well, get out of the car for a run, hit the button twice, and before you know it, the 225 has a GPS fix.

Your current step total is displayed on the home screen in watch mode along with a range of other handy stats including, step goal, distance you’ve covered, calories you’ve burned that day and current heart rate.

Overall, I think that Garmin are onto a winner here with the forerunner 225, it seems like a good quality, well packaged watch with the added bonus of the built in HRM as well.

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