Garmin Forerunner 610

The Forerunner 610 is one of Garmin’s premiere running watch. Its numerous and advanced training features make it ideal for anyone looking to take their running to the next level.

The Forerunner 610 has a touchscreen, giving it a sleek, streamlined design. While older Garmin Forerunners with touchscreens functioned poorly, the 610 has no such problems.

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In addition to having all of Garmin’s virtual training aids, the Forerunner 610 is one of two Garmin watches that has Virtual Racer. This feature allows you to compete against past workouts – or any activity downloaded from Garmin Connect. Want to challenge a friend across the country? Download their workout and race them anywhere!

garmin-forerunner-610-gps-watch-with-hrm

Another unique feature to the Forerunner 610 is Training Effect. Created by Firstbeat, it’s a new way to measure a workout’s benefit to your overall fitness. It works by analyzing heart rate, exercise duration and combines that with your personal fitness profile (i.e. height, weight, age, etc.) to designate a number that correlates to how beneficial that workout was to your overall fitness.

Finally, the Forerunner 610 sports many of the higher-end features found on other Garmin watches: auto pause, wireless downloading to your computer, vibration alerts, customizable screens, and heart rate monitor and foot pod compatibility.

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What the Forerunner 610 lacks is triathlete features like multi-sport and a quick-release mount; it’s also not waterproof. And while it has decent battery life – 8 hours in exercise mode – compared to other high-end GPS watches that have 20+ hours of battery life, the Forerunner 610 is merely average.

Despite these faults, we feel the Forerunner 610, with its advanced training features, is the best GPS watch on the market for runners.


PROS:

  • Sleek, thin design
  • Powerful and unique training features not found on many other watches
  • Compatible with a heart rate monitor, foot pod, and bike speed and cadence sensor

CONS:

  • Average battery life compared to other watches in the same price range
  • For triathletes and swimmers: it’s not waterproof and doesn’t have common triathlete features

WHO SHOULD BUY THIS WATCH
Runners

Garmin has clearly made a decision with their high-end GPS watches to market to two different types of athletes: experienced runners – and only runners – will like the Forerunner 610. Experienced triathletes and cyclists will prefer the Forerunner 910xt. That being said, Garmin did a phenomenal job developing this as a runner’s watch. It has all the advanced training tools you’ll need, and its sleek design means it sits nicely on your wrist.

Cyclists

While hard-core cyclists will prefer other GPS watches, the Forerunner 610 works with a bike speed and cadence sensor, making it an above-average watch for cyclists. Think of it more as a runners watch for people who might occasionally bike to supplement their running.

Hikers

The Forerunner 610 tracks GPS elevation, a nice feature for hiking.

Cross-country & Downhill Skiers

An optional accessory for the 610 is a strap extender. This is perfect for cross-country and downhill skiing as it allows you to secure the watch over your jacket, rather than buried under layers of ski clothing.

FEATURES

Hardware

Battery-life: 8 hours exercise mode
Water-resistent
Touchscreen

Data Tracking

Time, Distance, Pace and Speed
Calories
Heart rate calculated calories
GPS elevation
Training Effect

Workout History

1,000 laps
100 waypoints
Track Back

Alerts & General Features

Auto lap
Auto pause
Customizable screens
Auto-scroll
Time/Distance audible alerts
Vibration alerts

Training Aids

Run/Walk Training Tool
Interval workouts
Advanced workouts
Virtual Pacer
Virtual Partner
Virtual Racer

Syncing

Wirelessly downloads activites to a computer
Facebook and Twitter Sharing
Syncs with certain fitness equipment
Syncs with certain body composition scales

Accessories

Heart rate monitor
Foot pod
Bike speed and cadance sensor
Strap extender

Other Functions

Time of day
Date
Alarms
Stopwatch