Talk to me about newer Garmins and Garmin Connect - getting most out of them?

worth upgrading from 305 (and Garmin Training Centre)

11 messages
07/06/2011 at 17:51

So I've got a Forerunner 305 and it's fine for what I use it for but.....

I'm thinking of upgrading to one of the newer Garmins, about which I know very little.

I use the 305 distance/pace/HR roughly:

  • 70% distance - either I'm going out for say a 14mile long run and I'll run along the canal 'til it say 7.00 miles and turn around or I set out for a run with only a rough idea of route and adjust it as I go based on distance or just look at the end to see how far I ran
  • 20% pace - like a distance run but I try to keep within a pace range for some or all of it
  • 10% heart rate - like a distance run but I try to keep within a pace range for some or all of it

I should be using pace or heart rate more in my training and almost will while training for the Chester Marathon.

I don't mind the chunkiness of the 305 but wouldn't mind something I could wear all day if, for example, I was going for a run at lunchtime.

I find the 305 charging a faff, particularly having the dedicated charging cradle. I've just been for a long weekend away and was planning to use the 305 for three runs so made sure it was fully charged. Arrived to find it must have been switched on in my bag and was therefore flat. I'd like something that I could charge using a 'standard' lead like the microUSB that I use for both my phones.

When I plug it in to charge it downloads my runs to Garmin Training Centre and I'll have a look at them but the mapping is very basic and I really don't use the information in any meaningful way - it certainly doesn't aid my training.

So... a number of questions for the wise and knowledgeable (or anyone else really):

  1. Of the newer x10 Forerunners, which is the cheapest that will log distance and set pace and heartrate alarms?
  2. If I spent more on one of the more expensive ones, what would I get?
  3. How do the newer x10 Garmins charge? Do they use a standard lead or need any dedicated kit?
  4. How do the newer x10 Garmins download runs? Do they use a standard lead or need any dedicated kit?
  5. Would my existing chest strap work with one of the newer models? The reason being that I'd sell the 305 with an unused chest strap if they're compatible.
  6. Is Garmin Connect any better than Garmin Training Centre?
  7. Does Garmin Connect have any features that would help plan and aid training rather than just log what I've done?
  8. Do any of the newer Forerunners have any basic navigation capability? Ideally what I'd like to do is map a run (on Garmin Connect or MapMyRun etc) and then 'follow' it on my watch - I'd use this when working away from home.

Sorry for the long post - blame the espresso! - and apologies if this is a subject that's been done to death. If it has I'm happy to be just pointed in the direction of the relevant threads.

07/06/2011 at 19:26
I'll have to keep this brief as I'm using my iPhone.

To answer a few points all Garmin Forerunners use a cradle or clip to charge.

Basically all forerunners log the same GPS information, the difference in models is how much of this information is displayed on the watch itself. Some of the newer models have a touch screen (610) some are truly waterproof and have a vibrate function useful for allerts and intervals when a speaker just doesn't cut it (310) and someof the models are 'normal' watch size.

The newer models are supposed to get a GPS fix quicker than say the 305 although I've never have a problem with mine.

You mention navigation functionality, the 305 has exactly what you describe( i use it to explore new routes) most of the newer models have a dumbed down version or none at all.

If I was you Unless you had money to burn I'd stick with the 305 and learn how to us it to it's potential and maybe download it's nformation to a different program than Training Center, maybe give Sportstracks a try.
07/06/2011 at 19:39
paulj48 wrote (see)
I'll have to keep this brief as I'm using my iPhone. To answer a few points all Garmin Forerunners use a cradle or clip to charge.

Thanks - that's probably all I need to know really actually. Despite all the other questions, it's really the charging/downloading faff that got me thinking about upgrading. If they all need a cradle/clip, it's a racing certainty that I'll end up with a flat battery and no cradle which ever one I went for.
07/06/2011 at 19:51
I think the new Nike GPS watch uses a standard USB lead, the connection is on the watch strap, maybe worth a look?
07/06/2011 at 20:20

Have just uninstalled GTC and set myself up with Garmin Connect and impressed with the difference. So I think I'll stick with Garmin for now. Maybe they'll move awat from cradles and clips in the future?

Now to work out the best way to load routes up to the device to follow. I'll have an experiment locally first.

07/06/2011 at 20:57
Higs, you'll have to use GTC to upload a route to your 305
07/06/2011 at 21:04
Higs - I have a 405, it charges with a clip that can be attached either to the mains or via a USB port
07/06/2011 at 21:08

I think I've just found that out.

I can save from mapmyrun as .gpx but when I try to upload it in Garmin Connect I get (i) a green tick and (ii) a message saying 'some of the activities couldn't be loaded' and no evidence of the route being uploaded.

Hopefully I can re-install GTC from the web - not sure where the original disk is.

07/06/2011 at 21:50
Higs wrote (see)

I can save from mapmyrun as .gpx but when I try to upload it in Garmin Connect I get (i) a green tick and (ii) a message saying 'some of the activities couldn't be loaded' and no evidence of the route being uploaded.

Hopefully I can re-install GTC from the web - not sure where the original disk is.


Hmmm...... reinstalled GTC but same result - a message saying that the .gpx file doesn't contain any activities.

Will have to dig into this a bit more over the weekend.

07/06/2011 at 21:54
You may need to do a forced download to get the old runs back
07/06/2011 at 22:14
Ultra Sparkly Bridget wrote (see)
You may need to do a forced download to get the old runs back

I got all the old runs back into GTC straightaway but am struggling to get a route I've mapped in 'MayMyRun' into either Garmin Connect or GTC - hopefully from there I can just bung it onto the 305.

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