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Customer Review

473 of 477 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously good gadget for serious athletes, 21 April 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Worn GPS Personal Training Device with Heart Rate Monitor (discontinued by manufacturer) (discountinued by manufacturer) (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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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Jan 2009 00:24:09 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Jan 2009 00:24:40 GMT
2point4kids says:
Great review - and humour. Thanks for the update too. It is easy to write a nice review early on but I don't consider this expenditure regularly so it is nice to know you are still a fan.

Posted on 14 Jun 2009 22:13:46 BDT
Hi,

I am using the Sportstrack software but cant find out how to upload pre-planned routes to the watch. can you help??

Thanks,

Stewart

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jul 2009 12:47:03 BDT
There is a plugin that handles this. Check out the plugin page http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTracks/Plugins/ and download "Garmin Fitness".

Posted on 29 Apr 2010 17:18:50 BDT
Well writen and very helpfull review

Posted on 8 Jun 2010 00:39:00 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Jun 2010 00:39:30 BDT
Just curious ; you were talking about audible alerts. I run with an Ipod , so is there anyway to hook it to the Ipod for the alerts? Maybe a stupid question , but with technology these days , who knows.

Posted on 28 Jun 2010 14:37:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2010 14:40:20 BDT
S. Mark Gee says:
The review is a good and fair one.

I also own one of these and the original review is spot in in pretty much every respect.

I would add:

1. battery is rubbish, you have to always put it on charge when you've doen with it. will do you for a 4 hour marathon tho i guess at a push.
2. software is rubbish but sportacks is fantastic and free
3. it looks ugly and big. But if you ahd a small display you would not be able to read it so very functional.
4. Short reps: it takes about 10-15 secons to work out your avg interval speed so not too great for 30sec reps if you are into that sort of thing. i think that is also the same with the different technology of polar products.
5. altitude. the altitude IS ACCURATE in that it works on barametric pressure (like polar) so it does accurately tell you the change in pressure but if course that soes not always correspond to real altitue change. its a good enough indictor for a runner for a serious cyclist going up nill stages on the TDF not so sure.

when i bought it I did not like it but have grown to love it and would say it is very functional, just needs a better battery.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Oct 2010 10:08:38 BDT
CB Kirk says:
I use software called Ascent (on a Mac), which is great. As well as the usual mapping tools and comparative data, it uses topographical data with the GPS data from your run to give much more accurate ascent and decent information. Worth setting up if hills are your thing.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Oct 2010 19:48:48 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 5 Oct 2010 19:50:54 BDT]

Posted on 5 Jan 2011 16:58:47 GMT
Do you have to wear a heart rate strap around your chest to get the readings from your heart?

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2011 11:26:30 GMT
Yes, but this is the case with almost heart rate monitors.
You won't notice it & they are very accurate.
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