To Garmin?

What do you think?

I’m thinking of getting a Garmin. I’ve been hearing some buzz all over the blogosphere about how much people like these, how great they are, but I’d like some honest feedback from users . . .

I’m a bit tech-challenged in some areas. I can learn, but there’s a lot that confuses me (still). Is this easy to use?

One of the reasons I’m considering throwing in the towel for my iMapMyRun app on my iPhone is because my iPhone is soooooooooo bulky. I realize that a wristwatch-type device is much smaller, but is this lightweight?

Something I hate about the iPhone app is that sometimes the GPS schitzes out and it won’t upload the runs consistently. Is the data consistent?

Just a few remaining questions . . .
There are a lot of modelswhich do you use? Why do you like it?
Do you have any complaints? What are they?

Really, any information would be helpful . . . This seems like a great device to invest in, but I’m hesitant to invest in a pretty pricey piece of hardware if I’ll be challenged to use it or if it won’t be as helpful as I hope it will be. (In all honesty though, I’m leaning pretty heavily in the ‘yes’ direction – I just have to make sure I’m covering my bases.)

So gimme some feedback! (Please?)

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6 responses to “To Garmin?

  1. I just bought one and I really do love it. If you are just using it to take outside and do simple runs – it’s super easy to use! I set mine up in probably less than 10 minutes, using the quick start manual. If you want to plan workouts with goals, intervals, or any other complications – that can get confusing, but I haven’t tried those yet. Oh and the HR monitor is easy peasy to set up.
    As far as accuracy goes, I have no problems with it. If you are outside, finding a satellite is easy and takes just a minute. It is a bit bulky on my wrist, but once I’m into my run, I rarely ever notice it or my HR strap. The first few times I used it, my wrist was sore, but it went away quickly. So overall, very cool gadget that I’m glad I purchased (though my wallet is not) πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Maria! I’ll be budgeting for a little while before I pick one up, so I’m hoping to start using it after my marathon (Oct 30) and get used to all the bells and whistles before I start training for my next marathon (May 1, 2011).

  2. I have the 305 (pictured) and have had/loved it for about a year and a half. I’m a technical guy, so it’s hard for me to judge, but my wife has one, too, and is less gadgety that I. She likes hers as well, but may not use all of the functionality that I do. Basically what Maria said on that front. The nice thing is that if you ask on Twitter, someone could probably help you.

    Considering how large my first GPS was (Garmin GPSmap76 – NOT made for running), yet I still ran with it some times, this thing is tiny. πŸ˜‰ It may seem bulky at first, but you’d adjust to it quickly, no worries.

    The data is consistent with one caveat – all GPSs will have issues if they don’t have a clear view of the sky. On rare occasions, running under a heavy canopy of trees will cause bad tracking data. More likely is if running through tall buildings (think Chicago Marathon). The track gets REALLY funky then, because the signals are bouncing all around the ‘concrete canyon.’ So in certain race situations, you’re better off clicking off the miles manually instead of trusting the GPS distances. If you run out away from skyscrapers, though it should be fine.

    One other thing is that on certain days (usually wen it’s cold so you have to stand around longer πŸ˜‰ ) it takes a little while for it to find the satellites, especially if it’s been off for a while or has moved a great distance since last used. My solution is that I power it up and set it by my front door while I’m getting my shoes on and my fuel belt together. By the time I run, it’s good to go.

    My only complaints about the 305 are the aforementioned tracking problems in some situations (using with a foot pod is one workaround with its own problems), and the fact that the beeps it makes are barely audible to me and I wish they were louder or a different tone. If I have long sleeves on at all, I can forget about hearing it at all. But I seem to have some minimal hearing loss, so maybe that’s it. It could have more whistles and bells, but really, I’m very happy with it.

    BTW, the 305 is an older model, but I believe they can still be had new, definitely used. I don’t have any experience playing with the newer ones. Good luck and happy running!

  3. Thank you for posting this! I’m considering a Garmin, too, and I’d really like to get feedback from those who use one.

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