Anxious to get going with this wristwatch like GPS, designed for running, I took a hasty look at the quick-start-guide, strapped the Garmin too my wrist, put on my running gear and went outside.
The device took a couple of minutes, or less, to find a satellite. I pressed the start button and I was off.
What it keeps track off
You can keep track of useful things like how far you run, the time it takes you to do the run, your pace, your heart rate and not so useful things like how many calories you burn.
The GPS comes with software to program the Garmin for the type of run you want to do and the pace and heart rate zone you want to do it at. The software keeps track of all your runs and also comes with a set of prepackaged workouts.
You can also just program the Garmin.
Heart Rate Monitor
I haven’t tried using the heart rate monitor yet. It is a rubber strap like thing you wrap around your chest. Because, you have to wet the sensors to create a connection between your pulse and the transmitter, it doesn’t seem like the ideal thing to be wearing when the temperatures outside are below zero. I’m waiting until Spring.
In addition to running, the forerunner 310 is able to keep track of all your cycling statistics. You can also program it to keep track of one other sport. Although the forerunner 305 is water resistant it is not waterproof so it would not be the ideal device if you are a triathlete.
The forerunner 310 can tell you the direction you are heading, the elevation and the grade or inclination of the slope you are on. Thus, I decided my third program was going to be hiking/skiing.
Why The Forerunner 305 is great to use for Hiking and Skiing
It is always interesting to know how high you are, but knowing the degree of steepness, of the slope you are skiing is crucial, when making decisions about whether to ski it or not.
Thirty-eight degrees is the sweet spot when it comes to avalanches. It is also the best slope for powder skiing. When out in the back-country, terrain is the only thing you can control, so having a device that can accurately measure the slope is just another thing for us geeks to chortle about. After all you don’t want to become dependent on a device you could lose, or that could break down, or not function due to a whiteout or heavy fog.
Even though it is not as much fun, an old fashioned compass and your brain are still the best tools you have in the backcountry.
Reading the Manual
After a few days I began to notice that the statistics my Garmin was downloading to the computer had the wrong time and date on them. I spent ages flipping through the manual and fiddling with the Garmin trying to figure out how to fix it.
Finally, out of sheer frustration, I Googled something like,
why do my workouts on the forerunner 305 have the wrong date?
Almost the first hit told me. It said- after completing each workout press the stop button, duh, AND, press the lap button until the forerunner resets itself.
Now if I had just RTFM before I ran off that first time…