Would like some input on these to speed,Distance,HRM units. I currently use a Polar Portrainer XT and have been a Polar user for many years. I want to upgrade to one of the aforementioned Products. Any Pros and Cones about them. Cost is not a problem, performance and reliablity is though
I have no experience with the Polar 625X. However. I have recently purchased the Garmin Forerunner 301. I have really enjoyed using it. My run times and distances have improved by using the data it provides. I am not bothered by the size of the wrist unit, which i was concerned about, and the size of the display makes it very easy to see while running. The controls are also easy to use. I have not downloaded information to the computer yet to experiment with the supplied software.
I would recommend the Garmin based on my use.
I used a Polar HRM, but it was a mid-level model. I couldn't connect it to a PC.
I recently purchased the Forerunner 301. I've only been using it a week, but it's great. Set up is minimal. I am new to the area, so being able to map my routes and see them on a detailed map is greatly helpful. I have not used the training partner or the interval training features yet, but if they are as good as the standard features, I should be more than pleased. Although it is a bit bulky, I really like my Forerunner. I just need to get the mounting kit so i can put it on my bike.
I found the Garmin from the GPS Store on-line for $229. It shipped in 1 day and arrived 2 days after that. Every other place wanted $299. I've had it 2 weeks and I love it.
No experience with GF 301, but with Polar 625x. I found the foot pod to be slightly off, compared to my GPS Timex Speed & Distance watch. I also didn't like how the foot pod wouldn't read unless the heart rate strap was on you, too. I was able to test this thing out for free to use it for our fitness center's sports programs. The business bought it, and I got to 'play' with it. I'd use it for long distance running, but for short distances like 100m or less, it can't get much of an accurate reading like a GPS monitor watch can.
Rick Karboviak, CSCS
I have a garmin 201 and have had great luck with the gps features... I use it all the time. I also use Topofusion to view the data which makes it easy to 3d render your workouts with high rez satellite and/or arial photos. The training partner feature is also useful for faster workouts. I think that adding the hr monitor makes it a pretty darned useful device overall.
Well folks finally took everyones suggestion and got the Fourunner 301.
So far I'm impressed(7 run/cycle inputs so far). Makes looking forward to my next Workout. I thought I might not care for the size to the wrist unit but its not that bad, actually its very easy to view.
The supporting training program is nice and makes in- putting the data easier through the download setting.
The pre-programed workouts are nice. I,ve used 2 of them so far and they worked great, and a custom one i did.
So Far So Good
Dennis or whoever would like to comment....are you still happy with the Forerunner 301? I'm looking to treat myself to either the 301 or 625X with a small bonus I just received. I really like knowing my distance on runs to be able calculate my pace. I'm nervous about spending this amount of money on either unit and not having accurate distance measurments. One the big concerns I hear about GPS units in general is running under trees and losing the signal. Is this a major concern? Comments?
Also, hows the HM on the 301? I think this is Garmin's intro into the HM market. Any problems or comments?
I've heard good comments on the 301 from a couple of my clients who train for marathons. I'm interested in getting a 201 or 301 this summer. I'm a big advocate for GPS monitors in general. I wrote an article that was published in the NSCA's S&C Journal on using such technology, and I think it aids today's athlete quite effectively.
Rick Karboviak, CSCS
Thanks Rick for the thumbs up vote on GPS monitors. Do your clients find them very accurate or only good enough for what they want to do? Any of them complain about signal loss when going under heavy tree areas (trail running)?
I have a Forerunner 201 and satellite signal is occasionally lost under tree cover. However, the device recalibrates once you are back out in the open. It also sucks in cities with tall buildings, which makes use at the start of some urban races problematic. For these reasons the Forerunner is more accurate over longer distances.
The bigger annoyance is the lag time of the forerunner to show "current" pace. From a dead stop, it often takes 20 seconds or more to accurately reflect your speed. It will start at 25 min/mile or slower and only eventually show that you are actually running 8 min/mile which you instictively know you were doing when you left your doorstep.
With that said, I pay more attention to the pace during races, appreciate the Forerunner's interval setting options and recording of average pace over the course of a run. It's a great training aide, while biking, too.
My biggest complaint is that I have been unable to get my home PC to establish a connection with the Forerunner when plugged in. this has prevented me from updating the firmware in the unit (from 3.30 to 3.50) or downloading the available logbook and mapping software to create routes.
I'm waiting for help from Garmin's tech support. Hopefully a solution is at hand. Even if one isn't, I enjoy my Forerunner immensely and will continue to use it -- if I don't unload it on a running buddy and move up to a Forerunner 301.
I can't recall, over the past year I've had my Forerunner 201, having trouble with it on cloudy days.
I just got the bugger's firmware updated and all my run logged. Turns out the problem was me. I'm too embarassed to provide details.
So far ive absolutely enjoyed the use of the FR301 i use it on every run or cycle trip i take, hell i even used it last month when the wife and i walk all around Disneyland Anaheim(didn't realize how far you walk in that place). but for a training devise it has all most people should need. sometimes it does jump when under a large canopy of tress but it doesn't lose the info and the distance stays true. Haven't had any problems on cloudy days. The only problem is especially after you've started using it is that you want to look at the watch more than where going which can be hazardous(ive had a couple close calls). So i set it up to beep at every mile and use the speed settings to beep when im out of a particular pace,and only occasional glance at the watch. when your done then you can go over all the info and download the route, pace, HR, etc.
so for those who get one enjoy and be safe.