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4221 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Apr 30, 2011 10:39 AM by how2runfast
Arun Gupta Amateur 9 posts since
Dec 14, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

May 26, 2010 12:46 PM

GPS Running Watch

I've used Polar F11 for past few years but hitting upon its limitation in my increased training and travels around the world. I've also seen some articles in this community about GPS watches but they mostly seem to be dated, at least a year old or so. Most of the articles seems to be slightly dated as well.

 

I'm willing to spend up to about $250. Garmin 405 (http://www.rei.com/product/767423) looks like a good choice but a short batery life, unreliable bezel, and not-Mac-friendly seems to be an issue there.

 

What are my other comparable choices ?

 

-Arun

  • ActiveWatches Dave Legend 207 posts since
    Apr 13, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. May 26, 2010 2:21 PM (in response to Arun Gupta)
    Re: GPS Running Watch

    Yeah, if you're looking for more advanced features and GPS capability is a priority, go with the Garmin 405.  More information on Garmin 405s can be found here: http://www.runnersworld.com/community/forums/shoes-stuff/gear-electronics 





    ActiveWatches.com - The Place for Sports Watches

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  • dwm082 Community Moderator 1,063 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. May 27, 2010 11:32 AM (in response to Arun Gupta)
    Re: GPS Running Watch

    Garmin seems to have updated their Mac software, so it's now more Mac-friendly. I have a 310XT and I'm having very few issues. (The Garmin ANT agent crashes sometimes, but it's not really that big a deal. Just restart it and it's transferring data again without any trouble.)

     

    Though I haven't used the 405, the complaints about the bezel's poor reaction to moisture convinced me that it wasn't the way to go. Given your parameters, I'd go with the 305. It's going for under $200, the software is Mac-compatible (I was using the 305 with my Mac before the 305 died; it's not a water-tight unit, so the internals corroded after a few years). If the heart-rate monitor isn't something you see yourself using, you could probably even go with a 205 and save a few more dollars.

     

    Don





    2012 Race Schedule

    Providence Marathon (4:48:55)

    Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)

    Chicago Marathon (October 7)

  • msucj21 Pro 58 posts since
    Mar 19, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. May 27, 2010 1:43 PM (in response to Arun Gupta)
    Re: GPS Running Watch

    I just received the Garmin 305 for a birthday gift and I am absolutely in love with it.  The accuracy is phenomenal.  The only drawback is that it is sort of bulky but I'm getting used to it.  I highly suggest a Garmin.





              MSUcj21


    3/21-Shamrock Shuffle 8K- 46:24
    4/10-Wrigley Early Start 5K- 27:36

    4/25-Ravenswood Run 5K- 27:18
    5/1-CPD Run to Remember 5K- 26:54
    5/29-Soldier Field 10 Mile- 1:36:42

    6/6- United Run for the Zoo 10K- 57:55

    7/11- Utica Boilermaker Road Race- 1:31:29
    8/1-Rock n Roll Half Marathon: 2:13:57

              


  • dwm082 Community Moderator 1,063 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. May 27, 2010 6:17 PM (in response to Arun Gupta)
    Re: GPS Running Watch

    I believe Timex, Polar, and Suunto also have GPS-capable watches, with the addition of a GPS pod unit. There's (usually) additional expense involved in adding the GPS capability, an additional piece of equipment to deal with, and the pricing is a bit higher. Garmin sort of has the fitness GPS market cornered (in my estimation).

     

    Don





    2012 Race Schedule

    Providence Marathon (4:48:55)

    Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)

    Chicago Marathon (October 7)

  • dwm082 Community Moderator 1,063 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. May 28, 2010 5:44 AM (in response to Arun Gupta)
    Re: GPS Running Watch

    Okay. Here's a Garmin rundown:

    • Bike/cadence sensor: Available at extra cost. Looks to be running between $30 and $50 online.
    • Interval training: Easy enough if you spend a little time getting used to the demented Garmin Training Center interface. I use it quite frequently with excellent results.
    • Routes: I believe the Garmins you listed have that capability, but I've never messed with it.
    • GPS: Depends on what you mean. If you're looking for something to help you navigate (e.g., turn-by-turn directions), I don't think you'll find anything on the market. Otherwise, the GPS capabilities are good for determining distance and your route can be overlaid on a map.
    • Mac compatible: Yup. At least I've been using a 305 and now a 310XT with my Mac. Worked fine with Leopard and now Snow Leopard. I can upload directly to my log at Running Ahead and should theoretically be able to upload to DailyMile, but I haven't spent any time figuring out why it hasn't worked for me. (I don't really care all that much.)
    • Speed/distance: As a function of the GPS capability, you'll get both of these things. Accuracy is generally pretty good; I find I'm sometimes off by .01 or  .02 miles or so after a run. If the extra 100 feet or so are super  important to you, you need to find yourself a military-grade GPS.
    • Water resistance: I'd say that the 310XT really stands out here. The 205/305 have little holes in the back of the unit that permit moisture to get inside the unit (I've never been up close and personal with a 405, so I don't know anything about it except what I've read). You might be able to get around that by plugging the holes with superglue, but I suspect that will create other problems. The 310XT is listed as being waterproof to 50 meters, so it should be just fine for jaunts in the rain and/or trail runs involving river crossings.

     

    I like having the option of training by heart rate, so the heart rate monitor is a must for me. I still had the strap left over from my 305, so I was able to buy my 310XT without the strap, saving me something like $50.

     

    The 310XT also has a vibrating pace/heart rate alert, which I like. The major problem with the 310XT is the price; it's over $300 (even without the HRM strap). The other thing to keep in mind is that even though it's billed as a great triathlete tool, the GPS and HRM don't really work very well/at all in the water. It just doesn't mind getting wet the way the other units do.

     

    I believe that on all of the Garmin units, you can customize your display to provide you with whatever information suits your fancy (up to four fields on a screen, with two or three customizable screens). I have one display set to show me my lap pace, heart rate, distance, and time of day (so I know if I'm going to make it home in time to shower and catch the bus to work). Very handy.

     

    Hope that helps!

     

    Don





    2012 Race Schedule

    Providence Marathon (4:48:55)

    Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)

    Chicago Marathon (October 7)

  • ActiveWatches Dave Legend 207 posts since
    Apr 13, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. May 28, 2010 7:19 AM (in response to dwm082)
    Re: GPS Running Watch

    Great rundown dwm082.  Very useful.  Thanks.





    ActiveWatches.com - The Place for Sports Watches

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  • Angelique Simpson Pro 92 posts since
    Mar 24, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. May 28, 2010 9:04 AM (in response to Arun Gupta)
    Re: GPS Running Watch

    I just purchased the 405 CX from REI yesterday, its currently on sale right now(bonus). The important thing for me was GPS (speed/distance tracking) and accurate calorie burning (heart rate monitor). For the price/etc, this was the one for me that matched my requirements. I have a Mac and was able to easily install the software and pair my device without any issues last night while it was charging. I've heard a lot of people comment about the bezel on this watch, so far I've not had any issues. If you are familiar with any apple products (ie ipods/iphone) it should be relatively easy to use. Of course, this is coming from someone that just purchased it and won't be taking it out for a run until tomorrow. I guess we'll see if I eat my words

     

    Good luck!





    ~Angelique


    ------------------------------------------

    http://acupofrunning.blogspot.com/

    Race History
    5K - Apr 2009: 39:00
    5K - Jun 2009: 36:55
    5K - Sep 2009: 34:06
    10K - Oct 2009: 1:13:45
    5K - Nov 2009: 34:23
    5K - Feb 2010: 32:28
    Half Marathon - Apr 2010: 2:39:06
    5K - May 2010: 29:49
    10K - Jun 2010: 1:01:48

    5K - Aug 2010: 27:57

    Half Marathon - Oct 2010: 2:12:18

    10K - Nov 2010: 52:44 (PR)

    5K - Feb 2011: 23:45

    Half Marathon - Apr 2011: 1:49:18

    Marathon - May 2011: 3:56:05

    Half Marathon - Oct 2011: 1:49:14 (PR)

    5K - Nov 2011: 22:20 (PR)

    Marathon - Dec 2011: 3:41:42 (PR)

  • Beer and Cupcakes Legend 970 posts since
    Nov 19, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Jul 1, 2010 4:05 PM (in response to Arun Gupta)
    Re: GPS Running Watch

    Check out the new Garmin Forerunner 110.   Smaller watch body,  improved battery life.  Looks slick, mens and womens models.  I just ordered my wife one for her BDay.    It has less features than the 405 but its much smaller, and lower cost (altho not cheap), but still has all the important features; pace, distance, upload to PC and webtools,  heart rate strap etc.

     

    cheers





    Virtual Racing Antagonist.  I run for beer and cupcakes.kenyan.jpg

    1 Mile PR 6:44

    5K PR 22:21 

    10K PR 48:30

    Half Marathon PR  1:48:43 

    Marathon PR - 4:09:10  

    i before e except after c, weird?

  • calbiker Pro 159 posts since
    Mar 21, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Jul 3, 2010 9:38 AM (in response to Beer and Cupcakes)
    Re: GPS Running Watch

    I have been using a Garmin 405CX for a couple weeks now and Love it! The only issues with the bezel are when it gets wet say from sweat for instance. The way around that is to lock the bezel during your work out, it is then pretty much bullet proof and has not given me any problems what so ever. The battery life is not an issue for me either as I use it only for running, I do not wear watches. I charge it once a week which is plenty to do the job.





    Onward and Forward !

  • stuu3270 Rookie 5 posts since
    Apr 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Apr 27, 2011 3:39 AM (in response to Arun Gupta)
    Re: GPS Running Watch

    Have a look at Best GPS For Running. Some more information on there that may point you in the right direction...





    Best GPS For Running

  • how2runfast Legend 207 posts since
    Sep 21, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Apr 30, 2011 10:39 AM (in response to Arun Gupta)
    Re: GPS Running Watch

    Here's a blog post that I wrote about GPS watches that might help you:

     

    6 Great GPS Watches for Under $200

     

    Some users of the Garmin 405 have reported that the touch bezel is a little "touchy".  The Garmin Connect and Garmin Training Center software is available for Macs running OS 10.4.11 or later with Safari, however I think most people with Garmins prefer to use the Training Peaks software, which has more features.  Training Peaks is available for the Mac and the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.





    Mike

    Boston Marathon Finisher

    How 2 Run Fast

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    Albany (NY) Times Union Runners Blog

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