I recently purchased a Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS to complement my running training with Fastforward Sports. I’m training for the Bolder Boulder 10K and the Rocky Mountain 1/2 Marathon and thought this gadget would be just what the doctor ordered.
It is feature-packed, GPS-enabled wrist-top computer that is designed to assist in training for running, biking, and other athletic endeavors. Although it is much larger than a normal wristwatch, it is very comfortable and fun to wear. The Forerunner 305 also comes with a heartrate monitor strap that is worn across the chest.
I have been using it to record my runs so far, but tonight was the first time I loaded a workout onto the unit and let it guide me through my run. It was awesome- it told me exactly what to do during the run, “60 seconds of Zone 4 running”, “Your heartrate is too high- slow down!!!”, “Slow jog until Lap button is pressed”, “Speed up!”, “Slow Down!”, “Pace is just right.” It is to running what turn-by-turn GPS units are to driving!
Anyway, I’m using several pieces of software to help with this:
- Garmin Training Center runs on my PC and provides nice, local storage of workouts for free, with no restrictions of any kind. Plus, it has the ability to plan custom workouts (which I did tonight) and courses. All in all, I am very pleased with how well it integrates with the unit including it’s ability to provide totals of workouts based on different criteria. However, I wish it used Google Maps instead of the Garmin Mapsource maps and that it provided more comprehensive analysis of workouts.
- MotionBased.com is Garmin’s procured website for training data that is soon to be replaced by Garmin Connect. The site does a nice job of presenting data analysis, but unfortunately, they offer additional paid services which limits the normal service capabilities. However, the maps are based on Google Maps which is refreshing compared to Garmin Training Center and they have a very cool feature called Player that allows you to see a point move on the map while cross hairs indicate speed, elevation, and heartrate! It seems like this will be a feature that will be incorporated in Garmin Connect. In the mean time before the transition, you can see my training history at rumitcu.motionbased.com
That’s all for now until Garmin Connect comes online…