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Garmin Forerunner


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  • Garmin Forerunner

    Big Al: In 1978, my wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I said that I wanted the new Walt Stack running watch advertised in Runners World. Do you remember that big metal clunker, with about three features? People asked why you'd want to know your running time to the 100th of a second. It was terrific. This year she got me the Garmin Forerunner. It's terrific too. It is large, as one poster noted, but it's very light. The size doesn't bother me, though I don't run in extreme heat. Here's what I like:

    1. While you run, the face shows total elapsed time, speed, and distance. It's perfect when you want to run, e.g., ten miles on a new route. Just turn around when the face says 5.

    2. Or say you want to run a tempo run - 5 miles in 35 minutes. You can set the watch so that, in addition to the numbers, the face shows two running figures - one running the pace you want, the other running your actual pace, so you can see if you need to speed up.

    3. You can set it to flash and record your time after every preset lap (1/4 mile, one mile, etc.) No need to push buttons. And you can set it to stop timing when you slow below a certain speed. No need to stop the watch when you're at a stoplight or water fountain.

    4. It has a ton of features, but the software is completely instinctive. It is way easier to use than my Polar HR monitor.

    5. It will store virtually all your workouts, virtually forever.

    Dislikes: its maximum charge is 12 hours, so you need to keep it in the charger when you're not using it; in real time, the speed shown on the face is slower than actual. I think this may be because of armswing, because when I hold my arm steady the displayed speed begins to drop. It'd be nice to know your precise speed at any instant, but it's less important since you get accurate lap times; Garmin claims to be developing software that will allow you to download the workouts to your PC, but it's not out yet, and it won't be available for Mac users.

    One plus of a toy like this is that it gets you out on the roads more often than you might otherwise go, because it's fun to play with and to get the feedback. It's the Walt Stack running watch of the 21st century.

    I haven't tried the Timex, but the Garmin is cheaper and doesn't require that you wear anything on your arm. On principle, I don't buy Nike.

    Happy trails!

  • #2
    Re: Garmin Forerunner

    thanks man. I'm glad to hear a response about the garmin forerunner 201. I was looking at that gadget for awhile now and i'm pretty convinced that it works well. If anything these gadgets have helped me in my training. Pace wise i've been able to track my performace with my timex watch for the past year. I can see my ups and downs and see how my pace and how i feel at a certain pace from day to day. I think these tools are actually pretty helpful information tools when your running alone with no coaches, no one to push you but your own self. It helps you stay awake when your set in a rut running one pace everyday. I hear a lot about how technology can "maybe" distract a runner from what running is all about. But just like CD players, walksmen's, and heart rate monitors it can all be helpful if u use them for the right reasons. I wear my timex GPS on every run. I don't always watch it, but i only look at it to see if i should turn around yet or what i averaged at the end of my run

    Thanks again for your review, you have helped me greatly.