Rich Rein

Rich is a lead software engineer by day, a firefighter/EMT by night, father to a young son - and working on becoming a runner in between. Race Results
  • Kristin Dittmann

    I like mine, too, although it took some getting used to. I sometimes start out and don’t realize I didn’t hit the start button a second time to start recording (the pace display fools me). It took a while to understand that it’s easy to accidentally change the display while you’re running. I also wish Garmin had better, more comprehensive training and troubleshooting materials so I could get more from the features it has (and figure out why it completely reset a couple of weeks ago). Otherwise, I like everything about it that you’ve mentioned and it’s a popular model in my running group.

    • Rich Rein

      I have forgotten to hit the start button more times than I care to admit – so I can certainly share that frustration. Have you checked out my other recent article on setting up custom workouts for your Garmin? Having owned a FR220 for over a year (and now two months running with a FR225), I am finally starting to feel like I have a lot of the features figured out (arguably the hard way, I can agree with you on some of the troubleshooting information) – feel free to ask away about if/how to do something, and I will do my best to answer. Do you also use the website/phone app, or do you just track things on your watch?

      • Kristin Dittmann

        I really do appreciate the watch but really want to learn more to take full advantage of its capabilities, so will check out your article on setting up custom workouts. I tried once and it seemed awkward and arcane to me.

        I’ve been wearing the heart rate strap but would love someday to have the 225 or another model that doesn’t require the strap. I only got this a few months ago so that won’t be for a long time, though.

        I love the phone app and can hardly wait for it to synch so I can see my results. I know a number of people who haven’t used the app; I think they don’t know what they’re missing. My previous Garmin was the 110–far slower to pick up satellites or your pace and few bells & whistles, but I love that I can now see all my old and new Garmin data in the same app without having to go to my computer.

  • kesibmik

    I love my 220. But the new 225 looks almost identical and has a pedometer, sleep mode and built in HRM which I think is awesome.

    • Rich Rein

      Further disclosure – as much as I love my FR220…I have been exclusively using a FR225 since the public release in July (stay tuned for my review of that watch, as well as a feature comparison to the FR220, in an upcoming article). A bit of a spoiler, but I would say still happily say that the FR220 is a great watch – and the FR225 is a welcome refresh if you love the FR220, but want/need some of the activity (step/sleep) tracking of the Vivo line, and want to ditch your chest strap or start playing around with HR without having to wear one.

  • Terry Dreyer

    Yes, I love my 220. That plus my Vivofit (the original) and Connect.Garmin and I have all the data I’ll ever need. Didn’t know about the 225 until I read the comments so will have to check that out. I’m also looking at the Garmin Vivoactive. Any comments on that to replace both devices (sans HR monitor)? Vivoactive is down to $210 on Amazon! 🙂

    • Terry Dreyer

      Also, I will be using my 220 and Vivofit at Ragnar Great River this weekend … Run, Sweat & Smiles.

      • Rich Rein

        Good luck at Ragnar this weekend – I had a blast last year! I have to admit to not having much personal experience with the Vivoactive, just having read quite a bit about the various models in the VIvo line and knowing a few people who own Vivofits (although Alisha Perkins wrote an article about the VIvoactive for this site, you might want to check that out). On the surface, what I have read seems to point towards the Vivoactive being a good choice if you are a multisport kind of person (it supports more ANT+ based sensors than the Forerunner line, giving you more cycling options, and also has some swimming-based features), or if you want to bank of the Connect IQ marketplace continuing to grow and offer more apps (although I keep hearing some complaints about third party apps not being as streamlined – and battery efficient – as Garmin-developed apps). If your choice of music streaming software or the ability to create custom running workouts (like those I covered in a recent “Getting more out of your Garmin watch” article) are important to you, then the Garmin Vivoactive might not be your best choice. If you really just want the activity tracking of the VIvo line paired with the running-centric features of your FR220, I would strongly recommend looking more into the FR225 – although the price point is a little higher than it seems like you have found the Vivoactive going for. At the $300 price point, the FR225 will also add in wrist-based HR….but if you are more interested in some of the other features offered by a smart watch, it might be worth holding out a bit longer to wait for refreshes across the rest of the product lines (like the FR225 “refresh” of the FR220).

  • PK

    I am debating between Garmin FR 225 and apple watch.. it seems apple watch can do the most(and more), except HR.. any reason I should pick FR225 over apple watch.. I am intermediate level runner..

    • Rich Rein

      I think that it really depends on your overall goals/lifestyle…and what you like to carry while running. The two big decisions points for me would be if you want a running watch or a smartwatch (useful for much more than just running – this is more of a Apple watch vs. Garmin Vivoactive question then), and if you want to carry your phone with you also while you run (which, from what I have read, you would have to do with the Apple watch).

      The smart watch has the advantage of installing apps to it (for running, as well as for other areas of your life), but for me I wanted my watch to be about running (and be really good at that), and I have my phone for everything else (but don’t take it on runs). Given my desire to see real-time pace/distance, perform data analysis after runs, and have my watch help interactively with more complex workouts (like pace and distance-based intervals), the FR220/225 was the ticket (and I like that the FR225 now lets me add in HR as another data point both during and after my runs).

      I would also recommend reading up a bit more about the use of the Apple watch specifically for running – I remember reading a few things around its release time about the accuracy of the watch for distance and pace, but that might have improved since then (through software/firmware updates?).

      • PK

        thanks for your insight, I do carry my iphone on the run, as I have been using mapymyrun to track my running, and I also use it to listen to music on the run.. I like the pace feature on garmin watch(as you had explained in your other article) as I am working to increase my pace. the price point of FR225 is close to apple watch.. even if I buy garmin, I think I will still carry my iphone for music.. thats why wondering if it makes sense to go for apple watch instead..

        • Rich Rein

          One more factor to consider (especially since you already using a different app to track your activities) – the FR220/FR225 will by default only push activities to Garmin Connect (either wirelessly to the app on your phone, or via USB when docked to a computer with Garmin Express installed). I currently have also “granted permission” to Garmin to push to specific external apps (my activities also automatically push to Nike+ and to the FinalSurge website)…but the last time that I used MapMyRun, it was a manual affair to export individual activities from Garmin and import them into MapMyRun. Not insurmountable, but definitely a hassle to do on a regular basis if you want to keep MapMyRun as your “source of truth” application. A quick glance shows that MapMyRun appears to now have the same capabilities (granting access to retrieve your Garmin Connect data as new activities are synched), but I haven’t tried it out much yet beyond granting that permission.

  • E. Rolf Pleiss

    I’m curious about the 225 HR monitor in the winter when wearing multiple layers. Can it pair with a HRM in those instances?

    • Rich Rein

      While I haven’t tried it myself (having only had the FR225 since July), yes the FR225 is advertised as supporting both a foot pod and an external HRM (and I see the menu item in my watch for both turning on/off the onboard sensor, and pairing to an external HRM)..