First day experience with Garmin Forerunner 305

After having spent the last 3 years with my Polar RS200sd Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Red)
with footpod and HRM (currently USD 195), it was time to move on. I never turned into a person who gave a damn about how his heart beat, though I do give a big damn of how my heart ‘thinks’, and that’s enough to keeps me running. Plus, the Polar with its footpod was never consistent enough with the pacing and distance, and that was a big turn off for me, even though its HRM technology is considered the best out there.

Its no surprise that I ordered the Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver With Heart Rate Monitor (USD 162). It is the most popular device in the world in its category, and has consistently been in the Amazon Bestsellers in Electronics list, currently at #13 there. I got it over Amazon, had it delivered to a contact’s address in US, and had my friend pick it up for me while on a trip. Delivery happened in a couple of days of order placement, cool.

So, the day I got my watch, I was back from work early to play with it. Installed the latest version of the training software, Garmin Training Center. Also, got the firmware upgraded to the latest, greatest and just released version 2.90 while the watch was shipped with the previous version 2.80. Charging happened over the USB over computer, and it did get hold of a few satellites from my apartment balcony.

Next day morning, I was out with my toy, trying to test out its accuracy. I am hugely sensitive to having distances measured accurately, whether it is someone organizing a 5K, 10K or a marathon, or whether I am doing my leisurely daily jog. So, this park near my place has a Google pedometer / mapmyrun / dailymile measured perimeter of 1.44 KM. I ran three rounds of it and got readings of 1.42, 1.43 and 1.43, and that was good enough for me. Bang for my bucks.

There’s lot more to play, and all of that will take time. There’s a virtual partner you can setup with a fixed pace or completion time, and then the watch will help you to keep up with him. There are workouts you can setup on your computer and ‘schedule’ to your watch to be run on specified days. Looking forward to learning all that and more.

More updates: Over the next several weeks, I have run multiple 10K runs over the same 1.43K route, and have got very precise distance measurements. Most laps are 1.43, and an occasional 1.42 or 1.44, so this is as good as I can expect it to be. I now have a lot of confidence that the pace I am seeing on the watch is the true pace, something I never got to believe with the Polar one.

I guess I will just put my Polar at 50% rate on eBay and see how it goes. The footpod may not be that accurate for me, and maybe someone will buy it just for its HRM capabilities (Update June 9: Sold).

Interested? Check out these two devices at Amazon store:


13 thoughts on “First day experience with Garmin Forerunner 305

Tanvir Kazmi

Vishwas: A couple of more things which I have tried and you might like is the ‘Interval training”, where you can plan to run certain segments (timed or distance based) at certain goal pace, and a “Virtual Runner” concept which you an set as your goal time for a distance and then try to keep up with that runner all along.

vishwas dixit

Hi Tanveer,
just got a FR305 from the US and i was not sure on how the display works. SO started fiddling with it after reading the manual nd going on the net. Just discovered that one can customize the display nd lo the FR305 can show whatever u want, HR, Max HR, Dist, Time, Last lap Time, Elapsed Time, etc
this is really amazing man. Pls let me know how to get the max out of this machine. I run on an avg 35 to 40km a week. Thanks my email is dxvishwas@gmail.com

Sudhir (neuromancer)

Hey Tanvir, Is the Polar HRM sold? If not, i would like to buy it from u. I bought a Tesco OneBody HRM through my friend for 15 pounds. Lured by the price, a friend of mine also wanted one. So i plan to give mine off to him. And i still would love to have the proximity activated stuff that Polar has, and also the lap timer, plus comp connectivity.

Mail me at sudhirpalliyil aht g mail doht com in case its still available

Mahesh

@Tanvir – thats interesting, GPS products offered for cars don’t work outside US and the customers are required to buy memory sticks pre-loaded with maps. Interesting Garmin is leading manufacturer in that sector as well.
Thanks again for sharing info that 305 works well and gets Satellite support.

I will pass this info to my colleague

Tanvir Kazmi

@Neoromancer: Sad, my Polar stays put instead of going places! I am not yet on dailymile, I remember using it precisely once for creating a test route (I can’t find how to do that now without signing in).

neuromancer

Damn! I would have loved to buy ur Polar RS200SD. I dont mind the inaccuracy at all.

But, just ordered a cheap Polar HRM with just basic HRM functionality a coupla days back through a UK friend who’ll be comin down mid May.

Tanvir Kazmi

@Sanjay: Thanks. Very true, its really a pathetic situation for all of us, obsessive compulsive comes to my mind to describe this 🙂 2010 it is then!

Tanvir Kazmi

@Mahesh: GPS is something which works all over the world, simply because the satellites (which are not Indian, and are freely accessible) are located by the GPS devices are visible from all locations in the world. I used GPS for car navigation and it works well for the forerunner 305 too.

Mahesh

Tanvir, A colleague of mine is buying the product in the US, can you please confirm if the GPS features work well with Satellite Services in India for FR305

Tanvir Kazmi

@Rohit: Thanks for the great tips, I was trying to import routes from mapmyrun to my computer, but it was not working on WinXP, though later it did work on my Linux box. I would try running my fav routes and then upload them to mapmyrun, my fav site for routes.


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