Garmin Forerunner 305 (Unicorn)|
In Short: Good tool.
Strengths: You have a constant display of how far you have run. Due to the accuracy of GPS, the pacing can vary a bit - but average pace over longer distances is good. Virtual partner is brilliant, except when the GPS satellites change the delay slightly and your virtual partner suddenly gains or loses 50m!
Lots of functions and options - enough for most users. Can set up sessions and routes and download to watch. Brilliant.
Weaknesses: Slow to find satellites sometimes, and worst when it is raining and windy, forcing me to stand in the rain for 2 mins before a run!
Screen not all that clear at times.
Sometimes completely fails to log a run, even though it showed the data as I ran. Poor at logging short distances (<400m).
Poor at pace calculation. I wonder if this is due to being mounted on my wrist, which is, of course sometimes going faster than me, and sometimes slower, I've got to try a run with it in my pocket, to see.
Use any alarm function to show how unreliable the measurement really is. Set Max/Min alarms at a pace of 8min/mi and 7min/mi for instance, run at a constant 7:30/mi and listen to the alarm going off again and again.
Overall: Not perfect, but invaluable as it is. Training centre software is poor. (FastTracks is better and free). Takes data off watch but fails to work as a training log.
My perfect watch would have maps, accuracy to the inch, 100ms update rates, colour screen, phone for emergencies. It would switch on instantly.
The 305 is on the way there.
Garmin Forerunner 305 (Dark Knight)
In Short: Blew me away.
Strengths: Very clear display. The ability to upload to the Web and overlay my route on a Google street map is priceless, I can print them off and keep them for future use. Also allows me to save courses so I can run them again in the future.
Weaknesses: A bit big, a little fiddly to use on the run but nothing I can't get used to.
Overall: I decided to upgrade from my Ironman Bodylink which has served me well for a couple of years, but I was getting a bit fed up with having to remember to reset the meters, hit go on the GPS, then forgetting to hit go on the Data Recorder and ending up with nowt. This is a nice all in one package (apart from the HRM strap of course) which is in my opinion far better than the Timex.
The Motion-Based website that Garmin have created is truly a masterstroke, extremely user friendly and very informative.
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Mizuno Wave Inspire 2 (Big_Kev)|
In Short: Surprisingly good.
Strengths: Feel light (compared to my Asics Kayano's).
Comfy, even for my skinny feet and long toes. No black toe nails yet!!
Feet don't get hot, no hot spots or areas that rub.
Cushioning is good. Not overly spongy, but feels better than my Kayanos.
Works well with my slight overpronation/gait.
Cheaper than Kayano's.
Weaknesses: The heel to toe (responsiveness) isn't as smooth as the Kayano's, but still feels natural.
The gap in the heal part of the tread can create noise (sad that I actually notice this). Most people now hear me running a good 40m before I reach them. No more sneaking up and scaring old ladies....lol.
Why are the laces so long?
The colours aren't the best. Mainly white! Now mainly grey/dirty.... (I know, I know, I should care more for my shoes...or buy a different colour).
You will need to work out the best method to put it on and do it up too! I start with one hook at the top then the bottom then "fill in" the rest!
Overall: I used to run in Asics Gel Kayanos (had 3 pairs in succession), but when at a running specialist shop I tried a good selection and the Mizunos instantly felt great (ran on a treadmill in shop).
In short, try these shoes out if you have a selection available. You might be suprised just how good these shoes are at a cheaper price than other makes.
Try not to buy the white ones until summer!
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Suunto T3 (Andrew Fowler)|
In Short: Stylish, lightweight, simple
Strengths: Polished Black version stylish, easy to use HRM (can display HR as % :), used with Foot Pod gives speed/distance(can display miles/min :), records a training logbook, weekly/monthly totals, Training Effect simple to understand. Also can set speed limit alarms good for setting your pace and tempo runs.
Weaknesses: The negative LCD display looks good but can be a little hard to read in poor light, can't use just as a stopwatch without recording a training log (when you press start it assumes you are training)
Overall: I would recommend this HRM + Foot Pod combination to anyone looking for a simple, good looking entry level HRM, this was the first HRM I have trained seriously with, and I feel it has helped me improve my running a lot.
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