Garmin Forerunner 201

Summary | Full Review | Reader Reviews | Gallery | Specs | Discussion
Garmin Forerunner 201
It might look bulky compared with a wristwatch, but it’s hardly noticeable once you start running.

Our Review

Garmin’s elongated wrist monitor is a light, portable all-in-one option. Functionally it offers many features (current speed and pace, elapsed distance and time, pace alarm) and also comes with the addition of standard Global Positioning System navigational functions– pinpointing your position and plotting locations on an electronic map – and ...  Continue reading

Reader Reviews

270 user reviews of Garmin Forerunner 201 See all

Overall reader score
A really good device, reliable and easy to use. Continue reading...
First time I tried this i was a disaster and I wondered if I had wasted £56 on it (though this was a bargain eBay price) - ran along a reasonably open track behind houses in my local area and signal vanished co Continue reading...
I have been using the 201 for the past 2.5 years. I have always been quite good at estimating distances and speed so the 201 hasn't really told me anything I didn't already know however it has been useful in c Continue reading...
A good start to getting more information about your runs but you'll probably want to move on after a year or so. Continue reading...
I wouldn't go for a run without it Continue reading...


The free software you download from Garmin Needs Major Work to be a usable Running Logbook.
If you no anything better post info about it hear.
Also if anyone knows about any other useful software lets hear about it.

Posted: 27/01/2005 at 22:00

you could download the software development kit from the garmin site...

Posted: 27/01/2005 at 22:30

Hears a link to what i have found so far.

Posted: 28/01/2005 at 11:41

I will be having a go of this one i found and let you all no what i think:

MotionBased is a web application that translates GPS data into functional analysis and online mapping for endurance and outdoor athletes.

Posted: 28/01/2005 at 11:50

MotionBased dose not work in the UK as yet Soon i hope as it looks good.

Posted: 28/01/2005 at 12:17

Forerunner XML to Excel converter

ACME Mapper
Uses the same data as with different user interface

Posted: 28/01/2005 at 13:01

A website for bicycle commuters

CompeGPS Land version
Digital cartography viewer, free maps download, 3D simulator

Culberson's conversion tool
Converts the Garmin XML export to GPX files

Posted: 28/01/2005 at 13:01

Program to parse XML Log files into daily runs and into CSV comma delineated data text files suitable for other map files.
Fee-based exercise metrics tracking website (apprx. $150). "For GPS owners who want an easy to use mapping solution and analysis tool, Endless Pursuit is a software product that leverages GPS technology by providing measurable statistics and charts comparing personal historical training outputs."

Displays your waypoints, routes, and tracks on USGS topo maps and aerial photos.

Posted: 28/01/2005 at 13:02

Forerunner 201 Features
Forerunner 201 Undocumented Features

Forerunner specs
Garmin's PDF file

GPS Maps (Satellite)
Upload and view tracklogs overlayed onto satellite maps

GPS Visualizer
Free, platform-independent, on-line tool for making maps from tracklogs

GPS re-radiating antenna
Purchase GART3X model and search forum for Bill Finley instructions
Various GPS software listings

Posted: 28/01/2005 at 13:02

Garmin GPS Interface Spec

Garmin bike mount
Consider using pipe insulation as an inexpensive alternative

Geocaching Swiss Army Knife
Great piece of software to upload multiple waypoints using .loc file from

"Plan your routes and print maps or charts. With a GPS connected it will show your position on a full colour detailed map and help you navigate your way. When you return home, the Performance Review features let you see exactly where you've travelled, distance covered and speeds."

Translates GPS data into functional analysis and online mapping

One place to buy a com/serial port to usb port connector, cheaper than RadioShack

Posted: 28/01/2005 at 13:03
Common length and distance conversions

Open source GPS code

Purple Computing
"We help you connect your Garmin GPS"

A website for runners, home of the runner bio pages

GPS training software (downloads topographic and satellite maps for you Forerunner tracks, own maps incl.)

Strap spring bar removal tool
"First-Quality Spring Bar Tool" to remove the strap pins if you ever need to wash the strap or whatever

TerraServer USA
Good map site with source data used by several other sites

The Athlete's Diary
Highly recommended training log Palm and Windows software, been using both versions for about a year. No GPS integrations though.

Excellent inexpensive 3D GPS mapping software

"USAPhotoMaps downloads aerial photo and topo map data from Microsoft's free TerraServer Web site, saves it on your hard drive, and creates seamless maps from it." Helpful "how-to" instructions in our Files section.

Zeropace Training Log
"Plan, log, report, chart and organize your personal or team fitness, training and workouts"

Posted: 28/01/2005 at 13:03

This is an ace bit of software:

18 JAN 2005

Try the BackUpForeRunner LogBook software at
and it's free

This software is a logbook for users to analyse, view and export all of their runs captured using the Garmin ForeRunner 201. It currently doesn’t interface with the 301.
It relies on the XML file exported from the Gamin Logbook software.

The software is very feature rich, filling many of the weaknesses of the Garmin LogBook software.
• Backup and restore
• Export each run as a txt and csv file
• Charts for each run
• Summary report and charts
• Search facility for run notes
• Comparison of runs on the same course with charts
• Actual versus targeted training profile charts
• Manual run entry for runs without the ForeRunner
• Auto new shoe mileage tracker
• Item mileage tracker with up to 5 separate items
• Automatic connect to and display of your run maps
• Miles and Kilometres are supported
• Save reports as a text file for printing
• Ascent and Descent totals for each run
• GPS accuracy comparison on runs on the same course
• Training profile for weekly total distance and longest run targets
• Replay feature on the run altitude chart so that you can see your speed and pace

It does not communicate with the 201 directly. It uses the XML file that is exported from the ForeRunner 201 LogBook software.
It has been designed and tested on Windows ME, 2000 and XP only, but may work on earlier versions.

Posted: 28/01/2005 at 13:29

I use Trailgauge with the Garmin eTrex but I'm sure it works with the Forerunner too as they all use the same protocol. It shows your track overlaid on a map but also shows your speed and mile splits along your route aswell as an elevation profile.

A really nice feature although not particularly useful is that it flys through the route in 3D so you see the same views that you did when you ran it !! This is fairly pointless, though, if you're unfortunate enough to live in the SE corner of the country where there are no hills.

Posted: 29/01/2005 at 20:20

I use Trailgauge with the Garmin eTrex but I'm sure it works with the Forerunner too as they all use the same protocol. It shows your track overlaid on a map but also shows your speed and mile splits along your route aswell as an elevation profile.

A really nice feature although not particularly useful is that it flys through the route in 3D so you see the same views that you did when you ran it !!

Posted: 29/01/2005 at 20:23

Apologies for the duplicate, the forum is behaving a bit strangely and I didn't realize it had already posted.

Posted: 29/01/2005 at 20:26

Thanks for that Tom..........

Posted: 30/01/2005 at 20:53

Wow lots of information will read and try out some of the sights mentioned - hopefully get back with my views later -

Posted: 04/06/2005 at 17:41

Since this thread was started, a great FREE piece of software has come into being - SportTracks. See . It has full support for 201 and 301, as well as importing Polar HRM files as well. I strongly recommend that any 201 or 301 owner checks it out. (And no, I've no commercial interest in it - I'm just a very happy user!).

Posted: 05/06/2005 at 11:59

Anyone know of any Linux compatible software?

Posted: 16/11/2005 at 22:39

I've set up a site for GPS Users to share their best routes with others. It's at and the idea is that runners/walkers with GPS units can search for new routes to download,
either in their own area or when visiting another location. Users can also upload their own favourite routes for others to share.

Any GPS user who can export their route in GPX format can use the site, so if you've got any of the recent Garmin ForeRunners (201 & 301) or other brands of hand held GPS units, you'll be able to export to GPX
format using the supplied software or using something like SportsTracks.

It's using a live googlemaps interface, so that as well as a standard file browse hierarchy, users will be able to easily see all of the routes in real time via the map

I'm keen to get good quality routes that show your area off to it's best advantage - somewhere you'd be proud to take a visitor yourself. I'm NOT wanting uploads of your
Track Session or your run home along the dual-carriageway!!

Comments & suggestions welcomed!

Simon Finch

Posted: 20/12/2005 at 10:30

I am swaping computers this Christmas. How do I transfer my old running logs/files? These are in the Garmin only software.


Posted: 20/12/2005 at 15:33

I'm guessing the files will be stored somewhere. Take a look in `My Documents' and your Garmin installation directory (probably in `Program Files')

Posted: 20/12/2005 at 15:39

File>export history. Burn to CD/put on storage device. Import on new PC

Posted: 20/12/2005 at 15:45


Posted: 20/12/2005 at 15:47


any idea where I can now get BackUpForeRunner LogBook software from?

I know it's some time ago...



Posted: 08/01/2007 at 22:23

Summary | Full Review | Reader Reviews | Gallery | Specs | Discussion