The Garmin, my best friend

A friend of mine, former co-worker and one of the few people who read this who knew me before my running days, Emily, asked me on this morning's post about timing my splits while in a park. It made me realize I haven't gone into detail about keeping track of my runs.

I use the Garmin Forerunner 205. It is, quite simply, the best thing to have while running. While I don't utilize all the functions, it's great to have when running anywhere. I actually bought the Forerunner 201 last winter, but quickly discovered this spring that trees easily cut off the GPS. I've never had any major problems with the 205. The biggest thing is making sure you're connected to a satellite before you start off, or it takes it a while to get rolling. And make sure the watch is properly charged because the low battery alert means it's going to die in a half mile or less. It's a bit bulky, but after a few runs you get used to it.

Don't be alarmed by the price. I have bought both of these watches off eBay and gotten a pretty good deal. I actually sold my 201 for more than I purchased it. I got the 205 for at least half of what it retails for. As with anything on eBay, it's hit or miss and you just have to get lucky. I put bids on at least a dozen 201 watches before I "won" one. It went a little better with the 205.

I hope this helps, and it probably helps explain my timings better, too. I can't believe I've actually gone this long without giving high praise to the Garmin. There are other products out there that I am sure work fine. But for me, it'll be Garmin for the rest of my running life.


Jason said...

I have thought a while about getting one of those. I just can't justify the cost. Is it really worth it? How long does the battery last?

David H. said...

Is it really worth it? To me, yes. It frees up having to run the same routes because it's keeping my mileage. It brings the ability to run in places you've never been before. It makes going on vacation easier. There's no need to map out a run ahead of time. It helps me "step it up" if my pace drops. On tempo runs, it's easier to maintain the pace you want, or slow down if necessary. The battery on my watch lasts a while ... better than my cell phone. I always charge it the night before a long run and I get through the week with no issues.
Consider what we runners spend money on: shoes, non-cotton running gear (I get mine from Target, though, and if you're running in cotton, no comment), gels, sports drinks, Runners World subscriptions, iPods, etc. And consider the time commitment to training for a marathon that's one simple day of the year. I think that alone should justify the cost.