Yesterday I picked up a new running toy, the Garmin Forerunner 305. In case my wife reads this, I meant to say running “tool” not “toy”.
REI has this bad boy sale priced at $164.99 which is a great price and $35 cheaper than I could find anywhere else. The 205 is also on sale and nicely priced at $124.99. From my understanding, the main difference between the 305 and 205 is the added heart rate functionality on the 305. I have been heart rate training for the last seven years, so this feature made it pretty easy for me to decide which unit to purchase.
Garmin 305 and Included Heart Rate Monitor
The main features that I immediately plan to use are pace, heart rate, and distance. These three features along will provide a huge amount of feedback and training flexibility. The pace and distance were both missing from my HRM.
A running buddy of mine and his wife have used the 205 for probably over a year now and have been completely satisfied. They are both marathoners so they have put their units (they each have one) through the miles and now say they would not be without them. That coming from anti-running-gadget runners. With recommendations like this, my usual hours of research before a purchase were nearly eliminated. Thanks TJ!
Inside the Box
The contents included:
- the watch
- heart rate monitor
- charging/connect-to-PC cradle
- pin removal tool (to remove the wrist straps)
- extension wrist strap (for those extremely large wrists)
- wall charger
- Garmin Training Center software
- manual and quick-start guide
I wanted to give the unit a test drive this morning during a run so I looked at the Set up and go! quick-start guide, charged up the unit for three hours (recommended) and it was ready for the maiden voyage. I wasn’t concerned with customizing anything at this point, I just want to see the thing work and not trip over a curb in the process.
With the unit being a bit bulkier than my polar heart rate monitor, I was curious if I would notice a difference with how the watch fit on my wrist or if it would feel weighty. Once strapped on, the watch immediately felt quite natural. Nice! The Garmin did feel slightly heavier than my Polar when doing the unofficial watch-in-hand lift test. But once on the wrist and running, it was a non-issue.
Garmin 305 and Polar S210
Liked it! Being able to observe my pace and distance virtually real-time for the 5.50 mile run was extremely nice. Once I customize the display a bit, I have a feeling my appreciation for this unit will only increase.
I will provide more of my thoughts on this unit in the weeks and months ahead.
Update 5/03/09: Amazon has one of the best prices around unless you can find it on sale somewhere.
- Garmin Forerunner 305 – Setup
- Garmin Forerunner 305 – Distance Test
- Is the Garmin Forerunner 305 The Right Running Tool For You
- Garmin Forerunner 305 – Indoor Run Intervals
- Is the Garmin Forerunner 305 For Trail Runners?
- How to Update the Garmin Forerunner 305 Firmware