WHEN I say I’ve never been one for gadgets, I am not exaggerating.
For my first marathon I ran with an old 90s Casio watch which had two functions – it told the time and had a stop watch. I also carried a black iPod with a chipped screen.
The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is hands down the best multi-use sports watch out there[/caption]
So five years on when tackling the marathon again, I decided to embrace technology, this time hoping a supersonic gizmo would help turn me into the new Mo Farah (or just help finish the race without collapsing).
I turned to the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus – hands down the best multi-use sports watch out there and one that made my old Casio look positively prehistoric.
For runners, it is first class. Despite having never been one for stats, I suddenly found myself pouring over the data, comparing my speeds with cadence, heart rate, aerobic and anaerobic output.
It also gives you helpful performance ratings like ‘good workout’ or the infuriating ‘fair effort’ which makes you feel a bit like you’re having your homework marked.
The watch features wireless music linked up to Spotify – it can hold 1,000 songs[/caption]
In my experience most runners have a version of the Garmin Forerunner. They are affordable and, depending on model and price, offer a variety of sports and functions.
Put simply, this watch has EVERYTHING.
The options include (try saying this out loud in one breath); Run, trail run, treadmill, indoor track, climb, bike, bike indoor, mountain bike, pool swim, open water swim, triathlon, golf, ski, snowboard, cross country ski, paddle boarding, row, row indoor, walk, swim run, kayak, weights, gym cardio, yoga, floor climb, elliptical, stair stepper, skydiving, boating. It even has menstrual cycle tracking.
It can probably also land a man on the moon.
For runners, the Fenix 5 Plus is first class[/caption]
Plus the upgrades on the Fenix 5 include more sophisticated colour mapping, wireless music linked up to Spotify – it can hold 1,000 songs, and contactless Garmin pay.
The piece de resistance is the GPS mapping with inbuilt altimeter. The colour maps are readable and, fairly easy to use. You plot your course – whether it be a Sunday stroll in the city or a trek through the mountains – and it will tell you as soon as you start to veer off track.
It’s also a robust little thing. My watch has been knocked about during exercise and adventures (not to mention being gnawed on by my toddler) and it keeps smiling from behind its titanium and chemically strengthen glass case.
The battery life is about as good as it gets too, lasting 12 days in watch mode, 8 hours in GPS, or 42 hours in UltraTrac mode for ultra distance runners.
It’s a robust little thing, too[/caption]
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Downsides? It’s a tiny bit chunkier than previous models and if you wear a shirt to work you have to unbutton the cuff to get your sleeve over it. Talk about first world problems.
On a serious note it can take a while for the GPS to kick in and it still gets a bit scrambled in the city from time to time.
And the £600 price tag may put some people off.
The choice of functions is almost daunting especially given that most people only have a handful of sports they do regularly.
There are certainly other models of Garmin which may be better suited to your needs and are correspondingly cheaper.
But if you want THE sports watch, then this, my friends, is it.
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus review – snazzy sports watch is the best out there but costs an arm and a leg