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25 Reviews
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63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond running
I've had a forerunner 301 for about 4 months now, so i think i've used about every feature. The best thing about it is you can get it to regulate the amount of 'effort' you put into a run. Say you want to do a certain distance in a certain time, it can measure this, but also keep track of your heart rate to stop you overdoing it when under the weather.
Also, as i do...
Published on 31 May 2005 by R M perkins

versus
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be aware of the device's GPS Limitations
I bought this device as part of my fitness regime that sees me running 3 marathons a year. I live in the Orkney Islands which has an open, undulating and mostly treeless environment. In Orkney the device works like a dream. On Sunday 2nd October 2005 I ran the Budapest Marathon where I decided to use the device to monitor my pace under race conditions. In the city...
Published on 7 Oct 2005 by Anthony Barthorpe


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63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond running, 31 May 2005
By 
R M perkins (Windsor, Berkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS-Enabled Personal Trainer with Heart Rate Monitor (Electronics)
I've had a forerunner 301 for about 4 months now, so i think i've used about every feature. The best thing about it is you can get it to regulate the amount of 'effort' you put into a run. Say you want to do a certain distance in a certain time, it can measure this, but also keep track of your heart rate to stop you overdoing it when under the weather.
Also, as i do quite a bit of hiking, the altitude reading is very useful, as is the gradient.
Overall the unit is very easy to use whilst on the run, and has a great indiglo style backlight for dusk / night running.
A couple of complaints, the map software they supply with the unit is awful. It's about 100-200 metres out in some places which shows you having run down a motorway, or in the sea! You can purchase better maps, but they don't come cheap.
The other drawback it has is when you're running in cities the buildings can block the gps signal, leaving 'gaps in your route when you download it.
My next aim is to try and hook it up to my pocket pc to view my route as i walk or cycle it.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be aware of the device's GPS Limitations, 7 Oct 2005
By 
Anthony Barthorpe "orkneytim" (Orkney, Scotland, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS-Enabled Personal Trainer with Heart Rate Monitor (Electronics)
I bought this device as part of my fitness regime that sees me running 3 marathons a year. I live in the Orkney Islands which has an open, undulating and mostly treeless environment. In Orkney the device works like a dream. On Sunday 2nd October 2005 I ran the Budapest Marathon where I decided to use the device to monitor my pace under race conditions. In the city environment with tall buildings coupled with occassional tree cover, the device was pretty well useless. The signal drop out was so bad that I ignored all the read outs except the timer which I used to manually calculate my kilometer splits and my pace. When I downloaded the telemetry from the device into the computer after the race, the traning centre report indicated that I had only covered 32km instead of 42.1km. In other words for a full quarter of the marathon course it had failed to register a working signal. As a training device in the right environment, it does exactly what it says on the packet. In a city environment it is not really fit for the purpose and should not be relied on by a serious runner as a device that can be under race conditions as anything other than a stopwatch. I have given the device a 3 star rating. This reflects an average score. 5 Stars for use in the open air with few or no buildings or trees present. 1 Star for use in a city or town environment where there are tall buildings, narrow streets or where there is tree cover.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Christmas present, 9 Jan 2006
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS-Enabled Personal Trainer with Heart Rate Monitor (Electronics)
I got this for Christmas (2005) and have since used it for 7 runs. In general it's great, and a real thrill to review distance/speed/routes (though sadly I don't run quite as far/fast as I hoped!). I've found being able to track speed/elevation/heart rate really useful.
Like other users I couldn't get it to work with the supplied software, hence the 3 stars. Like the others I downloaded the latest version (from July 05!) and my PC then recognised the watch and I was able to download runs. I'm not overwhelmed with the quality of the software, it doesn't give you much advice, or allow you to compare runs with each other. I'm planning to download google earth plus which apparently allows you to import sessions.
In general I've had a good gps signal, it drops maybe once or twice briefly in the forest where I run (not always in the same place). I didn't get on with one feature called "auto pause" which is supposed to pause the clock when you stop to cross a road or whatever, but also kicked in when I slowed to scramble up and down muddy banks.
Also, strange for a watch, but it's hard to use it to actually see what time it is when you're on a run! Also, the heart rate indicator on the watch is really small and difficult to read when you're running.
Time for Garmin and suppliers (ie Amazon) to supply the right version of the software with the watch don't you think?
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fine piece of kit, 3 Nov 2005
By A Customer
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This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS-Enabled Personal Trainer with Heart Rate Monitor (Electronics)
I've only had this for a week but already see this as an essential piece of equipment in my training programme. I see that others have had some problems with the GPS but I run through woody areas and have not lost any signal, at any stage, even when the tree canopy shuts out the majority of the light.
The real treat, for me, is getting back home and downloading the data onto a PC and seeing graphs showing how my heart rate and running pace change through the run. It really is the ultimate toy!
The device is unobtrusive when in use: the strap needs some adjustment before you get it right, and the GPS bit is attached to a velcro strap. Mugger fodder perhaps, especially when you look as knackered as I do during my run, but very easy to use.
You can also use it when doing other sports, not just running. I have a friend who uses one when swimming though cycling is the obvious alternative to running while still being able to use the GPS outdoors.
Why not four stars? No Mac compatibility for the TC software. Sorry guys but given the simplicity of the software it can't be that difficult to get someone to write it for the Mac.
I also couldn't get my PC to identify the device through the USB interface. It turns out I needed to download the latest Training Centre software from Garmin. Not a problem but it would be nice to have had it on the disc. The updated version came out long enough ago for me to have got it last week. That said, Garmin were very helpful in getting me up and running.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Cycling Partner, 27 Jan 2006
By 
P. Winchcombe - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS-Enabled Personal Trainer with Heart Rate Monitor (Electronics)
I have now had my Garmin 301 since mid Dec 2005 and am still glad I bought it. It worked out of the box, my PC recognised it, it found and still finds the satellite in 1 - 2 minutes, the heart rate monitor has only failed to record consistently during training once out of 30 or more sessions (my fault in positioning the strap). I use it for cycling rather than running and the average speed is a great tool, the training partner works well (although when you hit traffic lights and it just carries on, you know some work will be required). The site which holds your latest 10 sessions for free makes up for the atrocious mapping which comes with the Garmin. Have not managed to work out what map software the Garmin is compatible with for home PC. Other reviewers have highlighted the small numbers for heart rate monitor and I agree. On runs the variety of alarms allows you to tell if you are keeping up with your targets. A personal training GPS may seem like over kill but if I were still running half and full marathons this would be invaluable. As a cyclist it allows me to keep an accurate record of mileage and it doesn't half annoy my mates when I say that's another mile and the pace has dropped. Get one, you won't regret it if you already train regularly.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All you ever need - worth every penny, 9 May 2005
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS-Enabled Personal Trainer with Heart Rate Monitor (Electronics)
Just started out runing and a training programme for the London Marathon 2006. This item will cover all your needs - and is great if you don't belong to a running club. It will help set up a training programmes/sessiosn and with the heart monitor it will be based on your fitness. The forerunner is easy to opperate and understand and has a great training centre that you can setup and review your programmes and progress in depth on your pc. You can also download firmware upgrade and fixes to keep your unit up-to-date. Go for it!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forerunner 301 is so simple to use, 25 Feb 2006
By 
S. Green (Ellesmere Port, Cheshrie United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS-Enabled Personal Trainer with Heart Rate Monitor (Electronics)
Firstly Amazon delivered my new Forerunner within 24 Hrs of my ordering it, fantastic. Straight out of the box all you have to do is charge it up then get out running. The 301 found a GPS signal in 2 minutes, this remained solid throughout, the HRM worked great with no spikes and was very comfortable. On returning home after my 10 miles or so it was easy to get the data onto my PC (Don't use the software that comes on the CD, download the newest version from [...] within minutes i could inspect my route, view all my vital stats graphically and it was simple to plan and download onto the 301 a complete training program for the London Marathon. The only drawback was the pace/speed display when running, it appeared to have a small anount of lag, this can be fine tuned so i'll get round to fixing it. Overall a great piece of kit.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Garmin Forerunner 301, 26 Dec 2005
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS-Enabled Personal Trainer with Heart Rate Monitor (Electronics)
I purchased the garmin forerunner 301 a few months back after a friend "McBlue" recommended it. I do a lot of mountain bike riding so it was great to have a record of what i did each time i went out on a ride, i have even used it for running. This is really a great piece of equipment it records all the information you need to see how you are progressing in whatever sport you are doing and you have a complete record downloaded on to your computer which you can write comments on where you went, who with and how you felt you did etc. It truly is a great thing certainly makes me want to go out all the time to then come home and see it all on record. You can also then download it onto Motion Base and you can view everyone else's workout and put your one on too and people all over the world use it and its great to see their maps and where they have been, you can also see your route on Google Earth this is also very good, well what more can i say i loved it so much that i then went on to buy another one for my mate's christmas presents "McMatt". Im sure you wont be disappointed. "McBlonde"
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the great features of the 201 but with so much more, 18 Nov 2005
By 
S Mansell (Bath, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS-Enabled Personal Trainer with Heart Rate Monitor (Electronics)
I bought a Forerunner 201 about 8 months ago to help/encourage me with my run training. I fell in love with it instantly, and thought it would be hard to beat.
My girlfriend recently suggested that I should switch to heart-rate training, and so I decided to "upgrade" to the 301.
Wow! It does so much more than the 201 including "advanced" workouts where you can easily setup fartlek, interval and tempo runs based on time, distance and/or heartrate.
In short - brilliant!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't decide between 301 and 305?, 12 Aug 2007
By 
C. Johnson (UK) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS-Enabled Personal Trainer with Heart Rate Monitor (Electronics)
I have now bought both 301 and 305 (I could not do without one whilst the first went back for repair!

301 - Cheaper, excellent display, indeed larger than the 305. Initialisation of satellites could take 2-3 minutes every day and sometimes gets lost for 30 seconds on a run under trees. Poor USB socket reliability - mine broke.

305 - in general it is more expensive, looks cool and has more functionality, eg racing against a previous run and fully alterable displays.

However, the 305 has a great PLUS POINT - the GPS initialisation is fantastic, 30 seconds in the house and doesn't loose it on a run.

The 305 has one BAD POINT - The display is not only smaller, the contrast (alterable) is poorer but the letter describing the data fields and value for history are SO SMALL and wispy that I can barely see them with contact lenses and reading glasses, whilst the 301 was fine without both.

To end on a good note, the 305 has flush pins for USB connection and fits into a cradle. My 301 had a miniature USB on the watch, which filled up with sweat and somehow became intermittent - hence back for repair.

Conclusion - 305 is better, but if you have poor eye sight, I would get the 301.
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