Runners and GPS

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BeachPerson
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Runners and GPS

Post by BeachPerson »

Boglehead Runners,

I currently have a Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS and heart rate monitor that I really love. I paid $340 for it back in 2007. The Garmin 405 was not so good with it ratings from Amazon since it was not tolerant of water. The Garmin Forerunner 310XT is for triathletes. I am just a runner.

My 305 is still doing fine. However the elastic belt is getting stretched and does not fit as well as it once did. The sound when to start and stop running has stopped working three years ago. That does not matter to me so much. The buttons do wear out after some time.

I stopped by Best Buy and they have a clearance sale of the 305 for $71. Normally I like to upgrade to a newer model, but the prices of $350 is high.

Anyone use the Polar or Timex GPS heart rate monitors???
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livesoft
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Post by livesoft »

I use the non-GPS Garmin FR60 with footpod. Since I run the same routes over and over, I don't think I'm missing anything that a GPS offers. The FR60 gives me the distance accurately as well.

So what is the benefit of GPS anyways? What are some of the cool things that you can do that you can't do with a footpod?
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MarcVH
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Post by MarcVH »

I put my Garmin Forerunner away once I got an Android phone; in general, if you have a smartphone I'd find it hard to justify spending the money for a dedicated running GPS. Being able to stream Pandora while running and receiving periodic voice prompts telling me my pace is a win, as is the fact that a phone can use aGPS, cellular towers, and WiFi to track location much better than a mere GPS.

That said, the dedicated device has advantages: easier to use with a heart rate monitor (although there exist Bluetooth heart monitor straps), display is simpler to read in sunlight, and it's less prone to the occasional flakiness that all high-tech devices have.
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JupiterJones
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Post by JupiterJones »

livesoft wrote:I use the non-GPS Garmin FR60 with footpod. Since I run the same routes over and over, I don't think I'm missing anything that a GPS offers. The FR60 gives me the distance accurately as well.

So what is the benefit of GPS anyways? What are some of the cool things that you can do that you can't do with a footpod?
The main benefits with a GPS receiver are:

1.) You don't have to calibrate them.
2.) They're accurate at any pace, not just the pace at which you calibrated it.
3.) They can track elevation and slope.
4.) You can do basic wayfinding with most of them. Pretty much limited to steering you back along the route you just took, but that can be nice for out-and-backs in unfamiliar areas.
5.) You can go do basic geocaching with most of them.
6.) Most also have bicycle modes.

For me, 1 & 2 are the big ones. I used to have a pod-based FitSense back in the day. Got one of the first Garmins and never looked back. Using a Garmin 305 now and love it.

The main drawback (and advantage of the pods) is that you can lose your satellite lock in some cases, such as when going through tunnels, or when running among skyscrapers.

JJ
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tbradnc
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Post by tbradnc »

I've got a drawer full of Garmin running GPS's.....

My current favorite is the 310XT which I like better than the 305 because the battery lasts 20 hours and I like the screen much better.

I have friends who use the Timex and they like it... Don't know any Polar users but it's a big name and features are probably comparable.
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runner26
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Re: Runners and GPS

Post by runner26 »

davidkw wrote: Anyone use the Polar or Timex GPS heart rate monitors???
I had a couple of Timex GPS's before switching to Garmin. I liked the Garmin much better and wouldn't consider buying another Timex. I once used a Polar HRM, which worked fine, but I find that I train much better by using Coach Jack Danials training indensities based on prior race times, and have ditched the HRM. I found it interesting, but of little use.

Therefor, the Garmin 205 is all I need.
Tatupu
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Post by Tatupu »

The Garmin Forerunner 210 is awesome. If you aren't into triathlons, I think this is the perfect device. The profile is small and it has lots of great features and will work with HRM or foot pod for the treadmill.

Here is a very useful review of the 210.

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2010/12/garm ... eview.html
captain3d
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Post by captain3d »

I am another Garmin 305 user and love it.

I run at specific heart rates on difference runs (high/tempo, medium/steady state, low/easy) and calculate my heartbeats per mile as a way to compare performances. It is hard to do this accurately with out a GPS/heart rate combo device.

That is a great price for the 305. I would buy another next day if /when mine breaks.

phil
MP173
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Post by MP173 »

I have a Polar HRM and wear it on every workout. I am age 55 and am not a competitive athlete at this age, but workout 5x week, primarily cycling. Prior to wearing the HRM, I was completly unaware of the heart rate and the importance.

What is really good for me is the ability to target my heart rate for the level aspects of my bike route. Obviously on hills, the heart rate spikes, but it is more difficult to determine (without the HRM) on level ground. This allows me to do so and to push myself at times.

It is also critical on my big hill to make sure that I dont over do it. There is a big hill (for NW Indiana) that is about .5 mile and has about a 100 ft rise. I use the HRM to target a spike level (not to exceed 160) and if that is attained, then care is exercized not to push harder.

There is no GPS function on this, however, I know where I am at all times as the course is established. My bike has a mph/duration/average, etc monitor, so things are pretty well covered.

ed
ohiost90
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Re: Runners and GPS

Post by ohiost90 »

davidkw wrote:Boglehead Runners,

I currently have a Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS and heart rate monitor that I really love. I paid $340 for it back in 2007. The Garmin 405 was not so good with it ratings from Amazon since it was not tolerant of water. The Garmin Forerunner 310XT is for triathletes. I am just a runner.

My 305 is still doing fine. However the elastic belt is getting stretched and does not fit as well as it once did. The sound when to start and stop running has stopped working three years ago. That does not matter to me so much. The buttons do wear out after some time.

I stopped by Best Buy and they have a clearance sale of the 305 for $71. Normally I like to upgrade to a newer model, but the prices of $350 is high.

Anyone use the Polar or Timex GPS heart rate monitors???

I wouldn't run with my smart phone, too big, worried about rain. But most importanly, when I run, I dont want phone calls. I couldn't imagine hauling a smart phone for a couple of hours and in a race.

Some one else mentioned a pod and while I have one and like it for types of running, I heart my 405. I have the 405 and 50
w/pod. 405 for outside and 50 for indoor tract and the mill.

Since you like your current 305, and since its only 71 bucks, I'd buy that. Hell, for that price, I would buy two.
exigent
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Post by exigent »

I use RunKeeper with my iPhone. Works quite well, and the full featured version is now free.
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runthetrails
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Post by runthetrails »

captain3d wrote: That is a great price for the 305. I would buy another next day if /when mine breaks.

phil

Agreed. I've had my 305 less than a year, and the 405 had been out for some time when I purchased it. I have a running buddy with the 405 and am not a fan of the ultra-sensitive bezel buttons, although I understand you can lock it once you have the workout set. I do notice that while my 305 will sync faster than my wife's older (210?) model, the 405 is a bit faster yet.

I thought that the price I paid for the 305 was a good deal, but $71 is better yet.

Edit to add:
Regarding foot pods, because I run trails often, including stream crossings, they don't survive long for me. I used a Polar without GPS but with a foot pod (accelerometer) once upon a time, which quickly became a heart rate monitor only - the foot pod died after a stream crossing.
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BeachPerson
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Got it for $46 that includes tax!

Post by BeachPerson »

I went to the local Best Buy to get it, but it was sold out there and all the Best Buys except in Winchester, VA. That was an hour from me. The price there was $46 and it included tax. It was an open box item, but I took it. The GPS and heart rate monitor work fine.

Now with the 610 touch screen out, hopefully that will bring down the price for the 310XT.

It would be good to see Timex and Polar come out with a model that can stack up to the Garmins.
From Jack Brennan's "Straight Talk on Investing", page 23 "Living below your means is the ultimate financial strategy"
dickenjb
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Post by dickenjb »

I have the Garmin 405 and like it very much. I like to upload my runs to Garmin Connect.

Unfortunately I am sidelined with achilles tendon problems. :cry:
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