2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Forerunner: Effective multi use athletics tool, 28 Jan. 2011
The Forerunner is the ideal outdoor endurance sports performance measurement package. By measuring route, distance, pace, and exertion (heart rate), it has all the things you get on an exercise bike or a treadmill, but delivers them to you outside. If you are keen on measuring your performance or are looking to tailor your training to upcoming races, the Forerunner delivers all the necessary metrics whilst allowing you to focus on enjoying the outdoors and the feeling of speed.
I have used my 405CX for about a year now in various contexts. I run to work most days, have trained for races, done some casual cycling, monitored mountaineering progress and even used it to track my snowboarding. It deals with each of these very well.
You can predefine simple workouts (e.g. in terms of distance or time) when you are used to running or cycling a specific route. If you are doing something new, it is easy to programme simple routes on the fly.
When you want to train for a specific race, you can set up a programme of advanced workouts that are built into the calendar of the device. It can be Monday 28th - sprints, Tuesday 29th - five miles easy, Wednesday 30th - Hills x 10, Thursday 31st - keep heart rate between 160-170bpm for 45 minutes. Entire training programmes for 5km all the way up to marathons and ultras can be downloaded from the internet and uploaded to the device via its software package.
The online software package, "Garmin Connect" is excellent. Not only does it present the data from your activities, but it also helps you keep a diary of all your outdoor endeavours. Being able to look back to last July and reminisce over mountaineering trips is a great unexpected benefit to the product.
The one negative for me is the time it can take to find satellites. It usually succeeds within a minute or two of going outside, but very occasionally I find myself waiting for five minutes or more before it figures out where I am. After that initial search for satellites, it has never lost a signal while I have been outside.
Altogether, this is a great tool for planning and logging training and performance while on outdoor pursuits and, in my opinion, renders the gym obsolete for cardiovascular workouts. If you like outdoor activities, being able to review a diary of what you've done, and are interested in performance statistics, this could be the product for you.