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463 of 467 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously good gadget for serious athletes
OK, first looks - you are thinking to yourself "But what if someone tries to land a helicopter on it's enormous surface while I am out running?!"

Well, don't worry about it. Yes it looks bulky but when you are out running you never notice the size and it's easy to appreciate the highly configurable and easy to read display. This device is all about options...
Published on 21 April 2008 by R. Cross

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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great piece of kit
I'm really enjoying using the Forerunner; this is the first running computer I have owned so I can't make comparisons to other models. I've found that the pace can be a bit variable while running but seems to level out to sensible values once it's uploaded onto the computer. The digits that are used for the heartrate could do with being a little larger too. It's very...
Published on 4 Mar 2009 by russell jones


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463 of 467 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously good gadget for serious athletes, 21 April 2008
By 
R. Cross (Brussels, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Worn GPS Personal Training Device with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
OK, first looks - you are thinking to yourself "But what if someone tries to land a helicopter on it's enormous surface while I am out running?!"

Well, don't worry about it. Yes it looks bulky but when you are out running you never notice the size and it's easy to appreciate the highly configurable and easy to read display. This device is all about options. I choose to run with the four following items all simultaneously displayed:
Heart Rate, Elapsed running time, Average pace in km/h and Total Distance

I can of course choose to see other bits of information and have the screens changing at intervals I determine but part of the joy of running is getting away from it all and looking where you are going! The device just works, capturing all that lovely information about your heart, what kinds of slopes you are running on, how far you are travelling.

I once got lost in some big woods near where I live, then I simply turned the watch into navigation mode and was able to trace my way back through the forest to where I started from - absolutely brilliant gadget.

The real fun with the Forerunner comes when you get to analyze the data. The software provided with the watch is very basic. Most people I know download the excellent Sport Tracks software which is freeware from Zone 5 Software. To use this software you also need to have installed on your Windows PC a version of .NET from Microsoft (this is just some extra software for the Operating System to allow programs written in a certain way to run - again, it's a free download from Microsoft).

Now you can amaze your friends and family about how far you run, how fast you go, how big the hills are you are running up, amaze them with how many calories you've burnt off. All in lovely printed graphical format. But whatever you do, don't wear your watch out when you go down to the pub - for one, the battery (rechargeable from your PC) only lasts for 10 hours, but you might just have someone trying to land a helicopter on it!! This watch is cool for running, but nothing else.

These sorts of gadgets used to sell in Europe for about 400 but now that Garmin have brought out a new model with a fancy iPod wannabee interface (who cares - I never really touch the thing when I am out running, apart from the start/stop button), the price has dropped dramatically. For those of you like me who live in mainland Europe, the power supply has got switchable components so you can use the plug in different sockets. These days, I consider it to be essential training eqpt and I never run or cycle without it.

UPDATE - had the product for a year now, in fact I have bought a second one for my wife to use with her training. I've started to use the Workout function for my marathon training. You can design your whole training programme, upload it into the watch and then it tells you how fast you have to run and for how long. This is really useful if you are doing interval training for example, run 2Kms fast then ½km slow to recover, repeat 4 times. You get audible alerts if you are too fast or too slow or if your heart rate goes outside of the desired training zone. I've downloaded an entire marathon training schedule from the Runners World website and I just do what the watch tells me. So yes, I'm a raving fan of the Forerunner 305. The only negative point I would make is that the elevation data is not highly accurate but it does give a good impression of the kind of slopes you are running on.
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247 of 251 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 25 Sep 2007
By 
M. J. Horsfield (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Worn GPS Personal Training Device with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
This is an amazing device. I thought I would add the following to previous reviews.

Answers to the questions I couldn't sort out before purchase (as a triathlete):
1. Can you swim with it? Sadly not. Although certified as waterproof it is not sufficiently watertight to swim with.

2. Can you download routes FROM memory map TO the device i.e. brand new runs/bikes planned at home on the map? YES - but you need to upgrade memory map 2004 software to the USB supporting version via their website. The device will then guide you around the planned course.

Added suggestions:

Everyone should check out SportTracks software (shareware - zonefive) which is vastly superior to the Garmin packaged applet. SportTracks integrates with google earth and automatically generates satellite images of your route.

The pre-loaded advanced training packages are good for turbo sessions. Obviously the GPS is useless but the watch will monitor your heart rate & cadence (with attachment) and instruct you through a pre-set or custom pre-programmed workout e.g. Cycle in zone 3 for 5 mins; Cycle in zone 4 for 2 mins etc.

Other bonuses over my old GPS and heart rate monitors:
It charges via USB while connected to the computer.
It has a coded heart rate belt - no cross-talk in the gym.
It has excellent GPS reception in the woods (much superior to my Geko 301).

All in all: For £150 a bargain. It has virtually replaced my old HRM and my GPS.

Downsides? £150 is still a lot. The large unit might put you off. It looks a bit retro. Can't swim in it. I now *know* that I run as slowly as I thought!
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great piece of kit, 4 Mar 2009
By 
russell jones - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Worn GPS Personal Training Device with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I'm really enjoying using the Forerunner; this is the first running computer I have owned so I can't make comparisons to other models. I've found that the pace can be a bit variable while running but seems to level out to sensible values once it's uploaded onto the computer. The digits that are used for the heartrate could do with being a little larger too. It's very hard to read them while running especially on tracks. I was away last weekend in Amsterdam and it was fantastic knowing that I could run for an hour and the forerunner would be able to tell me how to get back to the hotel. Linux support out of the box would be a bonus, I managed to get it connected to my NetBook but it took a lot of effort to work out how to set it up.
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84 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complete training package on your wrist!, 1 Aug 2007
By 
Mr. A. D. Parnell (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Worn GPS Personal Training Device with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I've recently taken up running and thought I was being extravagant when I bought this (top of the range and all that) but its been a fantastic investment, even for a relative beginner. Not being someone who like to run a set route, it has until now been difficult to know exactly how far I've run each day, or to know if I'm getting better/fitter. The 305 helps with all of that, and more. Setting the 'quick workout' to a set distance/speed and using the virtual trainer to see if you're ahead/behind schedule is very useful, and unlike a real partner who would demoralise you if they got too far ahead, you can just switch him off! Seriously though, being able to record each run is really motivatiing, especially when you can measure your increasing fitness (faster speed, slower heart rate etc). Not used the online facilities because my Mac doesn't run Tiger, but the screen shots look good. Its a bit bulky on your wrist, the writing is small if you try to display everything at once, but overall its great and I thoroughly recommend it.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing piece of kit!, 10 April 2008
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Worn GPS Personal Training Device with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I have had my 305 for 2 weeks and what can I write that hasn't already been written? It is my first GPS, and the only one I have tried, but it has already changed the way I plan my training, and how I plan to run races.

I received it for my Birthday two days before a 10k race, and was desperate to try it out on the day. I thought that I would need to train with it first, but the 305 was so easy to set up that I just went for it. I easily configured it up to 'autolap' at every Kilometer, I knew the race I was running wouldn't have markers, and I already had a pace in my mind. It beeped at every k, and I was able to see exactly how I was doing, and how I would most likely finish - just the motivation I needed to up my game for the second half!

Plug it in to your PC/Mac when you get home, and make sure you have the latest Garmin Training Centre software downloaded from their site (the version I got in the box had quite a few bugs). There is also other great free software available to overlay the route you took onto Google maps, so you can marvel at the distance you travelled, at what point you were fastest/slowest, was it on the hill, or on the flat. Basically every single fact about your run is recorded on the 305. The accuracy was just about spot on.

It has really inspired me to vary my training, and push myself harder. The heart rate monitor is also proving to be a useful tool, and the pre-set advanced workouts are great fun (sometimes painful)to try.

I am always showing off to my running mates when I work out something else it can do or tell me, (which is probably a bit annoying) because there is so many different features for use in training and racing. Basically, I can't recommend this highly enough.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never run without it!, 13 Aug 2007
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Worn GPS Personal Training Device with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I bought the Forerunner 305 about six months ago and I never run without it now. It has helped me to focus more on not only my mileage but also on improving my times over the same course. I also use the heart monitor every time I run so I can monitor my heart rate both running on the flat and on uphill courses.

It is quite a large watch (as I have very small wrists) but this is overcome by wearing the watch slightly higher on my forearm which poses no awkwardness.

I found it very user friendly and easy to work with my laptop to download my workouts and plan further routes on my laptop to upload onto the watch.

An all-round good purchase which has helped my running to improve dramatically.
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88 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy, 25 Sep 2007
By 
Tripod (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Worn GPS Personal Training Device with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I work in the GPS arena and have to say this is a lovely little device. Ive used it to get in shape for my first Triathlon last Sunday. I never bike or run without it.

Good points:
- SiRF III = Accurate GPS
- Quite a fast fix (*most* of the time < 60 seconds)
- Very easy to use
- Comfortable heart rate monitor
- Light and not very big considering whats inside
- Lots and lots of options - If you're into that sort of thing...

Not so good points:
- Only 10 hours battery life when GPS is on - I'm training for the IronMan, so would be nice if it was longer!
- Its not water proof, so I cant wear it in the swim :o( - Although some people put it in a sealable plastic bag and put it in their swimming cap.
- Bundled software is not very good (in my humble opinion). But there's lots of free stuff out there thats really good.

In all I'm very happy with it and would recommend it to anyone!
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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Gadget, 1 April 2008
By 
R. J. Hole (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Worn GPS Personal Training Device with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
This is a good gadget, one that is getting plenty of use. It has certainly made me change the way I run and encouraged me to find out more about different methods of training. The first time I used it I set it to alert me whenever I dropped below a certain pace and I ran my best time for that course. The heart monitor works well but I recommend that you set your own heart rate zones as they were too low initially. There are plenty of links on Runners World to help you do this. I used the formula 214-(0.8*age) to get my estimated maximum heart rate which seems to work well enough for me. Working out the zones was not immediately obvious so take bit of time to understand how they are calculated. You have to apply the percentages to the Working Heart Rate then make sure you add your resting heart rate otherwise you find your zones are much too low.

The Training Center software is reasonable for looking at the recorded data on your PC. The map is only useful to identify whereabouts you were, e.g. I can see that my maximum heart rate was near the top of a hill that I decided to run up quickly. The map is just a dotted line and the elevation is not all that accurate. From Training Center you can also view the route in Google Earth.

I also load the data into MapMyRun which gives a proper map with satellite pictures (similar to Google Earth but without the fancy stuff like 3D) which makes it easy to see off road routes. It also shows the elevation profile which seems a lot more accurate. The best feature of MapMyRun is for inputting new courses you are considering. It makes it easy to design a route that will be the distance you require. You can load these back into your Garmin and use them as routes. I am not sure how practical it is to switch between the normal data screen and the navigation screen while you are running. Probably too difficult. I have used it for navigating for a fell walk which worked well and it alerted me when I went off course. It can show you an elevation profile but I forgot how to find that mode while on this walk. I would be nice to be able to show the direction you should be taking as one of the 4 data fields while you are running. I got lost when trying a new course through areas I didn't know and being able to navigate and monitor pace, heart rate and time at the same time without having to change modes would be a great feature.

This is my first GPS sports watch so I don't know how it compares to others. I like it a lot but also see that it will probably seem very dated in 5 years time. To be honest if I use this for two years without problems it will have been well worth the money.

[Addendum]

I've been using this for three months now. I've found that my maximum heart rate is well above that suggested by the age formula. I wasn't aware of the power of Sport Tracks software when I first tried it. There is a lot more to it than meets the eye on first look. Having used MapMyRun and Training Centre I was wishing for software which combined the mapping features of the former with the statistical features of the latter. I have found that Sport Tracks does all this and more and it is a free download. My final wish was accuracy of elevation from maps instead of the inaccurate elevation data from GPS. My latest discovery is that there is a plug-in for Sport Tracks that does this too. There are numerous other plug-ins that expand the functionality too. All this can be accessed from within the "online" view in Sport Tracks. Now I only use MapMyRun for planning new routes and I hardly use Training Centre.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking bit of kit, 5 Mar 2007
By 
J. Chidley (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Worn GPS Personal Training Device with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I have used the polar series of watches both for cycling and running. The forerunner is a much better bit of kit as it tracks your real ground position. This gives distance, pace, timing and other data to an accuracy of more than 99%. I really like the autolap feature, the courses and the virtual partner settings. Unlike the Polar, the speed and cadance sensors work well on the bike (an optional accessory).

With the ability to analyse the data using their free "Training Center" it is fairly easy to review your progress and plan the future. This software does a decent job of data anlysis but if you really want more there is the option to do some further data massaging in Excel by importing the history file there.

For 5 stars it needs these changes:

Longer battery life (currently about 10 hours continuous use)

better water resistance (I swim and am too afraid to use it)

smaller unit (about the size of a large watch)
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb bit of training kit, 17 Dec 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Worn GPS Personal Training Device with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
The Forerunner 305 is the business. I was looking at Polar Heart Rate Monitors (one of which I've had for 5 yrs now which was great but archaic compared to what stats/functions etc. are available now) but then found out the higher spec polar ones are way more expensive than this piece of kit. This is amazing value for money (cheap on amazon too) and has every function a serious runner could dream of. I'm a keen amateur who having moved into the sticks was finding it hard to accurately find out the distances I was running and this has opened up a whole new world of information for me. I've set mine up to view 10 fields of stats:
Time (as in stop watch), Distance (miles or km), Heart rate, Pace (my preference of min/mile), calories, Heart Rate zone (1-5, 1 being fat burn 5 being anaerobic), Avg Pace (very useful for long runs), Avg Heart rate, Current Elevation, and Grade (what % of your run was climbing or declining). Not forgetting you can also view a basic map of where you're running and a bread crumb path.
The 305 scrolls at a speed I've set between 3 windows, each window displaying 3 fields of info bar one which displays 4. The watch even has a backlight. Then when you finish your training, dock it and transfer the info onto the supplied software (mac or PC) and view your stats, a map of where you've run and most interesting of all a graph where you can view all the differing stats. It's incredible!
You can also as someone's mentioned download free trail software which enables you to see the route you've run on google earth which is great. Can't wait to go running again! The only downside is now I spend all my time checking out the stats that I don't look where I'm going! Buy one, you won't regret it!
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