Monday, July 6, 2009

Got my Garmin Forerunner 305!

I finally got this sucker in the mail today, popped it on the charger for a couple hours, and then went running as soon as it was done charging. I have to say, this is absolutely everything I hoped for. Pace, heart rate, calories, and distance all seem accurate. Apparently I had been underestimating my elevation gain/loss, so that was actually a really nice surprise. I did a fairly but not insanely hilly run today and figured I had covered somewhere between 1000 and 1500' of gain, but apparently I hit 1716' of gain and 1724' of loss (started at my doorstep, ended at my driveway... haha...). My total stats today, to give an example of what I get off this sucker, were 8.11 miles, 7:41/mile, max speed of 5:07/mile, average HR of 156 bpm, max HR of 182 bpm, elevation gain of 1716', elevation loss of 1724', max grade of 41% climb, max negative grade of 38% drop, 983 calories burned, minimum elevation of around 4895 feet, max elevation of 5575 feet, and a maximal climb from 4920' to 5575' with only 20' of drop the entire way, all within 1.1 miles (ie, average grade of 11.3% climb for 1.1 miles... ouch... haha...) Anyway, if anyone is considering getting one of these, I HIGHLY recommend it. This is going to be, without a doubt, the best thing to happen to my training in a LONG time.


  1. I love my Garmin. Sometimes I wish I had gotten the 205 (?) because I rarely use the HR strap. Guess I go more by feel. But it is handy for base miles. My only complaint is the battery is only 12 or 13 hours. I've never run a 100 (yet) but when I do, I'll probably just wear a watch. I love it though, great training tool.

  2. Just remember, GIGO...

    Data is worthless if you don't know how to use it or what to use it for. And sometimes overthinking shit just makes it more annoying. You have to be able to let it go from time to time...

    Just my caveat on don't get sucked into reading into every bit of information it can provide.

  3. I have one as well. I rarely wear the HR strap since it feels very uncomfortable to me.

    When near tall buildings, it's not as accurate, like max 3:05 per mile? WTF?

    Standing like a dork in front of my house with my hand up in the air, waiting for the sattelite signal to pick up is fun...

    I'm not sure I believe the elevation measurement, since it clocked 6,000ft of gain over 16 miles in a local park in MD. (Gunpowder State Park)

    But I ran a 50K and it showed up as 31.2 miles, so the distance measurement seems pretty accurate in the woods. (And that's what's important, knowing how far you have run. The rest is just fun trivia)

    All in all, I am mostly happy with it, and would recommend it.

  4. Yeah, I definitely needed the heart rate. I know that running long intervals keeping my heart rate as close to 175 as possible is my ticket to building a higher lactate threshold and running a faster marathon this fall, based on my cardiovascular testing I did around a month ago. And yeah, the numbers are just numbers, but I like numbers. :) I've read that some of the older 305s had issues with elevation, but they've supposedly fixed it and my run yesterday was definitely accurate. I can picture the entire run in my head and I know what every hill and peak on the profile from the run corresponds to, so it's definitely spot on. I agree that the distance is the most important thing, but I'm really trying to be more discerning about my training, and heart rate is really important as is elevation. My 2 ultras in August both have very significant elevation and it's really nice to be able to say "well, this run had 1700', so it would correspond to about 21000' over 100 miles", which helps to mentally prepare me to cover 20000' of elevation in 100 miles. I don't think I'll have to worry about tall buildings that much since I'm doing nearly all my non-track work on trails, just opting for flatter trails when I want to run faster (though they also claim to have significantly fixed the tall building issue on more recent 305s). Indoors though, yeah, it's way off. I used it for track work today and the heart rate seemed right on (other than a few blips where I randomly dropped 15 or 20 bpm for a few seconds), but it had horrible reception and my distance was way off (something like 20% short). I'd spend the $50 for the foot pod attachment, but it's pretty easy to tell how far you're going on a track just by counting the laps, so it seems pretty useless. haha...