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Is The Garmin Forerunner 305 For Trail Runners?

Trees…Hills…Mountains

How does the Garmin Forerunner 305 respond to these potential trail running GPS signal obstructions?

First – What Could Be Affected

Without GPS communication between the watch and satellites, most of the data besides Time and Heart Rate will probably be worthless since the watch uses GPS for determining most of the personal feedback data available. Parameters such as Pace and Distance will not be happening.

My Experience

I have been using the Garmin 305 for all of my trail run training and racing. Over the last year+, I have always been able to maintain a GPS signal. The most challenging environment to date contained significant tree cover and mini-mountains up in northern Minnesota and I had signal throughout the 50 mile race.

Oberg Mountain

Mini-mountain. Didn't feel so mini 40+ miles into the race.

Superior Trail view 2

Some of the dense tree cover.

Actually the only environment I have lost GPS signal momentarily was in the urban environment while running underneath a concrete structure. Once pass the structure, signal was quickly returned.

Battery Life [update: 11/05/2010]

As trail and ultra runners that may be out in nature for a significant amount of time such as for a 50 mile race, battery life is a noteworthy concern. The specs say battery life of 10 hours, I have consistently gotten 12 hours of use (individual results may vary).  Before a race, I always charge it through the night, then remove it from the charging base race morning.

Needless to say I have been happy with the performance of this running tool while playing in nature.

For those that have been running on the dirt with the Garmin Forerunner 305, what has been your experience?

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David – EnduranceBuzz.com

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About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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