Product Type: Garmin in GPS Navigation
Newest Review: ... was a bit apprehensive about creating workouts and training schedules, but the Runners World website actually has a tool which creates th... more
A must have gadget for runners!
Garmin Forerunner 405 with HRM and USB ANT Stick
Member Name: hypno06
Garmin Forerunner 405 with HRM and USB ANT Stick
Advantages: A virtual running partner and downloadable training plans.
Disadvantages: Needs charging fairly frequently.
So as I am an overweight, unfit, plodder, why would I need a super duper gadget such as the Garmin?
Well, I certainly don't NEED one - but I sure as heck wanted one!
Now, I could do things on the cheap, and in fact I did so for a while, using a bog standard stopwatch, and plotting my route on mapmyrun.com and this is fine........but a garmin does sooo much more!
Garmin have a name for themselves in Sat Nav equipment - for cars, bikes etc. They also have a range of running gadgets and the 405 is the latest version. I first read about it on the Runners World website and after searching about and reading more on various forums, I decided that this is what my birthday money was going to go on.
So, what fabby things can my garmin do, that my stopwatch/mapping site can't? Well.......
.....It locates satellites up in the sky, so records your exact route.
.....It tells you how long each mile/kilometre takes
.....It tells you how many calories you have used (always good for knowing how many biscuits you can scoff guilt free after your run)
.....It has a "virtual running partner" attached, so that you can set it to, say 9 minute miles, and you can instantly see whether you are ahead or behind your running partner - great for making sure you are on the required target and not setting off too fast, a habit that causes me to struggle later in my run!
.....You can download marathon training plans from runners world specifically for your garmin so it tells you every day what you should be doing - a running coach on your wrist! FAB!!
.....It is neat - just like a wristwatch, so easy and comfortable to wear.
These are just the main features as I use them - I am not a "gadget girl" so could probably use it far better if I actually sat and read the user guide again.......
There is a heart rate monitor that you can link up with the garmin, which tells you your pulse at any point of the run. You can also set it to beep at you if you go above or below a particular pulse in your training, but I haven't tried this method of training yet.
The best thing for me is that when I get back from my run, I plug in the "antstick" - a little memory stick sized thing that goes into the usb port on my laptop, and it downloads all the info from the garmin to my laptop.......It shows me a map of my route, distance, hills, breaks down each mile so I can see whether my minutes per mile were steady, or whether I was doing one mile at 9 mins and another at 12 mins etc. This is then saved so that I can see over a period of time how much (or not) I have improved! A Fab toy!!
You control the garmin using two simple buttons on the side, and a touch sensitive bezel. When I was reading forum posts about the garmin 405, some people seemed concerned that the bezel would be so touch sensitive that it would be affected by rain, or the cuffs on your running top, but I can honestly say that this hasn't been a problem for me.
Battery life is not great - just a few hours in full use, but it is easy to charge and certainly has enough life on each charge for two or three medium length runs, and definitely enough for the marathon! Charging can be done via USB ports or in a plug/socket - simple!
The Garmin 405 comes in a choice of black or sage green - I have the green one. It is "one size" so if you have diddy wrists, like I do, it is not something you would necessarily want to wear as a wristwatch, but for a guy, it is perfectly wearable just as a watch would be (just remember to charge it up every few days!).
When I was setting my garmin up, I got confused (like I say I am not techie, and didn't read my instructions properly), so I rang the freephone customer service number. I cannot fault these guys at all - so patient, even with a numpty like me, and talked me through everything I needed to set it up without patronising or making me feel as though I was wasting time. And all for free! Some "technical helplines" charge premium rates and you STILL don't get good customer service!! They could learn a thing or two from Garmin.
I love my Garmin - it helps motivate me in my training during this long cold winter! I don't NEED it, but I wouldn't really want to give it up! I'm sure other people get even more out of it than I do.........and over time, I will do some more investigating.
Prices vary - you can get Garmins from most specialist running shops, and from the internet - prices are around £200 with the heart rate strap and the antstick, or you can buy the "wristwatch" on its own - but why would you buy the gadget if you can't download it and play with the maps etc.....? I would certainly not buy this without the Antstick, but I would say that the heart rate monitor is an optional extra.....
I bought my garmin from Amazon for about £190, and was very pleased with that price. Like most techie things, they will come down in price, I am sure, over the next few months.
So, I have the gadget, now I have to get the miles in! See you at the finish line........
Summary: I'll just get my trainers...........
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