Disclaimer: This is not a paid endorsement of the Garmin Vivoactive.
I’ve always considered myself a lazy runner. I don’t necessarily run because I like it. I like to eat, and I like to eat sweets, and I don’t like gaining weight. For me, running has been the best way to indulge a little bit while still not packing on the pounds.
It should be no surprise, then, that my lazy running also moves into my running gear. Granted, I’ve got some sweet shoes (Newtons, and they’re my fav), but the only real running gear I own has been given to me by others. I have been known to run in my husband’s athletic shorts and a college T-shirt. And socks? Well, let’s just say that it’s time to buy some new ones.
For years, my running partners have been the ones with the fancy GPS watches. I’ve never really seen the point of having one. I carry my phone when I run and trace my route using the Map My Run app – before that, I’d actually use Google Maps to pre-plan my running route. So why would I need a GPS watch that I’d only use when I ran?
However, right after Christmas, my friend showed me the Garmin Vivoactive she received for the holidays. It was pretty sweet, and I was impressed. Not only did it keep up with our route and time, but it also could do the same for running on the treadmill, swimming, cycling indoors and cycling outdoors; it also has a golf app, but as I don’t golf (seriously, I don’t even know what a good score is in golf), I’m better off just telling you it does something with golf. If your smartphone is within 30 feet of the watch, too, it’ll let you know when you receive a text message or a phone call.
Let me back up here and explain to you a conversation I had with my husband about a month before this. He had just purchased an Apple watch and was trying to make the case of why I should get one too (instead of spending my cash on Stitch Fix, which is what I usually do). One of the points he made was that he could call and text on his phone; and one of the arguments I made was that I didn’t want to be so tied down my electronics. I hate that my phone is basically within arm’s reach at any time. I hate that my kid sees my phone and says, “Here you go, Mommy,” because Mommy should always have a phone in her hand, right?
My running friend had a good point in regards to the Vivoactive: “I can see who is calling and texting and if it’s important, I can go ahead and answer. And if it’s not, I don’t even have to pick up my phone.”
That’s probably what sold me to purchase the watch – the ability to see who is calling and basically screen the call or text. It sounds bad, right? But come on. You know it’s not. Those of you who are like me who long for silence and for simplicity, you know what I’m saying here.
So I bought the watch. I got it off of Amazon Prime for $169; this past month when I’ve randomly checked the price, it seems to go back and forth. One day in January it was about $200; the first of February it was $179 on Amazon Prime. Mine did not come with a heart rate monitor, and for aesthetic purposes, mine is white. In case you were wondering.
The price alone makes the watch better than the Apple Watch, in my opinion. Again, I don’t want to be tied down to my phone all the time, so the apps on the Garmin worked for me. The interface is a bit bulkier and there aren’t as many apps available as with the Apple Watch, but, again, for my purposes, the watch is great.
I love that the watch is waterproof, too. I love that I can take it for a swim or out on a rainy run and not worry about it getting ruined. I actually was fearful for some time to submerge it in water, but I accidentally did it when bathing my toddler (in a bath with colored drops no less).
Another cool feature of the watch (like most fitness watches) is its step tracker. This is where I have a few issues, too, though. Overall, I love the step tracker. I love that it modifies the steps every day. For example, when you get the watch, you start out walking 5,000 steps per day. If you walk, say 6,200 steps, the next day the suggested steps will increase, maybe to 5,200. And it’ll keep increasing until you don’t make the mark – and it will therefore lower the step requirement to something you should make. I actually have found myself walking more simply to get those steps in.
However – the step tracker isn’t always accurate. There are two places in my house (in our master bath and in the kitchen) where apparently GPS does not pick up my signal. Additionally, I’ve noticed sometimes when I’m driving, especially turning, it’ll add extra steps that I’m obviously not walking.
Another inaccuracy I’ve noticed is on the treadmill. I’ve attributed this to when I hold on to the front bars of the treadmill for support (which I’m sure I shouldn’t do), and I’m assuming the watch doesn’t pick up on me when I’m holding on there. For example, one run I did last week, the treadmill counted me running three miles while the watch had me only at 2.6 miles.
I do love the watch, though. It keeps me accountable to walk more (because I love having that little firework display on the watch when I reach my step goal), and I also love that it maps me so well when I run outside.
· Cheaper than some other fitness watches
· Easy to navigate
· Notification of calls/texts
· Able to track indoor/outdoor running, indoor/outdoor cycling, swimming, and golf
· Interface is a little bulky
· Step counter is not always accurate
If you have a fitness watch or a Vivoactive, let me know what your experience with it is like!