There is one setting I change every time I take a Garmin watch out of the box. Many of Garmin's devices offer the choice of two different recording options: Smart Recording and Every Second Recording. I always make sure to use Every Second Recording.
Smart Recording will only record data points when there are changes in direction, speed, heart rate or elevation. Meanwhile, Every Second Recording does exactly what it says -- data points will be recorded every second.
By default, Smart Recording is enabled on most of Garmin's GPS watches. This isn't to increase battery life, but rather because Smart Recording allows for smaller files that take up less memory. File size, however, isn't as much of a concern as it was 10 years ago. For example, Garmin's Forerunner 235 ($163 at Amazon), which is our favorite running watch, can record up to 200 hours of activity data before it will be overwritten.
I have found Every Second Recording to produce more detailed and accurate tracking. Here's how to enable it on your watch:
- Head to Settings
- Select System
- Click on Data Recording
- Choose Every Second Recording