Garmin Forerunner 110: Value for Money

I started using a GPS device after my not-so-good performance at the PhilStar Celebrity Run in December 2009. I ran the 5k event with my brah who was then vacationing in Manila. As was the case in almost all the races that I join, the goal was to set a new PR, in my case, a sub-22:40.

I wasn’t that well-prepared for the race. My training was so-so and I didn’t even scout the race route. Without a GPS device, I’d be running purely by feel. Although my brah had a Garmin 310XT, I determined early on that I couldn’t use him as a pacer because, according to him, his race pace would be 1:40 per 400m.

When the race started, we went our own separate ways. All along, I thought he was ahead of me so I just focused on my own pace. But a few minutes into the race, he appeared from behind me, telling me that I was going too fast. Since I figured that he was doing 1:40 per 400m, I slowed down a bit to make sure that I’d be able to finish strong. Unfortunately, with nothing to go by to calculate my pace, I went far below my target race pace. I realized this when I hit 22 minutes and saw that the finish line was still a long ways off. I finished in 24:24, but the real downer was that my brah finished in 23:00. Had I known that his finish time would be within my range I would have run alongside him (okay, you can lower your eyebrows now brah). Anyway, according to him, the course was long by a couple of hundred meters.

That same evening, I had dinner with some friends at Serendra. Before going home, I browsed the shops along BHS and, lo and behold, I saw that there was a GPS watch for sale. It was a Timex Ironman GPS with Bodylink.

According to the lady at the counter, that day was the last of their 3-day sale. Without thinking twice, I got myself the watch and have been training with it ever since, well, until last month, that is.

I love the Timex Ironman, but there were two things about it that, to me, could be improved. First is the fact that its GPS device is not built into the watch. It could be cumbersome at times. In fact, during my 2010 KOTR, the GPS device almost fell off after the strap loosened up. The second flaw lies in its GPS signal receiver – it goes haywire whenever there are tall buildings around. Hence, it’s not of much use whenever you’re in the CBD of Makati. Thus, whenever a race route has to go through Buendia, I’d have to run purely by feel.

Since my Timex was turning a year old, I decided that it was time to get a replacement. I didn’t want to get anything uber high tech or flashy, I just wanted something that would address the two aforementioned concerns. Not wanting to make a repeat of my Timex impulse-buy, I researched my next purchase this time around. After checking out the available GPS units, I decided to get the Garmin Forerunner 110. Our firm was going to hold its partners’ meeting in Singapore in late December so I figured that I’d wait a couple of weeks and just get my Garmin at the Sim Lim Square, which is known for good bargains on electronic equipment. It was a good call as I was able to get my Garmin FR 110 at about 4,500 bucks cheaper than distributors’ prices here in Manila. In fact, It was almost half the price of my Timex Ironman.

The same afternoon I got my Garmin, I took it for a spin at the Bedok Reservoir with my Brah. The Bedok Reservoir boasts of a 4.5k scenic loop that is popular with SG runners. Of course, a photo op before the run was in order.

At the Bedok Reservoir with my brah and my nephew, before our tempo run.

We were supposed to do a 9k tempo at 5mpk. As my heartrate was higher than usual, I stopped at 5k, while Brah went on another loop to complete his 9k.

The Garmin FR 110 performed quite well. It is lightweight, easy to use and has a sensitive GPS receiver. That it looks like an ordinary sports watch greatly appealed to me as well (as with the Timex Ironman). The beauty of the Garmin FR 110 lies in its simplicity. Just press the start button, do your run and press the stop button as soon as you finish. Clicking on the reset button will automatically save your workout (It can save up to 110 workouts). You can view a summary of your workout or any past workout for that matter by accessing the history menu. However, the summary will only show you the distance of your run, the total time, average pace, average heartarte and the amount of calories burned. If you want to access more details about your workout such as split times, elevation changes, etc., you’d have to upload your data to GarminConnect first and view it from there.

All in all, I’d recommend the Garmin FR 110 to any runner who’d be happy with the basics – a good GPS receiver (by the way, I’ve tested it in Makati CBD and it works!), heart rate monitor and good looks (it actually looks like a watch). I guarantee that you’d get your money’s worth.

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11 Responses to “Garmin Forerunner 110: Value for Money”

  1. prauthner Says:

    Bro,
    Been thinking about the 110, too. Glad for you. Now use it. 🙂
    Would you mind sending a picture of it on your wrist?

  2. Consiglieri Says:

    Hey Kuya, sure, no problem. It’s in the mail. 🙂 You can also enlarge the photo in the blog. 🙂

  3. Nike Says:

    I only got the party pic. Where’s the wrist shot?

  4. Julius Says:

    Thanks for adding my site to your blog roll. I’ve also added yours to mine. From one lawyer on the run (and UP Law alum!) to another – Cheers!

  5. Consiglieri Says:

    Hey no prob, I’m a fan of good writing. 🙂 No quid pro quo necessary, but thanks for adding me to your list. Hope to see you around, be it in court, in a boardroom or on the road. Cheers!

    • juliuscervantes Says:

      Thanks, Rommel. I’m a fan of good writing as well – so it wasn’t just a mere quid pro quo. See you around, preferably on the road! 🙂

  6. Ben Says:

    May I know how much you paid for it? (Singapore$) & which shop in sim lim sq did you bought it from?
    Thanks in adv
    -Ben

    • Running Consiglieri Says:

      HI Ben, thanks for dropping by. If I’m not mistaken, I paid something like SGD340.00 for it. I don’t remember the name of the shop anymore (didn’t keep the receipt) but it was located at the ground floor, on the left side coming from the main entrance. Hope this helps.

  7. Ben Says:

    Thanks bro!
    Enjoy ur runs

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