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8636 Views 27 Replies Latest reply: Jan 11, 2012 6:32 AM by gpb11 RSS 1 2 Previous Next
squilky Pro 91 posts since
Jul 18, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 4, 2011 5:52 AM

Garmin vs iPhone

I have a bit of a dillema. As much as I try to monitor my own pace, my mind wanders and I tend to speed up or slow down frequently throughout my run. So I need a little technology assistance to stay on track. I have an older Garmin Forerunner (a 101 I think), and I have my iPhone equipped with Nike+ and Run Keeper. When I run, I usually run in the evening around dusk. The heat is tollerable and my son is usually in bed by then, so I get some me time in.I tried running by feel, and when I looked at my pace on Nike+ there were lots of peaks and valleys in my graph. So I want to try to stay on track and run a more consistant pace. Now here is my dillema...

 

I think overall my Forerunner is more accurate. Problem is, it's a monocrome display and hard to glance at and read. It has a built in light, but I don't want to have to fumble with it while Im running. Plus I run the risk of hitting one of the other buttons and stopping or pausing my workout when I attempt to turn the light on. When I run with my iPhone, 1) I have music 2) I have a bright, big display that is easy to glance at and check my pace.

 

My question is, has anyone ever tested the accuracy of the iPhone 4 vs a Garmin standalone unit? Am I doing myself a diservice by relying on the data I get from my iPhone? I notice in the last update, the Nike+ app added a calibration feature which allows you to manually adjust the distance you ran. So that leads me to believe that maybe Nike received some complaints about the accuracy of the app? So do I just run with both and compare the results? If there is a signifigant discrepency, do I trust the older Garmin or the newer technology in the iPhone?





Couch to 5k completed: 7/15/2011

USPTO 5K 10/16/2011; 29:14 110/238

Bull Run Festival of Lights 5K 12/31/2011; 31:30 324/683

Primal Mud Run 4/14/2012; 1:29:29

Cody's Crew 5k 9/16/2012 31:15

  • Surfing_Vol Legend 848 posts since
    Nov 6, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 4, 2011 8:35 AM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Garmin vs iPhone

    Nike + is unreliable.  There are thousands of complaints about it.  Even the new Nike + gps watch is unreliable because it relies on the footpod.

     

    There are better apps for your iPhone that take advantage of the built-in gps.  I have a friends who use  Endomondo and Runtracker.  I've also heard good things about imapmyrun (or something of the sort).

     

    I use a Garmin 305, which is fairly durable BUT hard to read, especially when it is dark outside.  I chose to use the Garmin because (1) it doesn't have my life on it, unlike my iPhone, and (2) a new one costs slightly more than $100, unlike a new iPhone.





    Presentation1.jpg

    Surfing Vol

    "Victory through attrition!"

    Charleston Half-Marathon 1/15/2011 -- 1:52:03

    The Scream! Half-Marathon 7/16/2011 -- 1:56:00

  • StaticZep Amateur 15 posts since
    Nov 9, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Aug 4, 2011 10:37 AM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Garmin vs iPhone

    Brick on your arm vs. a watch... Hmmm...

     

    Why anyone wants to run with a brick (i.e., iPhone) on their arm is beyond me.  I am expecting to see runners training with actual clay bricks strapped around their arms just so they are better prepped for their races with the celluar version on their arm come raced day.  My advice is to go out and buy a Garmin 305.  The later models of the Garmin are too expensive for what you will use the watch for, they won't score you any compliments, and have a ton of complaints about the "bezel" used to toggle between screens.  The 305 is a Large watch with a Large display.  It's the Jitterbug of running watches if you will. Takes no effort at all to toggle between screens while running or to hit the top button on the left of the watch to illuminate the display.  I have trained with the 305 in all weather conditions including this wiltering hellish humidity-filled endless heat we have been experiencing this summer. No issues.  When I was checking out all the different watches before I decided to go with the 305, I was worried it was too big and would be too bulky.  It's not.  The watch fits snug and has nice training features and great accuracy unlike the iPhone.

     

    I have several friends who use their iPhones while running and in races.  They don't complain about the bulkiness (guess some people aren't as picky as me). They use the Runkeeper app to track their runs, which also has a feature to post your results to FB when you finish your run.  However, unless every race director in Indiana cannot accurately map out and measure out their race distances, the Runkeeper is not so accurate.  I asked the director of the Jingle Bell 5K Run in Indy how accurate his course was (mapmyrun.com had the course over 3.1 miles) he told me in great detail how they measured it and that he would be "tar and feathered and shipped back to the North Pole" if his measurements were off. The only time my Garmon was off was when my dumb a$$ programmed a 15K at 9.03 miles instead of 9.3 miles. Fortunately for me, I recognized that when my watch beeped that  people were still running and no finish line was in sight; therefore, I was best to keep running.  Have to be 10% smarter than your watch even if you were 10% more stupid when you programmed it if that makes any sense.


    I, probably not unlike you, love to run to music (Noisy neighbor kids, barking dogs, and cars do nothing for me. Squealing cats do but I digress).  Fortunately, my Creative Stone mp3 player is still functioning even they it came out in the Paleozoic Era five years ago. It weighs nothing and has a great armband.  You could be lucky and find one on ebay still.  But you might be an Apple junkie and really hate me for even recommending something that Steve Jobs didn't announce on stage just last week (...or this week depending on when you read this).  If that's the case, the Shuffle should be suffice.  Consumer Reports doesn't rank them all that high but might be worth it just for the fact that you won't have any problem finding accessories (e.g., armbands if you prefer) in any color, bling, and material on this planet.

     

    Good luck and happy running.





    Indianapolis Monumental Marathon 11/05/11 - 3:50:19

    Indianapolis Half Marathon 10/15/11 - 1:44:59

    Nobesville 10-Miler (NHS) 09/24/11 - 1:16:07

    The Melt Down (Shelbyville) - 3 5Ks 07/16/11 - 1) 22:59 2) 24:30 3) 24:10

    Carmel Marathon 06/11/11 - 3:56:02 (a hot one!!!)

    Indy 500 Mini Marathon 05/07/11 - 1:48

    Indy 500 Training Series 15K 04/09/11 - 1:11:41

    Sam Costa Half (Carmel) 03/26/11 - 1:45

    Indy 500 Training Series 10K 03/05/11 - 46:21

    Polar Bear Doubler 3 & 5 Mile 02/19/11 - 3M - 22:00, 5M - 38:10

    Indy 500 Training Series 5K 02/12/11 - 22:01

    Race to the New Year 5K 01/08/11 - 23:59

    Jingle Bell 5K 12/11/10 - 23:23

    Turkey Trot - Noblesville 5K 11/25/10 - 24:00

    Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon 11/06/10 - 1:58

  • hwkwyld Pro 81 posts since
    Feb 24, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Aug 4, 2011 12:01 PM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Garmin vs iPhone

    I can't imagine running without my Garmin 305.  There is a backlight function on the Garmin, a quick press of the power button will activate it, and it uses a rechargeable battery.  Plug it into your computer or use the included wall adapter and you're good to go.  The heart-rate monitor does use a chest strap and personally I think it's comfortable and not difficult to run with.  I've had no problems with mine regardless of how much I sweat.

     

    I used Nike+ and hated it.  I've found the the Garmin much more reliable.  I had a friend of mine comment just yesterday that her Nike+ showed a 3.71 mile training run while her running partner's Garmin showed 4 miles.  To me that's a big difference.  I got my Garmin off Amazon for $128 shipped.  I guarantee that if you go with the Gamin you won't be disappointed.

     

    Let us know what you decide.

     

    Brian





    2012:

    1/29 - Ice Breakers Tri: 51:15

    Swim (400Y) - 7:46; Bike (10 Miles) - 20:20; Run (2 Miles) - 23:09

    2/11 - Red Flannel Run (5 Miles): 1:01:45

    5/20 - Bluff Creek Triathlon (Sprint)

    6/10 - Trinona Triathlon (International)

    6/24 - Copper Creek Triathlon (Sprint)

    10/21 - Des Moines Marathon

  • Dobrobuck Pro 151 posts since
    Apr 17, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Aug 4, 2011 5:22 PM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Garmin vs iPhone

    I have to agree with the other Garmin 305 runners here. Mine has been very reliable so far. The only battery to change would be the one in the HR monitor strap and thats good for a year according to the mfg. The watch comes with a charger. You can make the screens you want to view very visable and the light is very easy to activate. There are alarm monitors you can set for your pace or HR zone your trying to run in so you could set your favorite zone and never have to use the light. Its a very versatile watch although I haven't used it to it's full potential yet. I use it for my wifes run/walk intervals and it works great for that too. The intervals will work great when I need to do some speed work. The accuracy of the GPS has been spot on so far and I'm very happy with my purchase. Hope this helps. I should add that I was using my Blackberry with a great trainer app, but having someone call while I'm running just isn't cool for me. My music when I feel the need comes from an mp3 player.





    4/30/11 IL Marathon 10K 57:43

    5/14/11 Kirby Derby 10K 57:49 3rd place in div

    7/4/11 Freedom 5K 28:59

    Lost 80lbs since 6/17/10 starting wt 280lbs

    Joined Second Wind Running Club 9/2011

    8/27/11 13.38mi 2:32

    9/17/11 13.45mi 2:27

    Habitat for Humanity 5K 12/31/11 26:42 PR

    4/28/12 IL Marathon 1st 1/2 2:10:38

    Cycled 1600 mi summer of 2012

    Cycled Hilly Hundred 10/25/12

    Upcoming races

    April 2013 1st full marathon..

  • dwm082 Community Moderator 1,063 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Aug 5, 2011 3:14 AM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Garmin vs iPhone

    The Garmin Forerunner 305 is in no way waterproof. There are four speaker holes in the back that admit sweat and other moisture. My 305 died after a couple of years because of moisture (sweat, most likely) intruding into the case through those holes and corroding the battery contacts. It's theoretically a small matter to crack the case open and clean the contacts, but I wasn't able to re-seal the case in a way that allowed the battery contact to work consistently. I ended up spending the extra cash on a 310XT (actually waterproof) and I haven't regretted it.

     

    If you don't need the heart rate monitoring, you might be able to find a Forerunner 205 on the cheap somewhere. Same as the 305, but no heart rate monitoring capability.

     

    I've run with Runkeeper on my iPhone as well as RubiTrack. Both have been reasonably consistent with my Garmin results, but your experience will vary widely based on the area in which you run. The iPhone (and possibly other smart phones) use "assisted" GPS, which is a combination of GPS satellites and local cell towers and wi-fi hotspots to fix your location.

     

    I'd steer clear of the foot pod options. You need to calibrate those to your stride length, which might vary a bit from day-to-day. Depending on how far you're running, tiny discrepancies in stride length can add up to substantial distance differences (probably not miles, but maybe tenths of miles).

     

    Don





    2012 Race Schedule

    Providence Marathon (4:48:55)

    Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)

    Chicago Marathon (October 7)

  • rungeorge3439 Rookie 1 posts since
    Aug 5, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Aug 5, 2011 3:24 AM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Garmin vs iPhone

    Thank you for all the info on the Garmin and iPhone, etc. as this is great stuff to know when I make my own decision on which to go with. Thanks!





    I'm a big fan of barley green!

  • DadtoTwins Pro 55 posts since
    Mar 17, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Aug 5, 2011 4:47 AM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Garmin vs iPhone

    I have the Garmin 305 and love it, but one piece of advice/warning: The instantaneous pace function is pretty much useless. That is, you can't say to yourself "I wonder how fast I'm going?" and look down at the watch and tell. It won't be accurate - by far. At any point in time, the instant pace jumps from around 6 min/mi to 11 min/mi. I have no idea why. I usually run at a fairly constant pace. However, the average pace seems to be pretty good. You need to set it to auto lap every mile and display your average lap pace.





    _____________________________________


    PR's

    Run the Quay 5k, 6/4/11, 24:34

    Tobacco Road Half Marathon 3/20/2011, 1:52:19

  • StaticZep Amateur 15 posts since
    Nov 9, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Aug 5, 2011 12:34 PM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Garmin vs iPhone

    DadtoTwins (I am a dad of twins too ) is right -- the real time pace feature on the 305 is pretty much useless.  However, the virtual trainer makes up for it!  I set a pace and distance for my regular runs (sans speed workouts) and activate the virtual partner.  With the virtual partner you can tell exactly where you are with your pace at any given time throughout your run.  The screen turns black with white font when you are behind the pace you set, and the background turns white with black font when you are ahead of the pace (distance measured in feet).  This is the best feature of the 305 in my humble opinion.  If my stick figure doesn't beat that other stick figure...ugh, not a good night!





    Indianapolis Monumental Marathon 11/05/11 - 3:50:19

    Indianapolis Half Marathon 10/15/11 - 1:44:59

    Nobesville 10-Miler (NHS) 09/24/11 - 1:16:07

    The Melt Down (Shelbyville) - 3 5Ks 07/16/11 - 1) 22:59 2) 24:30 3) 24:10

    Carmel Marathon 06/11/11 - 3:56:02 (a hot one!!!)

    Indy 500 Mini Marathon 05/07/11 - 1:48

    Indy 500 Training Series 15K 04/09/11 - 1:11:41

    Sam Costa Half (Carmel) 03/26/11 - 1:45

    Indy 500 Training Series 10K 03/05/11 - 46:21

    Polar Bear Doubler 3 & 5 Mile 02/19/11 - 3M - 22:00, 5M - 38:10

    Indy 500 Training Series 5K 02/12/11 - 22:01

    Race to the New Year 5K 01/08/11 - 23:59

    Jingle Bell 5K 12/11/10 - 23:23

    Turkey Trot - Noblesville 5K 11/25/10 - 24:00

    Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon 11/06/10 - 1:58

  • kelda1 Rookie 6 posts since
    Mar 21, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Aug 5, 2011 4:25 PM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Garmin vs iPhone

    I have the Garmin 205cx and love it.  I don't have the best vision but the display is large enough for me to read even in low light.

    I got the 205 because I needed something to use on my bike along with my runs.

  • Debm2011 Legend 361 posts since
    Jun 12, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Aug 7, 2011 11:21 AM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Garmin vs iPhone

    Very informative thread  - thanks!  I tried RunKeeper, wasn't completely impressed, and also found it was off.  I'm currently running with Endomondo.  On 2 runs it seemed to be one-tenth short compared with MapMyRun.com, but on every run since then it's been right on the button.  I like that it "speaks"  my pace and total running time at each mile without having to look at anything (I keep my Droid tucked into my amphipod).  What I really wanted was something to keep me at a steady pace, maybe with audible reminders when I deviate from my desire pace, beause my Endomondo graph is also filled with lots of peaks and valleys. There is one app out there that purports to do that, but the reviews were all sketchy.   Can a Garmin do something like that?   Also, I've never run with a watch of any kind on - is it hard to get used to? Are they highly adjustable?  I have very slender wrists - and a very slender budget.

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