Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Running and Tech

Gear that Gets You Going

Part 1

Everyone has seen my Garmin workout links - I love my Garmin, safe to say that without it I would not be as fit as I am and probably not have stuck with working out long enough to see the other side of 5 miles in a run. So what do I find so motivating? What do I find so addictive about my Garmin? Come on in. Lets take a closer look at this piece of genius that's equal parts awesome and win shall we?

The Garmin Forerunner 305

The device itself resembles an oversized wristwatch, and comes with an adjustable chest strap heart monitor. The watch itself has a very decently sized, legible display. The LCD panel is capable of displaying up to four fields on each display page simultaneously and you can cycle through three separate pages. The displays are easily stepped through while running by pressing the arrow keys on the right hand side of the watch. I myself sometimes use the second screen but most often will stay on the first screen. My normal mode is to have Distance, Time, Heart Rate and Speed displayed. The second page has 3 screens - Time of Day, Average Heart Rate and Average Speed. The last screen has Calories, Time of Day, Max Speed, Speed and Calories. Besides having the LCD monitor your work outs, you can set up alarms to tell you if you are crossing a threshold - either speed or heart rate. You can set high/low triggers that keep you in the particular zone you want to be in. I have my alarms set for heart rate - low alarm is 130, high is 135. This keeps me in the max aerobic function zone for fat burning and endurance. The display has a map mode as well, nothing spectacular, you can see your course layed out on the screen, but I have not used that very often due to the software and web content Garmin designed specifically for the sport watches.

Garmin's Web Interface

This is the landing page after you've logged into As you can see it provides a summary of your last 5 activities. The default google view is map, but satellite view is available. If you've visited my blog at all you are familiar with the public activity presentation and all the active content, if not here's my latest workout. I will address here some of the "behind the scenes" features of the website and just how useful this device can become.

This is a listing of all the activities recorded by the device, details are shown and individual runs can be selected via the activity name. but just from an initial glance I can see that my pace is increasing (w000t!) besides serving as a activity warehouse portal you can glean some data just by seeing changes over time.


This view shows all the activities chronologically in a calendar format, the workouts are still "clickable". I like this view as it shows the "holes" in my regime - you can tell at a glance if you need more exercise or conversely you can see that you are chalked full of workouts!


This page does basic data mining, if you want to know what you did last week, last 30 days, last year, etc this page adds it all up for you.

The Garmin 305 is a portable trainer that remembers everything you've done, can tell you how you are doing WHILE you are doing it and can show you the progress you've made over time. Personally I would not be where I am now without it, and I'm more confident moving forward with the 305 on my wrist.


  1. RITR,

    It's Cullie from Nike+, I've been thinking of getting the Garmin 305. Are you still in love with the device after using it for several months? Any drawbacks with it?

    Thank you for your time,


  2. Hi Cullie, yes I still wear it pretty much all the time when I run. Where Nike+ has the social side of this down pat, no one else has combined the features that Garmin has giving the runner both "Position and Condition" heart rate and telemetry are crucial to getting the most out of training whether it's a marathon or a mile, the data helps by providing valuable feedback on how you are doing.