Tuesday, December 5, 2017

garmin forerunner 935 multisport gps watch review

Disclaimer: I received a Garmin Forerunner 935 Multisport GPS Watch from Garmin to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I've been a Garmin watch user for about 3.5 years now. I had the Forerunner 220 and upgraded to the Fenix 3. The latest addition to the collection, so clearly I'm a fan of Garmin, is the Forerunner 935 Multisport GPS Watch.

One of the big upgrades from my Fenix 3 to this Forerunner 935 is the built-in heart rate monitor. I know a lot of people do HR training, so having a built-in monitor can be super useful. I know I can't stand having the strap on; sports bras are enough to deal with, I don't need to add more chaffing items to my body. If you prefer the strap, you can still use one that connects to the Forerunner 935 which can then give you even more data than the wrist function alone.

The amount of data you can get from the Forerunner 935 is outstanding. Besides heart rate, it can analyze your sleep and patterns and your stress levels. How cool is that? Though I have to say, both have been depressing numbers for me. I barely get any deep sleep and my stress levels are higher than I expected. Apparently I don't rest enough, so it's something I'd like to work on in the new year. And as far as light sleep, I'm looking into somethings that might help me get some extra deep sleep – any recommendations? I'm going to try using an eye mask again (I used to use them, but got out of the habit, but wondering if where the new placement of our bed is has more light coming at me than my previous spot and think the mask might help), and maybe trying some yoga moves before bed. Anyway... 

Quick and easy to pair with my phone.

There are a ton of different sports your can track, not just running. I've used it for cycling, and when I join a gym again, I'll be able to use it for swimming. Why would I join a gym again? Well, my husband got me a new bike for my birthday.... and now he's trying to get me to register for sprint triathlons, which means I need to not only re-learn how to ride a bike (and maybe even learn, because when I was a kid, I wasn't focused on technique, just on getting to and from my friends' houses haha), but I also have to get back into swimming. In high school gym we did swimming, so practice with strokes is more recent than when I last seriously rode a bike, but still. It's been quite a while and I'm not sure I could ever really use the freestyle stroke and go in a straight line.

I noticed for cycling, a lap would consist of 5 miles. You can change this if you want in the settings. I'd venture a guess that most people using the cycling are a bit faster than I and wouldn't need updates every mile like we do for running. I'm hoping with practice I'll get faster there too ;)

I love that for running I can have multiple data screens and set each one to be the data I want to see. My most utilized ones are lap pace and time. Other good data items to have on there are average pace, overall distance, and overall time (which for the life of me, I can't remember the correct term for at the moment haha). 

The battery life on this bad boy is nearly two weeks, but if you know me and my odd anxieties, I need to charge it before it gets below 50%. It's just a weird thing I have. I prefer to see the battery on green, rather than yellow or red. It freaks me out of illogical reasons. Green is good, and I prefer to see that color more often on my watch. Speaking of...

Alerts you when you hit recovery heart rate.

Another cool thing you can do with your watch is set the watch face. You can download from Connect IQ on your phone or the computer, and most of them allow you to customize colors and which data items are most important to you. On my old watch, my favorite was the countdown watch face. With this one, I've been using one that shows my stair & step goal and how far I've gotten on each, time, notification number, battery, and date. I was able to choose my colors for each item. You can also create your own watch faces using the FaceIt App. Another fun way to customize it to your style is to get some colored wristbands – I bought a few to try (blue and lime green), but haven't had a chance to switch them out yet. Sounds like it shouldn't be too hard, though. I love that you can make it your own, while still getting all of the benefits it offers.

Ready to run on a cold November day in Chicago.

The watch is extremely lightweight, weighing in at only 49 grams. Way more lightweight than I was expecting. It's very comfortable to wear, but I'm not sure sleeping in it is for me. I think I sleep weird or something, because it's usually in the way or hurting my face haha. I thought that maybe after a month of wearing it every night it wouldn't bother me anymore and I'd be used to it, but not quite. 

This watch is pretty baller and I haven't even scratched the surface of everything it can do yet. I think it might take me a year to figure out all of the amazing features and how it can improve my running and day to day life. Highly recommend, but if it's not quite in your wheelhouse, I'd say you could get any Garmin and be happy. The phone app syncs quickly and easily to your watch and all of the information can be found in the app and online; which they are continuously updating to make it more user friendly. I've been a fan for a few years, and I don't think I'll ever switch to a different brand because I've been so happy with their products and user experience.

Three of the same watch. Three different watch faces and personalities.

Quick information:

  • Offers advanced running and multisport features in a comfortable watch you can wear all day, and it only weighs 49 grams
  • Provides elevation changes with a built-in barometer; altimeter and electronic compass help you keep your bearings
  • Evaluates your training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it and offers additional performance monitoring features
  • Provides advanced dynamics² for running, cycling and swimming, including ground contact time balance, stride length and more
  • Battery life: up to 2 weeks in watch mode, up to 24 hours in GPS mode, up to 50 hours in UltraTrac™ mode (with wrist-based heart rate), or up to 60 hours in UltraTrac™ mode (without wrist-based heart rate)

Connect with Garmin Fitness:
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Sunday, December 3, 2017

boco gear hat and visor review

Disclaimer: I received BOCO Gear 360º Visor and Trail Hat to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! 

You're probably noticed the only time I don't run with a visor or hat is when the sun isn't out. Even on cloudy days, I'll still usually wear something with the lip to protect my face and shield my eyes from too much light. I have very sensitive eyes. Having to squint leads to headaches, so I always have sunglasses and hats or visors on. I'll also wear one if it's raining to help better see while running in the rain and keeping that said rain out of me eyes and face.

I had the chance to test out some BOCO headwear for BibRave, and as it so happens, was also BibRave branded ;) I also own the trucker hat and the stocking hat from BOCO. 

BOCO Gear is the new leader in performance gear for endurance athletes. They offer stylish, technical headwear and accessories for your brand, team or event. Fully customized with wicking fabrications and technical innovation, their gear is designed for and tested by top athletes. They sweat the details!

The one I wore the most was the visor. I liked the fit and it absorbed the sweat well. I heat up quickly once I start moving, so visors are usually my pick over hats, unless it's a shorter run. Long runs require a visor unless it's below 20 degrees. That's usually when I'll need something to cover my ears... which might also turn into a BUFF® as an ear band to keep my head open for air haha. Anyway – we are all different and what we require on our heads is different for everyone.

The specific visor I received is the BOCO 360º Visor®Whether you are on a run or on the run, the BOCO 360º Visor® is a great option for the active athlete across all sports. Stylish and updated, the BOCO 360º Visor® will be one of the most comfortable adjustable visors you have ever worn.

Some key features of the BOCO 360º Visor®:

  • Lightweight wicking materials outside
  • Wicking internal sweatband to move sweat from your forehead
  • Soft brushed elastic back for comfort and fit
  • Relaxed fit front panel for a better performance and comfort
  • Black underside of the bill to reduce glare
  • Curved bill
  • Machine washable
Definitely a keeper in the visor rotation list.

The other BOCO hat I tested was the Trail Hat. I wore this one when I went bike riding. It's not quite the style I like to wear for running – just not me – but I did find it was great for riding to wear under my helmet, but also keep the sun out of my eyes. Being lightweight, it still allowed my head to breath while being safe in my helmet, and didn't seem bulky or uncomfortable at all.

Some key features of this hat:

Straight from the innovation lab  (aka- the trails) to the production line and finally to KONA…our latest creation, the Trail Hat. Combining the features of our ever popular Run hat and the award winning Tweener hat with a little Kona inspired design. Moisture wicking sweatband and lightweight mesh panels work with the moldable bill to make this hat exactly what you need. Function and Fashion are equal here….so by all means Train, Race, Hang out, and repeat often.
  • Camp hat styling
  • Performance fabrications
  • Wicking sweatband
  • Adjustable back closure
  • Flat moldable bill

Are you someone that always needs a hat or visor to run? Have you tried BOCO Gear? They've got some pretty sweet gear on their website. I suggest you give them a look-see.

Connect with BOCO Gear:

knuckle lights colors review

Disclaimer: I received Knuckle Lights COLORS to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! 

With fall and winter upon us, that means running in the dark. The sun rises late and sets early, leaving us runners with very little time to run in the daylight. Not all of us work from home or have the ability to go for a runch. Even my short runs take me close to an hour, so even if I didn't mind showing back up to work all sweaty, I just don't have the time to go during my lunch break.

This leaves early morning runs (not my thing), or evening runs. I'd say that even if you have street lights in your area, having Knuckle Lights COLORS with you is a smart way to go out, as it can allow you to see the cracks, potholes, etc a bit easier, it also makes YOU more visible to cars. Just like wearing bright, reflective clothing is safe, having some extra lights that make you more visible to cars can help keep you on your feet.

I've tried the Knuckle Lights rechargeable, and they are awesome. They hold a charge for a long time, and being able to plug them in to get them ready for the next run is easy. I was a little weary of the battery powered ones, as I had a pair a very long time ago that seemed to require new batteries every run. Lucky for me, these do not have this problem. The batteries last MUCH longer and I have yet to replace them, even after maybe 8 hours of use. 

Knuckle Lights COLORS have three different power settings: High, Low and Blinking. I'm not sure why anyone would use blinking, but I suppose if you have good light for running, it's a great setting to use to make you more noticeable to drivers. I'm always in low light conditions using them, so I'm always on high. They are comfortable to wear and easy to adjust, plus lightweight (they only weigh 3oz each).

Not only have I used Knuckle Lights COLORS for running, but also to go get the mail and when the power goes out to navigate the house. They're awesome for so many activities!

The Knuckle Lights COLORS come in baby blue, pink, or black. I picked blue, as it's my favorite color and of course matches a lot of my running outfits haha. Each unit requires one AA battery, and two batteries came in the package, so you can take them out and use them immediately – no wait. They cost $39.99 and you'll get free shipping in the US. Grab a set now with a 15% discount using code BIBRAVEPRO. They'd be a great stocking stuffer for the runner friend or family member in your life.

Here's a quick guide to Knuckle Lights COLORS:

Knuckle Lights are designed to be worn on the front of your hands, in a perfect position to light your path and be seen on your next walk or run in the dark. 

The ultra wide flood beans move with the natural motion of your arms, providing an even, steady light that illuminates the entire area in front of you.

Knuckle Lights COLORS includes:
  • 120 Total Lumens — The extra bright lights emit a wide flood beam, providing a steady, even light in front of you that does not bounce, even with your arms moving.
  • 2 Lights Per Set — The units connect together magnetically. The soft silicone straps are easily adjusted to fit any size hand and even over gloves. The units are almost unnoticeable at less than 3 ounces each.
  • 3 Power Settings — High, Low and Blinking.
  • Batteries Included —  Each unit operates on 1 X AA battery
  • Waterproof — The units are fully waterproof and can be used in any type of weather, and will operate in below freezing temperatures down to -20 Celsius.

With Knuckle Lights you can confidently step out in the dark and SEE & BE SEEN. 

Join BibChat on Tuesday, December 5 at 8pm CT for a chance to win your own Knuckle Lights COLORS!

Connect with Knuckle Lights:
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