Product Type: Garmin in GPS Navigation
Newest Review: ... many times your legs go around in a minute, and so how hard you are cycling). The Garmin Forerunner 305 is currently available from amazo... more
Simply excellent - the best outdoor training device for the money
Garmin Forerunner 305
Member Name: ontoinfinity
Garmin Forerunner 305
Advantages: Very powerful, great features, accurate and simple to use
This is by far and away the best fitness purchase I have ever made. The GPS on it works brilliantly, it integrates with Google maps and you can upload your data to analyse all of your data and see how you progress over time. Unless you are a hardcore triathelete who might be more tempted by the 310XT model, I would recommend this watch to anyone, from a couch potato simply thinking that it would be nice to start exercising (like I was), to a committed jogger or cyclist who wants to measure their performance and keep improving.
Having owned a Polar F60 heart rate monitor for a few years in an attempt to boost my fitness, its motivational effects soon wore off as I found the data it yielded to be very limited and it didn't tell me a lot about what I had done. Not so with the Garmin!
As many other places will tell you, leave this by a window or on your front porch while you get changed and it should have a lock on your position after 90 seconds. After this point, it is very accurate - to test this, I jogged around a tree trunk and the tiny loop showed up on the map of my run.
The strap is very comfortable and easily adjustable, but without it working loose during a jog. It is advisable to adjust this so it feels loose when you first put it on since as you exercise you will find that your chest expands by this amount. The sensor is accurate and, unlike the Polar models, you can very easily access the battery to change it when needed.
The watch unit
This is highly customisable and it is clear that a great deal of thought has been put into the display, training options and even the ergonomics of the unit itself. While bulky, it fits very comfortably on the wrist and there is even an extra-long watch strap and tool for swapping the straps in case you have the forearms of a Goliath!
The display itself is fully customisable in that you can select any output to display on one screen, up to a maximum of four.
In terms of workouts, I generally only use the basic workout routines, in which I can state distance and desired time or pace, and then press go to start my jog. However, there is plenty more functionality and with the supplied software you really can create any routine you like, based on the variables of heart rate and speed over a set distance or time.
Software / Internet
The software which comes with the watch allows you to program various workouts and also display the data recorded from the watch, breaking the information down according to laps. It looks and feels a bit outdated now, which is no problem as there is a replacement service called Garmin Connect which allows you to upload and analyse data on Garmin's own website. You have your own username and login, so there are no privacy fears here, and the web version integrates with the latest version of Google maps and includes a player function, where you can review your course and see how your heart rate fluctuations correspond to the terrain and elevation, or your speed.
Value for money
At around £130, this is not cheap. However, it packs in so many powerful features into such a user-friendly format that it certainly represents excellent value for money. For me, it has motivated me to exercise more frequently and has let me see for myself how my fitness has increased. Compared to the cost of any other means of getting me to improve my fitness, it is an absolute bargain!
Overall, a fantastic product that enhances any outdoor exercise experience and helps you keep motivated and improve.
Summary: A fantastic product that enhances any outdoor exercise experience and helps you keep motivated and i