Product Type: Garmin in GPS Navigation
Newest Review: ... is a great item to have for the running enthusiast. These features alone provide you with up to date analysis of your run during and aft... more
Track your running with this little gorgeous Garmin!
Garmin Forerunner 405CX
Member Name: nykied
Garmin Forerunner 405CX
Advantages: It's easy to use once you get used to it....
Disadvantages: ...but you may experience a lot of frustration getting there!
It's smaller than some of the previous incarnations of the Forerunner, which suits me perfectly, as I only have fairly skinny wrists and some of the previous ones have rubbed my skin off, simply because the watch itself was too big. Remember David Beckham with the MASSIVE watch? Think that, but without the bling! This one is much better suited to smaller wrists and looks less obvious.
The unit is very quick to charge and it's fully charged and ready to go in only three hours. Once charged, it then lasts for about seven or eight hours, less if it's left for a long time in between uses. The next step is to set up the watch. The initial set up is fairly easy, as the instructions are all onscreen. It goes through how to set the watch up, how to set up your user profile and how to use the touch-sensitive bezel.
Understanding the 'how to use the touch-sensitive bezel' is simple enough, but actually using it is not easy, especially if you've not used a Garmin before, or if you struggle with some touch-sensitive electronic items. I, for example, struggled initially with my iPod Nano, so I was in for real trouble here! It can be very fiddly, with lots of menus for such a small screen and it can be extremely difficult to navigate. A few times I gave up on it completely and used my trusty free watch instead. As an example, pressing the two buttons on the right side of the watch locks it, a little like flicking the hold button on an iPod but a lot more tricky as the buttons are fairly small.
Once I'd mastered how to work the controls (which involved lots of shouting, lots of swearing and one scratch on the watch from when I'd thrown it down in pure frustration!), it turned out that it was just me and that it was actually really easy to work. Honestly, once you've got the hang of it, you'll wonder what you found so difficult about it!
Using the Forerunner 405 is really simple. Strap it to your wrist, turn it on and away you go. The wrist strap holds the watch safely on your wrist, so there's no worry about losing it mid-run. The watch is really fast to connect to the GPS satellites, even in an area like mine, which is in the middle of nowhere. The car satnav system, for example, never figures out where I am when I'm sat in the driveway. I have to drive about two miles before it will start planning my route. This was a slight concern of mine before I purchased the Garmin actually, as two miles in a car seems a lot different to two miles on foot. My worries turned out to be completely unfounded, as it has no issues whatsoever and consistently connects to the satellite within about fifteen seconds of my turning the unit on.
The main reason I bought this Forerunner 405CX was that I wanted the ability to track my runs on my laptops, so that I can see how much faster (or slower!) I'm getting. This Garmin does that, and very easily too. You need to download Garmin's software, called ANT Agent and connect the watch to your laptop or PC. You then pair your laptop with your watch, using the Bluetooth dongle that comes with it. It's easy enough to do if your laptop or PC has inbuilt Bluetooth, and once you've done it once, the Garmin then automatically connects to your PC and updates when it's nearby, if your Bluetooth is on. It also shows you your routes on Google maps.
There are also various inbuilt programs to follow, which again are easy to use. You can race against the Garmin, with what they call a 'Virtual Partner'. I have tried this, but it reminded me of playing chess against my Spectrum 48k - I never win! It's also possible to set up interval training sessions. I like the way it lets you load up your previous routes and lets you know how you're doing against your previous run on that route.
It also comes with a wireless heart rate monitor, which monitors your heart rate, so that you know how hard you're working out at, as a percentage. I use it to compare how much my fitness differs when I repeat a run, by comparing how my heart rate differs. I also find it useful for keeping an eye on my heart rate, as training above a certain heart rate also improves your fitness. The Garmin uses your heart rate to give you a rough estimate of how many calories you've burnt. I've found this to be surprisingly accurate when compared to a treadmill's measure of calories burnt.
I paid £270 for my Garmin Forerunner 405CX but it's available now for just over the £250 mark. It might seem expensive, but it's the bee's knees of GPS running accessories.
In conclusion, I would say that for everyone that's serious about their running, this is a must, but there are plenty of people who are serious runners who don't want to track their every move. So instead, I'll say that, for everyone who's serious about their running and wants to keep careful tabs on it, this is a must.
Summary: I love it!