New sports watches by Garmin render personal coach obsolete

IMG_2371_thumb-540x360Garmin has introduced new watches for runners. The new GPS watch by Garmin is thin, light and features a color display. The manufacturer promises that these new watches containing the most advanced technologies will render personal coaches unnecessary.

The Garmin Forerunner 220 and 620 offer joggers running schedules. If you run too quickly or too slowly according to a particular schedule, the watch will start vibrating to let you know you have gone off track. If you follow an interval schedule, the watch can report when you should start walking or running. The Forerunner will automatically stop its measurements when you stand still, e.g. when you find yourself at a crossroads, and continue measuring once you resume motion.

Both models keep track of the longest distance you’ve ran, the best time for a kilometre, the quickest five kilometres and anything else you can think of. You can indicate which personal records the watch should track. If you improve a personal record, you will receive a message of congratulations. Garmin hopes that this form of ‘coaching’ provided by its watches will inspire runners to go the extra mile.

These basic functions are available on both the 220 and 620. The Forerunner 620, however, offers a broader range of features than the 220. Among other things, the 620 can measure the maximum amount of oxygen you can take in. Added to which, it will predict how long a run will take you and how much time it will take you to recover. The 620 also measures your cadence, i.e. the number of steps per minutes and how long one foot touches the ground (for professional runners this is usually less than 200 milliseconds).

The Forerunner 220 retails at 250 dollars, while the Forerunner 620 is available at 400 dollars. Although these are originally GPS watches and are therefore intended for outdoor use, they also work indoors when running on the treadmill. Click here for an overview of all the features.