In a nutshell, this is probably one of the best, easy to use, self-explanatory products I have purchased in a long while. It is a “must have” for any person that does any form of exercise and wants to monitor their progress – not only in real-time, during the activity, but also the progress over time when uploading the history of all activities to the Garmin Connect website.
To start off, the watch is a “good looking” watch – one that I could easily wear on a daily basis. Then there is all the Garmin fitness functionality that comes with it. It is easy to perform the once-off setup, where you basically configure the USER settings – information about yourself, such as your age, weight, etc. These details are then used to determine the correct heart rate zones, etc. for you. You can then, very specifically, configure the various settings for the various sport activities – running, general and cycling. The Garmin FR60 comes packaged with a heart rate monitor and a footpod. The heart rate monitor is worn around the midsection, like any other, and the footpod clips neatly into your training shoe’s laces and you won’t even know it’s there. The Garmin watch will then wirelessly connect to these two devices when the SPORT mode is activated. In the event the connection does not succeed automatically, you can also manually create the connection.
For each of the 3 sport activities (running, general and cycling), you can predefine various other settings, such as what monitoring aspects you want to see on the watch while exercising, e.g. heart rate, number of steps, distance, speed, time, calories burned, various averages, etc. etc. The nice thing about this is that ALL the values are recorded, even if you don’t choose to SEE them during your training session. When you have completed your session, a simple push of a button saves the data to the watch and you can access ALL your session data via the HISTORY mode. Here you can select the date and activity and view ALL the saved data on that session – averages, maximums, times, steps, distances, etc. etc. – fantastic information to have! Furthermore, you can set alarms to alert you of your heart rate exceeding a threshold, or falling below a threshold, etc. There are lots of various functions, alerts and preferences that you can set on the watch itself but, for the average enthusiast like myself, the basics are more than sufficient!
Lastly, and this is the cherry on the top for me – the Garmin FR60 comes with an “ANT+” USB stick which, when connected to a computer, automatically transfers the data from your watch to the Garmin Connect website, where you can create a (free) user account. There is a bit of software downloads and installation that needs to take place for this, but it is all very straight forward and only requires the computer user to be able to follow instructions! The first step is outlined on the packaging of the ANT+ stick and you simply follow the prompts and instructions from there. With the free user account on Garmin Connect, ALL your saved exercise information from the watch gets TRANSFERRED to the website, where you can edit the names and other various details of the sessions to make them more meaningful. You can also categorise the sessions here. The website is fabulous, in that you can see detailed graphs of each activity, so you can see where your heartbeat was at it’s maximum, at what time and at exactly what distance into a run, the length of the pauses that you took, etc. etc. A wealth of information that is really nice to see and have. Of course, the data from all the transferred sessions is then kept on the website, thus freeing up your watch to keep the data for your next lot of activities.
The ONE thing that I would recommend to a new FR60 user is to download the comprehensive Owner’s Manual from the Garmin site for your FR60. The “quickstart” guide that comes with the product provides only the very basics and you will require the full Owner’s Manual to guide you through any of the more specific configuration settings. Most of it can be figured out on the fly but, if all else fails – read the manual!
Well done, Garmin, the all-round package is excellent!
Author: Desmond Olwage