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My Running Gear: Garmin Forerunner 735XT

When it comes to running - you don't have to have any gear.  That is the beauty of the sport!  You don't have to have anything but a desire to do it and the follow through to execute the desire.

The simplicity of running makes it unique.

Some people run barefoot.  Others run commando.  Most run with some sort of specially bought gear whether it be shoes, performance tech clothing, watches, belts, food, chaffing help, drinks, sun glasses, etc.  Like most things, there are items out there that are sold with hopes of aiding your efforts to become better, faster, stronger and more successful (success means something different to everyone).  It's no different with me - the average level runner.

Nice and Slow!
One thing that I always have on during my runs is my Garmin Forerunner 735XT watch.  It is amazing.  Now, in my first few years of running (going on 6 years now), I repeatedly bought cheap watches and used them until they broke down.  They worked great for a short time but would have to be replaced often.  If that is for you, keep going for it!  I decided however to spend a little money and go with a Garmin.  It has changed my running.  I am not fast by any means, or probably by anyone's standards, but I now can view stats of my runs that I didn't even know were possible to record with watch having only used cheap watches. Does this watch make me faster that a cheaper watch cannot?  In a way, yes but it doesn't shoot sugar or caffeine into my blood stream to do so, which would be awesome!  It does show me where my performance level is at and helps me push harder.    

Using the Garmin Connect app, I can view all that my watch recorded.  I can see elevation gain, elevation loss, calories burned, distance, map, cadence, average heart rate, max heart rate, splits, average speed, average moving speed, average pace, average moving pace, max speed, total time, total moving time, average run cadence, max run cadence, average stride length and it rates training effect.   It also gives graphics for each of those things!  When I say that it gives graphics - it breaks it down to "at what point of your run" that your cadence, pace, heart rate, etc took place.

It is not necessary to have the Garmin Connect app to view your results but for the all inclusive review - it is necessary.

Is it a smartwatch?  Yes!

For sure!  I can see who's calling, notifications, weather - all of it.  I can also sync it with other apps and it will configure those apps in regards to activity and calories consumed/burned/etc.

Is my watch just for running?  No!  

This particular watch is a triathlon watch.  It can also record Cycling results and Swimming results.  I have used it for cycling but not for swimming.  My understanding is that the heart rate will not work when under water.  I am not a big swimmer but would like to complete some sort of an Ironman.  It may be more of a simpler version of an Ironman as I am not at, or near, a point where they would be able to say over the system "You are an Ironman".  

Is the watch just for sports?  No!

This watch, like most Garmin watches I believe, record sleep habits, daily steps, Calories burned throughout the day and so forth.  To see detailed results though, the Connect App, which is free, is needed.  The 735XT also allows for you to personalize the different "apps".  You can change the face of the watch, add different data fields, widgets and such to the watch.  This is all done through the Connect IQ store.  Currently, my watch has a different than standard watch face that shows time, date, battery life, steps, miles traveled, calories burned, heart rate and graph of daily steps and cal burned.  It sounds like a lot but it isn't. Scrolling through the different apps/widgets on my watch I can see in more detail than watch face: steps, miles traveled, weather, my day stats, heart rate (current, resting heart rate, and graph of last 4 hours), controls, Notifications and Last Run.  All of that allows for customization.  Pretty Awesome right!

Is the watch worth the money?  Yes!

I don't like to spend money on stuff.  Maybe it was the way that I was raised to always find the deal - the cheapest price.  Was this a big expenditure for me?  It was.  It took some money but it was well worth it!  Through the years of buying the cheap watches - I probably could have bought one watch that was worth it and actually told the real story through my runs as I now have.

They say on race day that you stay "tried and true" to what you know works for you.  You don't want to eat something different than normal.  You don't want to wear a new pair of shoes at the starting line of a marathon.  You want to find something that works, that works well, and stick to it  This watch is the watch for me.  I can wear it for a run and have very detailed results to view and then keep it on when I go to work!  

It's never easy, for me, to spend a chunk of money on something that I wear but this piece of running gear has been worth it!

(I receive nothing for reviewing my watch!)

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