Garmin GPS Watches
GPS watches and in particular Garmin GPS watches are incredible inventions. By using GPS (global position satellites), a GPS watch calculates not only the distance you are covering, but also your speed. GPS watches are amazingly accurate. They tend to work best in areas that are not too built up and where there is minimal tree cover. If you run or walk inside, on a covered track, or even in a heavily built up area a GPS watch wont work as it has to be in full view of at least three or four satellites to give accurate readings. If you move into a covered area and then back out it will estimate distance. There are however, some watches which give you the best of both worlds. They come with a foot sensor so that you can run or walk inside and a few have super sensitive GPS which allows for some tree cover and workouts near high buildings. My favourite the Garmin Forerunner 305 portable Navigator has this capability. There are however a couple of new Garmins which have come out in the last part of 2010. The Garmin Forerunner 210 and 410 both have received very good reviews so far.
GPS Watches For Runners
Garmin Forerunner 610
The Garmin 610 Touchscreen GPS and heart Monitor, this is a new model from Garmin. This is a wonderful watch for running and cycling, it is a bit pricey but is a good choice for the serious athlete. It features Touchscreen Technology. The Touchscreen is easy to use even with gloves. This is particularly handy when you are running in the winter.
One of the great things about this watch is that it is both Mac and PC compatible. The 610 also incorporates Virtual Racer (TM), which allows you to compete against your previous best times. Alternatively you can also compete against other results uploaded to the Garmin Connect Site (TM)
As you would expect the Garmin 610 has many great features including the ability to measure distance, calories, cadence and with the Ant+ heart rate monitor you can monitor you heart rate. The GPS is highly sensitive, this enables it to work really well in built up areas. It is able to find satellites very quickly.
Drawback: Unfortunately this model is weather resistant, which means that it is not suitable for swimmers. Triathletes will be disappointed.
Garmin Forerunner 210
The Garmin Forerunner 210 GPS watch. This model is available as just the GPS watch or also as a heart Rate Monitor and with a Foot Pod for indoor running. The heart rate monitor and foot pod are sold separately.
This model is a relatively recent addition to the GPS lineup from Garmin. It has received very good reviews. One of the benefits of the 210is its accuracy. This is due to the extremely sensitive receiver which features Garmin's "Hot Fix" technology. The "Hot Fix" enables the receiver to find and lock on to satellites extremely quickly. This is especially useful if you run in a built up or covered area. For indoor running there is the optional foot pod.
The 210's water resistant rating is 10M.
This is a very sophisticated tool which allows you to download data easily. All you have to do is upload your data and information to the Garmin Connect website. This enables you to analyze and store your running statistics. The heart monitor is much improved in that it is lighter and more comfortable to wear than previous designs.
Garmin Forerunner 410
Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS also available with a Heart rate Monitor ( sold separately ). This model replaces the Garmin Forerunner 405.
This is another great Garmin GPS sports watch. The Forerunner 410 also features the "HotFix" satellite prediction technology. This enables the receiver to quickly find and connect to satellites. As one would expect this model has accurate pace and distance tracking.
The Forerunner 410 also allows you to make your workouts as detailed as you want. There is also Virtual Partner technology, which lets you compete against a virtual partner. A great way to keep your motivation and competitiveness up. There is also Garmin Connect compatibility with this watch. The training screens show you more than 30 different types of data and information. It also incorporates a feature in the navigation which enables you to find your way back to where you began in the event that you have become lost.
Data can be transferred to your computer automatically. You can track calorie consumption and there is also an optional Garmin cadence bike sensor.
Garmin Forerunner 205
The Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS Sports Watch. This is an extremely reasonable price for this Garmin GPS receiver. This a good running GPS device, however it does not have a heart rate monitor and it cannot connect to Garmin's wireless sensor for speed and cadence.
The 205 does have PC connectivity and can integrate with Training Centre software and other web based training systems. The data screens give you information on lap, pace and distance. You can also get your stats on elevation, heading, grade and calories burned.
This model also give you Garmin's Virtual partner so that you have someone other than yourself to compete against. Comes withUSB cable, CD Rom everything you need. Allin all a great multi sport watch.
Garmin Forerunner 305
Garmin Forerunner 305. This great looking device has an extremely sensitive GPS receiver. Heart rate functions provide a range of information including lap, and average heart rate. This model also includes Training Center Software, which lets you analyze your work out data. The really nice thing about this model is that it is both Mac and PC compatible.
This watch also gives you accurate, pace, speed and distance data. The main difference between the 305 and the 205 is the heart rate monitoring capability. This model is also compatible with a separate wireless bike speed and cadence monitor. The GPS receiver also has greater sensitivity in the 305. With this watch you also get information calorie expenditure as well as elevation, grade and heading.
This is a really good GPS device for the price.
The Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS Waterproof Sports Watch also available with heart monitor.
This is the device you want to get your hands on if you are a triathlete. It is one of the few GPS watches designated waterproof to 50 meters. The only drawback is that although you can wear this watch in the water it does not track your swimming data.
This is another model with precise satellite tracking capability courtesy of "HotFix" technology. The 305 tracks and records your running and cycling data and wirelessly uploads it to your computer. With this device you can easily track your pace, position and distance. It also has heart rate monitoring capability with the HR monitor which is available as an optional add on.
For runners, hikers and cyclists GPS devices are really useful and some will even give you altitude and barometer readouts as well. The more sophisticated models allow computer linking whereby you can download your route and workout information to your computer. Just like the other pedometer watches we have discussed there are numerous makes and models. Personally I like the Garmin GPS products. When it comes to GPS enabled devices, they often have heart rate monitor capability, which is usually tracked by wearing a heart rate monitor strap.