The Best Garmin Running Watches for Long Distance Runners 2017

Are you ready to take your training routine to another level with a new Garmin fitness watch? These dependable watches record your biometric data throughout the day. That gives you more control over your success with the ability to watch your progress over time. Gentle reminders encourage you to keep your heart rate up throughout the day, too. The best Garmin running watches for long distance runners even allow you to share your data with others via social media. Choosing from the many different models available can be a tough choice. We’ve done the hard work for you with our list of the best Garmin running watches for long distance runners.

Noteworthy Features to Consider

Long distance runners have different requirements from their fitness bands than other athletes. Step count, running distance, heart rate monitoring, and more are all important statistics for long distance runners.

Below are the important features to look for:

  • The Basics. As a runner, you’re interested in a few key stats including distance, pace, heart rate, and step count. Some of the best Garmin running watches for long distance runners can monitor your heart rate through your wrist, while others will require a chest strap or other HRM device.
  • Garmin Connect. This is a app that lets you make deeper analysis of your workouts. You can monitor your long term fitness, set goals, share your success, and make use of the app’s helpful suggestions and encouragement. The best Garmin running watches automatically sync to your mobile device for full access to Connect’s features.
  • Weatherproof. If you run outside regardless of the weather, it may be worth investing in a water resistant Garmin running watch. These watches keep working in the rain and even in the shower.
  • Design. The best Garmin running watches for long distance runners are all light and comfortable to wear during long, sweaty runs. Some have bold watch faces, which offer the largest screens but may be cumbersome for smaller wrists.
  • Battery Life. Some running watches have rechargeable batteries that last between a few days and a week on a single charge. Other watches have a non-replaceable battery that lasts a year or longer. Which you choose is a matter of preference.

Top 6 Best Garmin Running Watches for Long Distance Runners Comparison Guide

PictureNameWrist-Based HRMPriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameWrist-Based HRMPriceRating (1-5)
1. Garmin Forerunner 230No$$4.5
2. Garmin Forerunner 35 WatchYes$$4.5
3. Garmin Forerunner 15 LargeNo$$4.3
4. Garmin Forerunner 235Yes$$$4.2
5. Garmin vívofit FitnessNo$4.0
6. Garmin vívoactive HR GPS Smart WatchYes$$3.8

Reviews of the Top Rated Garmin Running Watches for Long Distance Runners

1. Garmin Forerunner 230

If you already have a tried and true heart rate monitor then the Garmin Forerunner 230 will be a great addition to your existing exercise routine. This device has a large full color watch face that works great in direct sunlight. Monitor all the most important biometrics at a glance, including your heart rate (when used with a monitor), distance, steps, calories burned, and more. Connect IQ lets you download different watch faces and widgets to fit your needs.

Syncing to both GPS satellites and mobile phones is quick and dependable with the Forerunner 230. Whether you’re running in the city or in the woods, this watch’s GPS will follow you loyally. If you run indoors, the built in accelerometer will still record your distance, pace, and time without skipping a step.

We especially recommend the Forerunner 230 for people who like to get smart notifications sent to their watches. Unlike with other watches the text is clear and easy to read on the 230’s bright and large face. With a rechargeable battery that lasts 16 full hours in training mode, this watch wins a top spot as the best Garmin running watches for long distance runners.

2. Garmin Forerunner 35 Watch

Dependable wrist based HRM technology is here, and can be found in the Forerunner 35. This watch monitors your heart rate 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and will remind you when it’s time to get moving. Built in GPS tracks where and how quickly you run while the watch also monitors your calories burned, steps taken, and general daily activity. An all around great activity tracker.

This model is a bit smaller than the 230 with a simple black and white display. The adjustable band is perfectly suited for small and large wrists alike and the watch face is a comfortable size for most. Incredibly, this design is also waterproof up to 50M underwater, so feel free to swim or shower with this device.

Well suited for runners, the Forerunner 35 also features a run/walk indicator to keep you going at optimum intensity through long workouts. This watch is the total package with an onboard accelerometer that allows indoor tracking and a 12 hour battery life with the heart rate monitor running.

3. Garmin Forerunner 15 Large

If the first two options on our list are a bit too high tech for your liking, we have a simpler option. The Forerunner 15 keeps all the convenient functionality of a running watch without all the bells, whistles, and bloated price tags. This watch lets you keep track of step count, distance, pace, and calories burned with a small and simple display.

Use alongside a foot pod or heart rate monitor if you want advanced functionality. Although this watch’s display is a bit elementary compared to the others, you can still upload all your information to Garmin Connect. From there you can access your records from a laptop or mobile device.

The built in GPS makes this watch a particularly good value. Even though you cannot access all the graphs and charts straight to your wrist, many of the benefits of Connect are still at your fingertips. If you’re on a budget or like to keep things simple, this is the best Garmin running watch for you.

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