Garmin Forerunner 610 Review

March 8th, 2012 by Craig Smith No comments »

Pros

  • Small enough to wear all day as a watch
  • Intuitive touch screen
  • Weather resistant
  • Customizable
  • Robust features

 

Cons

  • Loses accuracy when you stop and start the watch during a run
  • Problems with turning the watch off
  • Heart rate monitor must be specifically activated
  • Charging cradle can be finicky
  • Limited battery life
  • Heart rate monitor strap can be uncomfortable

 

Review

Garmin Forerunner 610The Garmin Forerunner 610 was designed with the serious runner in mind. It provides accurate data for workouts including pace, distance, position, calories, heart rate, and much more. Some of its advanced features allow you to race against your personal best times or the pace you set for yourself.

The watch interface is easy to use with intuitive functionality. The touch screen is robust and is sensitive enough to allow users with gloves on to manipulate the screen. Features such as a backlight for the screen, vibration alerts, and weather resistance make it an attractive option for just about any runner.

Although anyone could enjoy this watch, it is especially useful for the serious runner with tons of features that allow users to customize their workout experience. Runners can track their pacing and do intervals and tempo runs, to name a few of the features.

The heart rate monitor allows users to customize their experience further and helps them train even better. With the heart rate monitor strap, users can train in several different heart rate zones and receive alerts when they are outside of their selected heart rate zone. Users can also track calories burned based on heart rate.

Once the workout is over, the Forerunner 610 connects wirelessly to your computer with ANT+ wireless technology and the USB stick that comes with the watch. This allows you to easily review your run, see it on a map, and explore your workout stats. Our Garmin Connect site works with both PC and Mac.

There are several advantages and benefits to this particular GPS watch and heart rate monitor.  Owners of this watch love the touch screen and its intuitive interface, making it easy to program while running. The touch screen is not too sensitive to touch, either. The watch is also weather resistant, which means you can sweat or be out in inclement weather and it will still function. Users also like the robust features, the fact that it is very customizable, and its compact size.

While it has its advantages, the Forerunner 610 also has some reported disadvantages as well. Some users say that the charging cradle doesn’t always work properly, and others have reported problems with the battery lasting long enough during workouts. Some owners mention that the heart rate monitor strap is uncomfortable, but others have reported the opposite. Other issues reported by one or more user include a loss of satellite accuracy when the watch is stopped during a workout and issues getting the watch turned off.

 

Bottom Line:  If you can afford the price tag, the Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS watch has no equal. It has just about every feature you could want, it connects quickly with the satellite and provides accurate data, and the watch itself is small and attractive enough to wear all day. Most users can’t say enough good about this touchscreen GPS watch. The casual runner may not want to spend the money on this one, but for the serious runner, the price is worth it.

Garmin Forerunner 410 Review

March 8th, 2012 by Craig Smith No comments »

Pros

  • Quickly connects to satellite
  • Accurate satellite data
  • Advanced workout support
  • Has auto-scroll and auto-pause
  • Compatible with Mac

 

Cons

  • Problems with touch bezel
  • Battery life not ideal
  • Watch not waterproof
  • Complex setup

 

Review

Garmin Forerunner 410The Garmin Forerunner 410 is a GPS-enabled watch that is designed for the pro runner as well as a beginner. This watch allows users to track multiple items simultaneously, including pace, time, distance, elevation, heart rate, and more. The features are customizable, so you can track the data in a way that works for you.

The Forerunner 410 allows you to program advanced workouts, such as the Virtual Partner setting, which allows you to race against a previous pace or race against your ideal pace. Some owners really enjoy this feature because it pushes you harder than you may have gone otherwise. Many owners also like the fact that you can use auto-scroll and auto-pause during workouts.

The heart rate monitor has a soft strap that allows you to display your heart rate during workouts. The watch comes with 5 preloaded heart rate zones that you can easily customize. You can also use the Forerunner 410 to provide more accurate calorie burning, based on your heart rate.

Once your workout is over, the watch uses ANT technology and the USB stick that comes with the watch to wirelessly connect to your computer and uploading workout data. Using Garmin Connect, you can analyze your workout data, create new running goals, see the route you ran, and track all kinds of useful data. And unlike some GPS watches, this one allows you to use either a Mac or a PC for analyzing data.

The Forerunner 410 uses HotFix satellite prediction, making satellite reception extremely accurate. Most owners agree that this watch picks up a satellite signal very quickly and provides highly accurate data. This is an important feature for a GPS watch. In fact, it can also pick up data indoors or when you aren’t working out, although the manufacturer doesn’t recommend leaving it on when you’re not working out.

Though the watch features some great features, it is not without flaws. Some owners have experienced a problem with the battery life of the watch, but most others say that battery life has been fine. Other owners say that the touch bezel is difficult to use while running. But still others say that the touch bezel is a good feature that works easily. One thing that many users mention is that the setup for the watch is not simple. If you are looking for a simple GPS watch without too many choices and easy setup, this one may not be for you. It’s more for someone who wants to track multiple items and is comfortable navigating a watch with many different features.

Bottom Line:  The Garmin Forerunner 410 is a very good piece of equipment with many easy-to-use features. Some people take issue with the touch bezel or the battery life, and still others have a problem with the setup and navigation. But not everyone experiences problems with the watch. Most users find it to be a great watch and one of the best GPS and heart rate monitors out on the market.

Garmin Forerunner 210 Review

March 8th, 2012 by Craig Smith No comments »

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Simple design
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Good size and comfortable to wear
  • Good battery life
  • Great satellite tracking reception

Cons

  • USB cable/Recharging cable has a 4-prong clip that must be aligned perfectly with the back of the watch in order to charge.
  • No auto-pause or auto-scroll
  • Heart rate monitor strap can cause chafing
  • Wrist band is not designed for a large person
  • Does not have an alarm feature

Review

Garmin Forerunner 210>Garmin’s Forerunner 210 is part of the Forerunner series of GPS enabled watches that allow users to easily track their running workouts. The watch tracks many different things while running and it allows users to compare data after running. This watch uses a simple interface that makes it easy for anyone to use.

The forerunner 210  allows you to track your mileage, speed, distance, and movement with 98% accuracy. You can measure your heart rate, track body fat, weight, and several other measurements with this monitor if used in conjunction with the Tanita BC-1000 scale. It also allows you to view your progress while exercising or running as well as provides a report for you after the fact.

The watch is a good size. Many owners mention that it is small enough to be worn all day as if it were a wrist watch, if desired. Some users feel that it is bulky, but most found the size was perfect.

The satellite tracking on this watch is extremely fast and accurate. Most users mention that it picks up a satellite signal immediately and much quicker than other devices they’ve ever used, working even with cloudy skies, near tall buildings, or even under trees. The satellite also works indoors, for anyone who does indoor workouts. Most owners are happy with the tracking results and software, although some feel that the tracking can be spotty or slightly inaccurate.

Once your workout is over, you can view and track your results with GarminConnect, which is a free Garmin site that allows for data analysis and other helpful features. Some users love this feature while others suggest it is not worth pursuing.

The Forerunner 210 has a rechargeable battery that can hold a charge for up a week or longer. Some owners mention that the charging cord is tricky to use. It’s a four-prong clip that must be aligned exactly right in order for it to charge correctly. Many users mention this as a problem, but some say that they have no issues with the cord.

This version of the Forerunner 210 also comes with a soft-strap heart rate monitor that straps to your chest for tracking your heart rate in beats per minute. You can program the monitor to let you know when you are below or above your target heart rate, and it comes with five heart rate zones built into the software. Some owners mention that the strap is not very comfortable and can cause chafing, although some users do not mention any problems with it.

The Garmin Forerunner 210 earns high marks from most reviewers. Many owners complain about the recharging cable being difficult to use, but other reviewers mention that it is not a problem. Most users say that it is highly accurate and useful to use during exercise.

Bottom Line: For an accurate, easy to use heart rate monitor and GPS device, the Garmin Forerunner 210 cannot be beat in terms of price and functionality. Users have some complaints but the overall consensus is that it is a good watch. The charging cable is not ideal, and it does have its flaws, but for the price, it’s an excellent tracking device that receives good marks from users.

Marius Bakken’s The 100 Day Marathon Plan Review

June 10th, 2011 by Craig Smith No comments »

Review Summary

People run for many reasons. For marathon runners, those reasons are personal. No one knows this better than Marius Bakken, who has brought his nine years of professional running to the electronic word in his e-book, The 100 Day Marathon Plan.

Bakken’s personal training philosophy is a unique compilation of two powerful marathon techniques from different parts of the world. It includes a little known scheduling secret from Italian marathon training and a control technique perfected in Kenya. In this review each of those techniques is described as well as how he applies them to his training schedules.

Bakken’s 100 Day Marathon Plan consists of fourteen chapters built around six different sections. These six sections cover Bakken’s philosophy, selecting the best schedule, the schedules themselves, adjustments and special situations, race day specific recommendations, and advanced information.

You will find a description of the structure of Bakken’s e-book, as well as some pros and cons about navigating the book. Whether you have been running marathons for some time, or you are just starting out, The 100 Day Marathon Plan proves to be an excellent resource. It will serve well as your own personal trainer, or as a coach for your team.

 

Click Here to Get More Information on The 100 Day Marathon Plan

 

Review

“The name marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides who was a Greek messenger. The legend says that he was sent from the town of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the “Battle of Marathon”. The story says that he did so without stopping and before he collapsed he managed to say the words, “Nenikekamen” which is simply, “We have Won!” (Bakken, Intro)

We run for so many reasons. For some it’s the feeling of the physical power or accomplishment. For others it’s freedom. Whatever it is that brings us to the track, one thing is for certain. It is personal. There is no way we could stay the course through all the pain, struggle, failure, and even victory if it was not personal.

For Marius Bakken, running is personal. After nine years of professional running, Bakken has finally put all of his personal experience and expertise into written form. If you have decided to take up the challenge of marathon running, then Marius Bakken”s 100 Day Marathon Plan is a must read.

In fourteen concise chapters, Bakken shares all of his trade secrets in a clear and constructive way that anyone can understand. This e-book is meant for professional runners and beginners alike. So we decided to have a look at Bakken’s pearls of wisdom for ourselves. In this article we will explain Bakken’s philosophy towards marathon training and give you a sneak peek into what his Marathon Training Schedule e-book is all about.

The Bakken philosophy of marathon training.

The Bakken philosophy of marathon training works because it pulls together two of the most successful marathon training techniques in the world. The first technique is an Italian secret called Periodisation. The goal of periodisation is to improve your performance over the course of the full 100 days without reaching a plateau. This sets you up to be at your prime on Race Day, not before.

The second technique is a Kenyan concept of Intensity Control. How hard you run, and how long you run, during your training sessions will directly determine your level of success. The secret to intensity control is a variety of speed within your Anaerobic Threshold.

Sound interesting? We thought so, too, but we don’t want to give away too much. Suffice it to say that in his 100 Day Marathon Training Schedule, Bakken weaves these two techniques into a precise plan for success.

A look inside the book.

Specifically geared towards runners who wish to run marathons ranging from two hours and forty-five minutes up to five hours, Marius Bakken’s 100 Day Marathon Plan consists of fourteen chapters built around six sections.

Section 1: The Philosophy. This section is covered entirely in chapter two, and it goes into depth with Bakken’s training philosophy covered earlier in this review.

Section 2: Choosing the Right Schedule. Made up of chapters three and four, this section simplifies the process of determining which training schedule is right for you. Bakken provides eight schedules for you to choose from. His goal is to meet the needs of beginners and advanced runners alike. This section will you determine your goals, commitment level, and the best approach for reaching them.

Section 3: The Schedules. Chapter four continues with the details for each training schedule. The training schedules themselves are truly Bakken’s philosophy put into action. Each schedule contains an excellent description of terms and concepts. This makes it easy to reference the information on each page, rather than having to link back to a separate page of definitions.

Immediately, the second of Bakken’s two techniques is apparent as he outlines the Kenyan  concept of Intensity Control with three approaches to the schedule. These are 1) effort, 2) heart rate, or 3) pace. For Effort, Bakken gives a brief description of what the experience should be like. Heart rate is the range you need to keep your heart rate in during the run. And pace is how fast you should complete one kilometer or one mile. However you prefer to approach your training, Bakken keeps it simple and effective.

Bakken utilizes the Italian secret of Periodization throughout his schedule structure. Each schedule is divided into Phases, which are further divided into weeks, then sessions. Each session has a detailed run and recovery plan.

Section 4: Adjustments and Special Situations. Spanning chapters five through nine, this section is full of helpful information regarding how to adjust the schedules to fit your needs, deal with injury, weight loss, and unique situations on Race Day. Turn to this section for tips on finding the right running shoes for you, proper nutrition, and pacing.

Section 5: Race Day Recommendations. In this section, covered by chapters ten through twelve, Bakken gives special tips specifically for race day. These tips cover things such as how to avoid cramps, maintaining your heart rate, and more.s

Section 6: Advanced Information. In this final advanced section comprised of chapters thirteen and fourteen, Bakken discusses advanced concepts of heart rate training and special terms such as Smart Strides.

Each chapter includes a summary video in which Bakken recaps visually what is written in that particular chapter. While you can navigate the e-book chapters offline, you do need to be connected to the internet in order to the view the videos. Still, they are an excellent way to extend the lessons to all learning types. Also, links can be found at the top and bottom of each page which will take you back to the previous chapter, forward to the next, or to an index page from which you can reach whichever you chapter you need.

Whether you have been running marathons for several years, or you are just starting on your own “couch-to-marathon quest”, Marius Bakken’s 100 Day Marathon Plan e-book is a fantastic resource. Well structured and easy to understand, Bakken’s -ebook succeeds at being useful for the individual runner or teams alike. It truly is “Marathon Training that Works”.

 

Conclusion

Marius Bakken’s 100 Day Marathon Plan is well structured and easily understood. While the chapter summary videos provide a unique touch, they are only accessible with an internet connection, and they interfere with scrolling on the page. Overall, this e-book is a great resource with a personal approach to marathon training.

 

Click Here to Get More Information on The 100 Day Marathon Plan

 

Video

Garmin Forerunner 405CX Review

November 10th, 2010 by Craig Smith No comments »

Pros:

  • Very accurate GPS tracking and workout data
  • Various display options available
  • Comes with dock/clip for rechargeable battery
  • Backlight is bright but not battery-draining
  • Reliable in various temperatures
  • Reputation among users as one of the best available

Cons:

  • Software for Mac OS is barely compatible and behind on updates (most Mac users use third party software instead)
  • Bevel control is highly contested
  • Somewhat clunky for users with smaller wrists
  • Small screen and text can be hard to view while running
  • Non-intuitive operation requires thorough instruction reading to start

Review

Garmin Forerunner 405CXThe Garmin Forerunner 405CX is the most recent edition of Garmin’s popular Forerunner GPS running watch series. The watch tracks a considerable amount of data, much of which can be read on the watch face while running, and all of which can be uploaded to a computer for filtering, tracking, mapping, and comparison after the run.

The Garmin 405CX records time, pace, distance, route (including altitude), heart rate, and calories burned. With the exception of GPS location, the data collected by the watch can be viewed by users while they run. The screen allows for up to four fields of data, which many users find convenient, but a few find difficult to read. In addition to recording current data, the watch can be used to recall previous workouts, and runners can compete against their own workout history with the watch’s Virtual Partner feature.

After the workout, collected data automatically uploads onto the owner’s computer when the watch is within wireless range. For the most part, owners are pleased with the Garmin workout tracking software, which provides a wide range of tools for filtering, tracking, comparison, and organization. However, the Mac version of this software is notoriously problematic and infrequently updated, and Mac users overwhelming turn to third-party software for use with the Garmin 405CX.

The GPS feature on the Forerunner 405CX has been praised as one of the most geographically accurate among running watches. In cases where the GPS function is not needed (such as indoor workouts or wearing the watch in a stationary location between runs), the GPS can be turned off, which helps conserve battery life.

The battery is rechargeable, and the watch fits easily into a charging clip so it can be charged on an ongoing basis. The watch’s power save mode allows it to operate for up to two weeks on a single charge. Garmin says it runs for 8 hours in regular mode with GPS enabled; some owners have reported shorter battery lives and some have reported longer.

The Garmin Forerunner 405CX is very well received and has earned consistently positive reviews. The most frequent complaint about is about the functionality of the bevel-switch. Numerous owners have reported that sweating causes the bevel to stick and stop working, but most owners who regularly rinse the watch with clean water or towel it off report that these measures keep it working fine.

Bottom line: The Garmin Forerunner 405CX is one of the leading and most well-received GPS running watches on the market. Its design isn’t perfect and its software could be better, but it is extremely accurate and records an impressive range of data, which allows for excellent workout tracking.

Garmin Forerunner 310XT Review

November 10th, 2010 by Craig Smith No comments »

Pros:

  • Numerous custom screens, to view stats however you prefer
  • Powerful battery life for long events
  • Buttons and screen are easy to use and read while running
  • Accurate workout data
  • Exceptionally strong GPS
  • Truly waterproof

Cons:

  • GPS doesn’t work in water (although this isn’t possible)
  • Software and upload features could be better
  • Heart rate monitor not as accurate as competitors
  • Some breakage complaints upon dropping watch face-down

Review

Garmin Forerunner 310XTThe Garmin Forerunner 310XT is a GPS running watch specifically designed for triathletes and others who compete in long events: it is waterproof, both wrist- and bike-mountable, and boasts a battery life of 20 hours.

NOTE: Potential buyers should be aware that GPS signals do not penetrate water, and Garmin is straightforward about this limitation even in the product’s documentation. Nevertheless, some owners of the Garmin Forerunner 310XT give it poor reviews because their final GPS mapping is skewed in the water portion of their triathlon training. Swimmers who place the watch in the top of a swim cap do report better readouts than those who wear it on the wrist.

For the running segment, the GPS functionality of the Garmin Forerunner 310XT is powerful and accurate and earns some of the best reviews among GPS running watches. In addition to GPS location (latitude, longitude, and altitude), this watch records distance, pace, average pace, and heart rate. The heart rate is collected wirelessly from a heart rate monitor that comes with the watch (it’s also available without the heart monitor for about $50 less); an alternate, softer heart rate monitor can be purchased separately.

For the biking segment, this watch is compatible with an easy-dismount bike attachment and can also work wirelessly with a pedal unit to record and track cycling cadence.

For the swimming segment, this watch is waterproof to a depth of 50 meters. So even without GPS mapping, the Garmin Forerunner 310XT is appealing to lap and distance swimmers interested in tracking their speed and heart rate.

The screen of the Garmin Forerunner 310XT is large and very easy to read, even while running. It also has large buttons that make switching between views easy. The display can be customized ahead of time to show stats however the athlete prefers.

The data that is recorded can also be tracked by segment according to different sport modes. For example, if you plan to swim, bike, then run, you program those segments into the watch before you begin, and can start each segment as you go. It also records transition time, so you can see exactly how long you take to switch between each event of a triathlon.

Once recorded, the data will automatically transmit to your computer (set up ahead of time) once you’re within range. The data can then be tracked, monitored, and filtered as you desire, using Garmin’s included software (better for PCs than Macs) or whatever software you prefer.

Bottom line: The Garmin Forerunner 310XT is a powerful and robust waterproof GPS watch that does just about everything except map GPS routes underwater (which isn’t possible). Its display is easy to customize and it tracks pace, distance, heart rate, and GPS location. Collected data is wirelessly updated to a computer for tracking statistics. This watch is waterproof up to 50 meters and has 20 hours of battery power.

Garmin Forerunner 110 Review

November 10th, 2010 by Craig Smith No comments »

Pros

  • Easy to use / little to no setup
  • Affordable
  • Small, comfortable, lightweight
  • Looks like a regular watch
  • Heart rate monitor available separately, if desired
  • Strong GPS signal (reads satellites within 10-15 seconds in most areas)

Cons

  • Less robust features than pricier models (esp. no “current speed” reading)
  • Data updates via USB (some other models update wirelessly)

Review

Garmin Forerunner 110The Garmin Forerunner 110 is a simple but high quality GPS running watch. It is designed to track distance and pace, keep track of a geographic route, and to save data for downloading, assessing, and comparing over time. This watch is one of the simplest in the Garmin GPS lineup, and as such it has fewer bells and whistles than other models, which some users like and some don’t. However this also makes it more affordable. For users who are interested in heart rate monitoring, a compatible monitor can be purchased separately for around $30.

The data is recorded while runners are out on the road or trail, and it can then be uploaded to a computer using the included USB cable. The data is then viewable with Garmin’s robust online workout tracking programs (which are free to us with the purchase of the watch). This includes seeing the route replayed on Google maps.

Garmin excels at GPS technology, and the Forerunner 110 is no exception. Though a few have had trouble in specific geographic areas, most users pick up GPS satellites within 10-15 seconds and rarely, if ever, lose them over the course of a run. This results in highly accurate mapping within the tracking program.

One advantage of the Garmin Forerunner 110’s simplicity is its profile. This watch is smaller, lighter, and generally more comfortable than many of its cousins. This has especially been praised by runners with slim or average wrists, who often find the other watches cumbersome. The slim profile and simple design also allow runners to wear this as a regular wristwatch if they desire.

Another advantage is the ease of use. The Garmin Forerunner 110’s display and controls are straightforward and the setup time is very minimal. Consequently, all of this simplicity also makes this one of the more affordable Garmin GPS running watches on the market.

The only notable complaint about this unit is that it doesn’t report a runner’s current speed. It shows average speed of the total run, and average speed per split (which users can set as short as a quarter mile). The split speed is sufficient for many runners, but those who prefer immediate, current speed display (like a speedometer in the car) may find this watch insufficient for their needs.

Bottom line: The Garmin Forerunner 110 is a high quality basic GPS running watch that records route/position, speed, and distance, all of which can be tracked over time using Garmin’s online tools. This is ideal for runners who want a simple, lightweight, affordable running watch. Runners seeking extra bells and whistles should consider pricier models.

Suunto X10 Review

November 10th, 2010 by Craig Smith No comments »

Pros

  • Many features not found on other watches (e.g. barometer)
  • Saves up to 500 waypoints
  • Waterproof up to 100 meters/330 feet (farther than competing Garmin watch)
  • Very lightweight and compact

Cons

  • Consistent construction problems make watch unwearable: numerous horror stories of watch face and buttons falling off due to cheap adhesive

Review

Suunto X10The Suunto X10 Watch is designed as a high-grade, complex, multi-function GPS athletic watch. Suunto has a reputation for very high end watches. The number of exceptional features found on this watch are well above most competitors: the company has put considerable thought and effort into equipping the Suunto X10 with nothing short of every bell and whistle they could think of.  Unfortunately, the watch’s construction does not seem to have been approached with that same level of care. Consistent complaints of structural defects, if unaddressed by Suunto, will make the purchase of the X10 a gamble.

It’s an understandable gamble: the laundry list of features on this lightweight watch (its housing is just 76 grams) is impressive. Its menu-based interface gives users control of some of the standard GPS running watch features, including distance, speed, stopwatch, etc. It also tracks the route of travel using responsive GPS technology. The Suunto X10 will mark and keep track of up to 500 waypoints.

Less common features include the X10’s compass, barometer (with storm watch technology), thermometer, and altimeter. It is water resistant to a depth of 100 meters (about 330 feet) and also features adjustable declination. In addition, the X10 contains a calendar and can be set for 5 alarms at once: 3 daily alarms, 1 altimeter alarm, and 1 weather alarm.

More conventional, practical features include the Suunto X10’s backlight, rechargeable battery (charger is included), and low battery indicator. Suunto recommends the X10 for use in backcountry travel, military assignments, and generalized outdoor adventure activities.

Like other GPS watches, the data that the Suunto X10 collects can be tracked for statistical comparison overtime and is compatible with Google Earth (to recreate routes travelled).

One final feature of the Suunto X10 GPS watch is its inclusion of a 2-year warranty. This, unfortunately, is a feature noted by many owners of this watch because they have had to take advantage of it. Despite Suunto’s reputation for high quality watches and clear emphasis on multi-functionality, numerous owners report structural integrity problems. Specifically, the adhesive used to hold the watch together does not hold. The plastic watch face, as well as the buttons, have both fallen off for multiple owners of this watch. Though Suunto replaces the unit quickly and politely, the replacements do not seem to be any better.

Unless Suunto has improved their assembly and found a new adhesive, the bells and whistles may not be worth the purchase.

Bottom line: The Suunto X10 is a high-end GPS watch that has many fun features and gadgets not found in other GPS watches, including barometer, digital compass, thermometer, and even altimeter. Unfortunately, the X10’s lightweight plastic housing is not always held together with reliable adhesive. Unless Suunto has changed their manufacturing practice, buyers should be ready for the possibility of the watch falling apart, literally, at the seams.

Timex Ironman Global Trainer Review

November 10th, 2010 by Craig Smith No comments »

Pros

  • Attractive, high quality appearance
  • Four-display screen is very easy to read
  • Customizable displays
  • Massive amount of features and options (compass, map, etc.)
  • Good for multi-sport athletes (customize settings for up to 5 sports)

Cons

  • Satellite signals can load very slowly and aren’t as accurate as Garmin
  • No foot pod
  • Limited to TrainingPeaks software
  • Marketed to triathletes, but unclear whether it’s waterproof

Review

Timex Ironman Global TrainerThe Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS with Heart Rate Monitor is a robust GPS running watch. This watch offers a slough of customization options compared to some of its competitors and collects a considerable amount of data. The data that it records includes pace/speed, distance, GPS location (including latitude, longitude, and altitude), heart rate, and more. Than data is then uploaded to PC software or the internet for tracking workout patterns and statistics over time.

One downside to the Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS running watch is its lack of additional devices, specifically a foot pod to track distance covered on treadmill workouts. Another fairly common complaint is inconsistent GPS reception and accuracy. But the deeper you get into this watch, the more bells and whistles you’ll find, including a compass function, viewable maps, and more.

One of the most appealing features of the Timex Ironman Global Trainer is its display, which is crisp in appearance and easier to read than many of its competitors. The watch face features four small display screens, each of which is customizable and can be toggled through during a workout. This allows athletes to view overall information such as total distance and total time (or time per split) while also viewing more dynamic data, such as pace and heart rate.

The Timex Ironman Global Trainer also allows users to establish different settings for up to 5 sports. For example, owners can access preferred displays for biking, hiking, distance running, sprints, etc., rather than adjusting settings each time they switch sports. For triathletes in training, this GPS running watch can also be programmed to switch from one sport to another, including transitions, at the touch of a button, which allows for accurate speed statistics.

Unfortunately, not all users are pleased with their post-workout options. Data reported and collected from the Timex Ironman Global Trainer can be imported into the software Timex provides or into its online training statistics program, both from TrainingPeaks. To access more advanced tracking features, users must pay a monthly subscription to upgrade, and it appears that the data cannot be used with any of the other training programs or websites currently available. (If you buy this watch and find Garmin to have changed their policy, please let us know.)

Bottom line: The Timex Ironman Global Trainer is a GPS training watch that tracks heart rate, distance, speed, and route. Although an attractive watch with many high-end features and options, this watch is one of Timex’s first attempts at a GPS running watch. It has several functional downsides that may be reason to wait for a newer model or select a more experienced competitor.

Garmin Forerunner 305 Review

August 16th, 2009 by Craig Smith No comments »

Click Here To Learn More About The Garmin Forerunner 305

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 2.1 x 2.7 x 0.7 inches (5.33 x 6.86 x 1.78 cm)
  • Display: 1.3 x 0.8 inches (3.3 x 2.0 cm)
  • Resolution: 160 x 100 pixels
  • Weight: 2.72 oz (77 g)
  • Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
  • Battery life: 10 hours, typical
  • Water resistant: yes (IPX7)
  • GPS-enabled: yes
  • High-sensitivity receiver: yes
  • RoHS version available: yes
  • Lap history: 1,000 laps
  • Waypoints/favorites/locations: 100
  • Routes: 50
  • Heart rate monitor: yes
  • Bike speed/cadence sensor: yes (some versions)
  • Foot pod: yes (optional)
  • Automatic sync: no
  • Garmin Connect™ compatible: yes
  • Garmin Training Center compatible: yes
  • Virtual Partner: yes
  • Courses: yes
  • Auto Pause: yes
  • Auto Lap: yes
  • Auto Scroll: yes
  • Multi-sport: yes
  • Advanced workouts: yes
  • Simple workouts: yes
  • Pace alert: yes
  • Time/distance alert: yes
  • Vibration alert: no
  • Interval training: yes
  • Customizable screen(s): yes
  • Unit-to-unit transfer: no
  • Sport watch: no

Pros

  • Excellent Signal Reception
  • Precise speed, distance and pace data
  • Allows downloading of workout data for analysis
  • Can be used for biking, skiing, running and other sports
  • Online mapping

Cons

  • Variable pace readings
  • Not Mac friendly

Review

Garmin Forerunner 305The Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS watch is a sleek, stylish GPS enabled personal trainer. It is great for runners who want to have speed, heart rate and distance data on an easy-to-read display. It includes a highly sensitive GPS receiver and a wireless heart monitor to help runners keep the maximum level of performance during their workout.

The Forerunner 305 comes in at a very reasonable 2.72 ounces and a 2.1″ X 2.7″ X 0.7″ WxHxD size. It’s not as small as the average sports watch, but it will do so much more to push you to your best workout.

The 305 can display enough data to have your head spinning. But, they’ve made it easy to arrange the display so that the information that is most important to you is front and center. Plus, you will have it that way in just minutes since the 305 is easy to set up.

The 305 has the SiRFstarIII GPS receiver that can track you through tall trees and near tall buildings. The GPS antenna wraps around your wrist and gives the unit a better view of the horizon in order to lock in on the satellites.

The course feature found on the 305 allows you to compete against yourself by comparing your pace and your heart rate against data stored from previous workouts over the same course. One accessory available for the 305 is the Garmin Foot Pod.  The Foot Pod allows you to run indoors on a treadmill and still collect accurate pace and distance data.

The Forerunner 305 allows you to upload your data to the Internet via Garmin’s MotionBased service giving you a web application that takes your GPS data and translates it into usable online performance and mapping analysis. After browsing through your cumulative stats you can share and compare them with others.

The Garmin Forerunner 305 is considered to be one of the most user-friendly watches on the market. It can provide you with simplicity and accuracy, two elements necessary to using your GPS trainer effectively. The Forerunner 305 is a proven addition to your training. It has been around for a number of years and generally gets good reviews.

Click Here To Learn More About The Garmin Forerunner 305

Videos




Click Here To Learn More About The Garmin Forerunner 305

Manuals

Owner’s Manual
Quick Start Guide
Foot Pod Quick Reference Guide
Heart Rate Monitor Guide