Moving on Up to the Garmin Forerunner 610

September 7, 2011 8:38 am
Moving on Up to the Garmin Forerunner 610

I previously have been using my cycling oriented Garmin Edge 500 while running using a wrist strap that was really designed for the Garmin 310XT. See the prior post.  Although this worked reasonably well, it still was a bit awkward.  Not only did you see things in mph instead of minutes per mile pace, the display was rotated 90 degrees so I had to kind of bend my head to make it out.

I finally decided to get a real Garmin running watch.  I could have bought the Garmin 310XT, but since I already have the Edge 500 for cycling I did not need that multi-sport device.  I also wanted something that was smaller and looked more like a watch.  I had used my daughter’s Forerunner 305 but found reading the display was hard for me because the fonts were too small.

While in Utah, I visited the new Runner’s Corner store where they had all the Garmin running watches to check out.  I decided on the Garmin Forerunner 610, their latest model.  Although this watch was mainly designed for running, it also supports cycling very well and you can switch between running and cycling very easily.  While I use this new watch for running, Anne puts it on her bike for cycling while I still use my Garmin 500 for that purpose.  It has a touch screen, which is much easier to use to change the display than the bezel on the prior Garmin Forerunner watches.  Also the fonts are easy for me to see without my reading glasses.  It weighs 2.6 oz, which is the same as the Garmin 500 with wrist strap.  But the size is smaller and it just seems much easier to use while running.

The battery life on the Garmin 610 is only about 8 hours.  That works well for running and some cycling but would not be sufficient for the ultra distance cyclists.  For a complete review of this Garmin please see this post by DC Rainmaker.  He does such a great job reviewing Garmin products in depth that there is no point in my providing my own observations other than to see I really like the Garmin 610 and am glad I purchased it.

While the Garmin 500 used a mini-USB connector to upload to the computer, the Forerunner 610 uses ANT+ via a USB stick you plug into your computer.  This works great.  Since I am uploading from two different Garmin devices, I found it best to upload from the 610 first, then plug in the Garmin 500 and upload from it.

Keeping track on both Garmin Connect, and Strava.com of all our workouts, for both myself and my wife, gets a bit complicated.  For the Garmin 500 it was easy to erase all the activities on the watch after uploading so I could just upload all new activities.  However when the ANT agent downloads copies of your activities from your fitness unit they are stored locally on your hard drive.  On my Mac those are located in

/users/Franz/Library/Application Support/Garmin/Devices/[device id]/History

I just move those over to another folder so when I am doing a new upload I don’t see all the past ones.

Update Firmware

This video shows how to update the firmware.

Reset

This video shows how to reset the unit

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