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Introducing the Garmin Forerunner 10

by Meghann on September 5, 2012

Say hello to the Garmin Forerunner 10.


The Forerunner 10 is the latest and greatest in the Garmin Forerunner line of GPS watches. It’s sleek, compact, easy to use, and hands down the cutest GPS running watch I’ve every worn. It really puts my previous bulky Garmin 305, 205, or even the Motoactv to shame.


The simple GPS watch was created with the motto of just pressing one button and taking off (no bells and whistles here). It’s about as basic as GPS watches come; only tracking your pace, distance, and time during any given run. It also only displays two of those options at any given time. I prefer the pace/distance combo, but if I were doing time intervals I could see switching it up to pace/time and being perfectly acceptable with that.


Honestly, if you’ve never used the bells and whistles from the other watches (who does?), then you really wouldn’t miss them. The only thing I really miss is the cycling option. The Forerunner 10 would not be a good watch for someone who relies on a GPS watch for multiple sports, it’s really made for runners only.


That being said, this watch is so easy to use, that it’s hard not to fall in love with it for that fact. Garmin sent a prototype of the watch to test out before it was officially released last week. It arrived on my doorstep simply wrapped in bubble wrap with a lone USB charger cable attached. There was no fancy box, no instructions, and no information online on how to operate this thing. I was on my own.


I took it out for the first time on a group run two Saturdays ago. At first I was flustered, not 100% understanding how to operate it (trying to figure out a new watch in the middle of a group run might not have been the best idea), but as soon as I got it home and took more than 5 minutes playing with the buttons, I caught on pretty quickly. Once everything clicked, I had one of those “duh!” moments and was kicking myself for not taking the time to mess with it sooner.


The Forerunner 10 does not magically find signal as soon as I turn it on, but it does feel a teeny bit quicker than my previous Forerunners. As is true with any GPS watches, you just have to give it a few minutes to do its thing before you take off.

I really like the Forerunner 10. It’s simple, easy to use, and looks really cute. It’s basic, very basic, but I’m not sure I really need anything besides basic. I had been looking into the Garmin Forerunner 110 because I liked the basic feel of that watch, but was turned off from the fact that the 110 doesn’t show instantaneous pace during a run. To me, the whole point of having a GPS watch is viewing your instantaneous pace while running. The fact that the 10 has the ability to view instantaneous pace was a huge selling point in my book. It also does auto-laps for every mile, congratulates you at the end of runs for new records (it gave me a big congrats for my 8 miles on Saturday), flashes your current stats while paused, and reviews your run once you finished.

The price point isn’t bad either. They’re starting the Forerunner 10 at $129.99. You can buy it now on Garmin’s website or it will be released to Amazon and other retailers across the country later this fall.

Screen shot 2012-09-05 at 9.53.32 AM.png

The only real fault I’ve found in the watch is the battery life. The battery is only good for 5 hours in training mode. For most people, that won’t last an entire marathon, but if you’re not training for marathons – or don’t mind charging it every other day – that isn’t a big issue.

So there you have it, the new Garmin Forerunner 10. I would recommend it for the runners out there who just want something basic to track their miles. It’s a great introduction watch, especially for runners that are put off by the bulkiness of the rest of the Forerunner line. Plus, it comes in pink. Can’t go wrong with a watch that comes in pink!


What do you think of the Garmin Forerunner 10? Do you like the basic features and clean look or do you prefer the bells and whistles of other watches out there?


Curious Maddie, always wondering what everyone is up to outside.

I took the Garmin out for a 5 mile run this morning (see stats above). When I finished, I was craving cereal and yogurt for breakfast.


  • Quaker Oatmeal Squares
  • Love Grown Granola
  • Plum
  • Mango Chobani



Have a great day everyone!

1 Krissy @ Shiawase Life September 5, 2012 at 10:08 am

Nice review! This Garmin is adorable!!
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2 Melissa R. September 5, 2012 at 10:12 am

Ha! I ordered one on Saturday night from the Garmin website πŸ™‚ Green is my color. I do marathons but 5 hours is fine with me! Nice review!

3 Holly September 5, 2012 at 10:30 am

Thanks for the helpful review Meghann! I saw a review on another blog as well and have been itching to get one… One question–do you know a more precise timeline for when the Forerunner 10 will be coming to Amazon? If it is in the next few weeks I’d wait to order from them (gotta earn my credit card points!), but if it isn’t until Thanksgiving time, then I might just suck it up and order direct from Garmin.

4 Meghann September 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

The only thing my press release says is “later this fall” πŸ™ I’m sorry – I wish I had a more precise answer!

5 Joanna September 5, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I ordered one online from REI and it’s says 2-3 weeks as a shipping estimate.

6 Hannah M. September 5, 2012 at 10:37 am

Great post Meghann! I’ve been looking to buy a GPS watch for awhile and many runners recommended the Garmin 210. However, it’s so expensive and I was really excited when they came out with this one! You may have just convinced me to get it!

7 Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale September 5, 2012 at 10:38 am

I love that it’s so compact!! If I hadn’t bought the 110 about a month ago, I would totally go for it — I’m all about the minimalism (and I kind of like that I get my pace averaged over the mile … I’ve certainly gotten used to it). I’m definitely a Garmin fan and will certainly be recommending the 10 to others. Great review! πŸ™‚
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8 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats September 5, 2012 at 10:39 am

I think my issue with that watch is that I like to see pace, distance and time all at once. Also I am so bad about remembering to re-charge the battery, so I’d probably get really frustrated with the watch and myself during training! But I do love that it’s smaller and looks more like a watch

9 Amanda September 5, 2012 at 10:43 am

Awesome, I love it comes in that shade of green as it is my fav! I also like that it isn’t huge, I never liked that with the other ones. I may have to remember this for the new year when I start actually running!
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10 MB September 5, 2012 at 11:08 am

Potentially silly question from someone who’s never used a GPS watch – what are the features that would be good for biking that are missing from this one? (If it’s just tracking mileage…that would seem to be fine for both running and biking, I would think.)

11 Meghann September 5, 2012 at 11:15 am

When you’re tracking mileage and pace for running, you’re tracking in terms of min/miles. When you’re tracking mileage and pace for cycling, you’re tracking in terms of MPH. For example, I held a 9:15 min/mi pace on the run and 15.6 mph pace on the bike during my brick a few weeks ago. Technically you could get away with just tracking time and mileage for the bike and then translate the pace/speed later, but I like seeing my instantaneous mph pace on the bike just as I like seeing my instantaneous min/mi on the run. This watch doesn’t have the option to switch to MPH pace tracking. Does that make sense?

12 MB September 5, 2012 at 11:19 am

Oh yeah, definitely – thanks!

13 Samantha Angela September 5, 2012 at 11:15 am

I liked this review! I’ve been interested in getting a GPS watch.
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14 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions September 5, 2012 at 11:25 am

I bought a Forerunner 210 right before I started training for my first 10K, but if this had been an option I definitely would’ve gone for the Forerunner 10. I love my 210, but I’m sure I’m not using even half of the available options. I imagine something basic like this would be perfect for someone just getting more serious about their running.
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15 Allison @ Running Through Red Lights September 5, 2012 at 11:30 am

I’ve been in the market for a running watch for a while now, and I’m really leaning towards buying this Forerunner–so many people have said great things about it already, and for someone who doesn’t need all the extra fancy stuff, this seems perfect!
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16 Beki @ MissWheezy September 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Great review thanks! And perfect timing too- I’ve been doing research into GPS watches since I started running (got my first 5k in October, eek!), and this sounds perfect for a beginner who would like to progress to 10ks etc. Love the colours too! πŸ™‚

My only concern is that it is still quite expensive (Β£100 in the UK), so would it be worth shelling out a bit more for something that might last me longer? Say the FR110 (which I can get for Β£140)…
Rather than having to buy another watch further down the line- or do you think that the FR10 would last? I’m talking hypothetically, I’ve no plans to run a marathon yet, but I’m just thinking ahead!!
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17 Meghann September 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm

What I didn’t like about the 110 is that it doesn’t show instantaneous pace, so you won’t know what your pace is at any given time during the run. However, it does have the heart ate monitor option, so if that’s something that’s important to you, then that’s something to consider. Personally, I think the 110 and 10 are comparable enough to go with the cheaper option, but that’s just my opinion. Good luck with your research on the two!

18 Beki @ MissWheezy September 5, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Ah right I see, thanks- didn’t realise the 110 didn’t show instananeous pace, that’s definitely something I’d be looking for! What would you say is the “step-up” from the FR10, as it were, then? I have a Suunto HRM at the moment, and it probably wouldn’t be a big concern of mine to have that feature on a GPS watch. It’s useful but I’d rather have options to do interval training, or speedwork for example.

Thanks for the reply πŸ™‚
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19 Meghann September 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm

From what I can tell the HRM option is a big selling point for the 110 and there are a few more programmable features. Those are really the key differences I can see, unless anyone else can chime in with their take on it?

20 Emily N September 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I love my 405, but now that the hubs is training for a half and keeps stealing mine, it might be a good investment!!
Emily N recently posted..Experimenting with my Running

21 Meghann September 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm

That’s why Derek and I both have our own GPS watches. He kept stealing mine. πŸ™‚

22 Annette @FitnessPerks September 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm

It does look pretty! And less bulky. If I were to ever buy a watch, I wouldn’t want it to take up half my arm πŸ˜‰
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23 Beth September 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I am loving this Garmin. Seriously. It’s adorable and I love the price! I may need to get this one after my current big honkin one dies.
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24 Karen September 5, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I’m not sure how I stumbled upon your blog but I am so happy I did. I love reading it and its just the motivation I need to get me moving on slack days. I also like that you are a fellow Nole!
Thanks for the review. I am thinking this Garmin will be my first GPS watch for my half marathon training πŸ™‚

25 Hyedi September 5, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I ordered the 10 last week and CANNOT wait to get it!! πŸ™‚
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26 Stefanie September 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I wanted this watch when I first saw it on another blog. My only problem with it is I’m not sure what color I want. Thanks for the great review.

27 mi-an d. September 5, 2012 at 8:30 pm

that’s sooo cute! love the color! but i just got the garmin 410 πŸ™‚ i upgraded to a gps watch from the nikesportsband. it would be pointless for me to get this since it is similar to the nike sportsband. πŸ™‚ love the colors though!

28 Laura September 5, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Hm the forerunner watch seems interesting. Yesterday I bought the Nike GPS Sport Watch. I liked what you had to say about the simplicity of the forerunner, but when I looked at it I couldn’t figure out if the Garmin had a running app where this stuff was uploaded to… do they? I choose the Nike because they have the nike running app where all my stats are uploaded and stored. Thoughts?
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29 Meghann September 5, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Yes, they have Garmin Connect online. To be honest, I tried messing with it today, but Connect isn’t set to sync with the Forerunner 10 just yet (that’s how new the watch is). I usually plug all my info manually to so that wasn’t a huge selling point for me anyway. Nike does have a great online community, but what I don’t like about their watches is how they only round down for the milage on runs. So if you run 4.1 miles it will say you ran 4 miles. If you run 4.8 miles, it will say you ran 4 miles. etc. etc. Dori had a great review on her blog. Check it out:

30 Olivia September 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Wanna sell me one of ur old garmins?? =D I’m in the Tampa Bay area.

31 Meghann September 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I don’t have them anymore. I lost the 305 in 2010 and the 205 over the summer. πŸ™

32 Olivia September 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Ahhhhh I lost mine too last summer some time. still have my HRM strap… useless lol thanks for the quick reply!!

33 Tina September 8, 2012 at 8:40 am

Thanks for the review. I ordered from Ordered the green but wondering if I should have gotten the pink one. Oh well – I can hardly wait until it arrives.

34 Marko September 27, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Can you set the Forerunner 10 to “km” instead of miles?

35 Meghann September 28, 2012 at 9:15 am

Not on the current American version, but they are releasing a European version that will have KM capabilities.

36 Marko September 28, 2012 at 12:34 pm

The manual says that there is a settings menu there you can set the “units”, but the manual does not say which units can be set. Can you please look which units can be set in the US version?


37 CarlosvmRunner December 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm

El Forerunner 10 es un compaΓ±ero genial no necesitas nada mas es lo mas elemental, sal a correr y listo el hace lo demΓ‘s…

38 Melissa December 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Can you see average pace AT ALL on this watch, on any feature of the watch? When you use the “lap” feature, does it tell you the avg pace of that particular lap? This will be my first GPS watch and i like to know avg pace, as well as, instant pace and am not sure which watch to go with (10, 110 or 210?). I really like this one so far. Thoughts?

39 Meghann December 28, 2012 at 9:30 am

It shows you the average pace when you pause, but it’s not an option while you are running. I would suggest going with the 210 if you want to see average AND instant pace while you run.

40 juan86 January 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm

In 2011 i ran 2000 miles in my forerunner 205 and in 2012 i ran 2022 miles sadly in 2013 january 4 i went for my run wich is 10 miles i came home ate and charge my watch it wouldn’t charge i was so sad i felt naked with out my watch i went to rei and bought the forerunner 10 so idk i been running for 5 years maybe more hopelly it performce as good it was my 205 if not is gonna go to good will .. I live in phx az is hot out here and i wouldnt want a watch that would make me mad i like my stuff to perform 100% πŸ™‚ o enjoy the trails not road to boring for running lol

41 Blair January 4, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Hi! I just got this watch today and am really excited to try it out. I was playing around with it earlier and got it all charged off but am not sure how to turn it off…does it just automatically turn off?

42 Sarah May 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Hi Meghann – I want to use this watch to run marathons because I really only need the basics, but I am concerned about battery life. Have you pushed the battery? Does it really last 5 hrs, or is that under ideal conditions and in the marathon, it might die on me in 3.5? Thanks!

43 Meghann May 30, 2013 at 9:06 pm

I’ve never pushed its limits during a marathon or a really long training run. I’m afraid I’m not much help there.

44 Kae June 25, 2013 at 11:11 am

HI! Love your review. Considering the 10. What can you tell me about intervals? Will it allow me to set interval training (for example) if I want to run a 7:30 mile and then jog a 400??

45 Meghann June 26, 2013 at 8:38 pm

As far as I know it will not. The watch comes with auto-lap for the mile, but that’s it.

46 Stuart September 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Hi. I have a Forerunner 10 in the UK, and recently the firmware was updated so that you can see average pace as well. Just set up the screens to suit. I have time / distance on the front screen, then distance / av pace on the second, which is a push of a button away.

I have also found that if the battery runs out half way round, the watch saves where you were up to, so its not the end of the world!

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