I’ve had my new Garmin Forerunner 405 for a couple of weeks now, and been getting used to it. I wear it all the time as a general watch. It’s a little lumpy, in an unashamed sporty kind of way.
The key thing about the Garmin Forerunner is that it uses GPS, so it always knows where you are, and how far you’ve run.
Anyway, I thought with this post I would outline why having this gizmo is worth the money - at least as far as I’m concerned. Of course there are many many things you can do with it, but these are the ones I love:
- No matter when you run, where you run, or how you run, it will always tell you how far you went and how fast. All this information (and more - for the nerdy) easily uploads to your computer and is saved for posterity. No more driving the route, or clicking hundreds of times on online mapping websites to measure it. You know exactly what you ran - almost to the metre. Fancy exploring a different turning? No problem, you still know what you did. Variety is the spice of life, and this makes variety easy to enjoy and still get credit for your effort.
- Never get lost. I work away from home a fair bit, and running is a great activity because you can do it anywhere as long as you packed your trainers. But in unfamiliar places, I always run a high risk of getting lost, and this hinders my running. But with the Forerunner, before I leave the hotel, I mark it’s location and ask the gizmo to point back to my start point. Then I run with complete abandon, paying no attention whatsoever to my route. Then, after half my time is up, I just follow the arrow back. It’s easy to do a circular route and still get back to the hotel, and you see loads of interesting places along the way.
- Pace your race. There is this little person in the Garmin Forerunner called your “virtual partner”. Decide what time you want to do your race in and two little people run against each other in your Garmin. One is you, and the other is the virtual partner - who always keeps the pace for you. At any time in the race, the Forerunner tells you if you are ahead of or behind your virtual partner. Ideally, I would go out a bit slow, keeping an eye on how far behind the pace I am, then as the race progresses, I’ll speed up and overtake the virtual partner, finishing just a tiny bit faster than I hoped! So, you always know how you are doing against your expectations. No more looking for distance markers and doing complicated calculations in your head when you can barely put one foot in front of the other.
- Compare and contrast. Save all your runs in your computer easily. Then you can see them in satellite maps, look for alternative routes, compare your performance over time, see how much distance you’ve done month by month. And, of course, much much more.
Those are the winning reasons for me. Do you have any others?
Next up, I’ll do a post on how the newer Garmin Forerunner 405 compares with the older 205 and 305.