When I started running, I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to enjoy running and wanted to keep the costs down. I used a running App called RunKeeper to track my runs. And in fairness, it is a great app (free my favourite price). The downside is simple. UK Weather. When it rained I would either:

1. Skip the run
2. Leave my phone at home
3. Wrap it in a million layers to stop any water

This quickly became a pain. So the search for a running watch began. A knew a few runners at the time and their opinions ranged from stopwatch only (old-school) or a £400 beast that was proven to make you run like Mo Farah. There was precious little at the lower end of the price scale. At the time you could only heart rate data from a chest strap which I wasn’t looking forward to.

Heart rate data is considered very useful as it allows you to know how hard your body is actually working and provides a better metric to measure than just speed (except in a race).

I eventually selected the Garmin Forerunner 110 with Chest Strap for £120. The sum seemed vast at the time but it was my faithful companion for many-a-run. Like a lovable dog, it would be loyal and trustworthy. Unlike me, when the heart rate on board watch was relased by Garmin I quickly jumped ship.

The Forerunner 225 wasn’t very good, yes it provided Heart Rate on the wrist but by now I was cycling once a week and it did not offer any Cycling Mode. I would have to record the activity as a Run, and then change it after the fact. Not before it would declare I have broken every one of my PB’s (cycling is quicker than running, go figure).

My requirements for a watch had changed without me really noticing, by now I wanted:

1. Quick GPS signal
2. On-wrist Heart Rate
3. Cycling Mode
4. Step counting (like fitbits which were becoming very popular)
5. A good battery life
6. Fully waterproof (unlike my Forerunner 110 which was splash proof)

Then, cue musical bells, Garmin released the Forerunner 235. With all of the above and more. It added things I didn’t know I wanted, a recovery Advisor to tell me how long before I can repeat the effort.

As Garmin released the 235 three months after I had purchased the 225 – changing wasn’t an option. However luckiy (and purely conincidently) the watch developed a fault due to a bad software release. I was able to return it and buy the Forerunner 235.

And I haven’t looked back since. However they have now introduced a Forerunner 735 WITH a cycling mode … decisions deicisions.
I seem to have waffled on a bit, but the summary is simple. The more you run the more your requirements change. I would not have bought a £200 watch when I started running – but now (with my triathlon aspirations) I can see myself upgrading again