Garmin Forerunner 15 Review

By Eilene Pearson.

I always run by myself, but I’m rarely alone.

I’m not talking in spiritual metaphors. I’m talking about my Garmin. My Garmin Forerunner 15, to be specific.

It’s my anchor to the world when I run. I know where I’ve gone.

I was never a big believer in watches until I started racing again. Then my whole life changed.

I was never a fan of keeping track of time for myself back in high school. It took the fun out of running when I had the chance to run for fun. The stopwatch was only for the coach.

This time around, I am my own coach. At first, fun running was fine. But once I was off to racing, I wanted to know my pace and distance.

I started out with a Timex that would record splits.  It also required a lot of calculating and at least one other device to track distance.

Don’t get me wrong. I still use the app from to map routes and on occasion, too. I just never take my cell phone with me when I go.

I needed some technology.

I chose the Garmin Forerunner 15 in purple. I was a little misled at Dick’s while trying to choose between the Garmin Forerunner 10 and the 15. Both had the virtual pace-tracker I was looking for.

Granted, I had a cranky 3-year-old with me, but I think I interpreted the difference to be the GPS capabilities. The sales clerk told me the Garmin Forerunner 10 didn’t have any, while the Garmin Forerunner 15 did.

That’s the price of a spur-of-the-moment purchase; about $60. I still would’ve chosen the Forerunner 15 after the research I did.

What’s the Difference?

Garmin includes a heart rate monitor with the 15 that I don’t plan on using. It also has a longer battery life. Worth the $60 difference? Not so far.

Garmin introduced the Forerunner 10 in 2012 and the Forerunner 15 a few months back in May of 2014. The $60 is worth a newer version, which will hopefully be supported longer.

I would be lying if I didn’t say a good part of the decision was also the shades of purple. I prefer dark and vibrant to pastel and lavender. What can I say? I’m a woman.

My Garmin in Action

This watch has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It came partially charged and was easy to top off on my computer with the included USB cable.

I get frustrated with technology that is equipped with all of four buttons to scroll through endless options. Garmin made this simple.

I was able to set the date, time and my weight without having to re-read the instructions and without pushing the wrong button. Normally, I am 100 pounds lighter 67 years in the future with no way to fix it.

After the initial charging and setting, all that’s left to do is run with it. And, I did.

There is an on/off button which is different than start/stop, so there are no accidents here. I turned it on.

I went outside and hit the color-coded runner button and let it find a signal. I hit the runner again to start and the runner again to stop. Hit it once again, and there’s an option to save the workout. Easy peasy.

What I Like About It

While running, I can scroll from the distance/timer screen to the pace/calories burned screen by hitting the scroll button once.

I like that each button has its own function and there’s no pushing and holding to toggle between them. When there is, I end up running nowhere is 0.00 seconds because I didn’t start the clock when I thought I did.

The screen is easy to read and decipher. It’s not cluttered with icons. There is a backlight function (the on/off button when the watch is already turned on) for running in the dark.

The power on/off button requires me to hold it down for 3 seconds before doing either of those things, so it can’t accidentally be turned off or on.

The band is comfortable with a shiny, pretty metal buckle. It’ s not heavy, nor does it sit up too far on my wrist, which I feared.

I give it 5 stars so far.

Bravo, Garmin. And, a serendipitous thank you to the sales lady under-equipped to sell running watches.

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