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Recommendations for first Garmin purchase? (Read 1165 times)


DespiteMyself

    I've been browsing thorugh this forum, reading discussions on the various Garmins, I've also compared them on Garmin's website, and I'm thinking of taking the leap and getting one. I'm looking real close at the FR305. It has all the features I want and is at the lower end of the price range (plus I can get it even cheaper on amazon or ebay). I see that several of you have the same model ... BUT I've also noted some of the problems you've been talking about, such as corrosion from moisture & salt, problems with not starting, case falling apart, and life expectance about 3-3.5 years.

     

    Even though I'm a fairly new runner, I love the techie toys, and I love analyzing stats (not that I have much to analyze yet). I know I don't NEED it, but I WANT it. On the other hand I don't want to buy a poor investment. I have a GPS-enabled smartphone, but I have to fish it out of my pack every time I want to manipulate it.

     

    So here are some of my questions:... for those of you who have Garmins, particularly the FR305 ...

    • Are you still happy with it?
    • If you've had problems, how long before they started, and were you able to fix them or work around them?
    • Would a new runner looking to improve (on just about everything) find some benefit in it?
    • Is there another Garmin you would recommend?

    Thanks, appreciate any insight you can offer.

    If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot run," then by all means RUN, and the voice will be silenced.

     

    Jiggle Monster

    Zortrium


      I've got a 305, about a year old.  Despite having my first problem ever with it a few days ago (when it didn't record a workout due to a weird series of button presses), I recommend it 100% at the price vs other Garmins.  I got it when I was a complete newbie and found it very useful right from the get-go (at first, primarily telling me to slow the heck down owning to my ridiculous heart rate).

       

      Apart from the aforementioned one isolated incident I've had with it (and I've never heard of that happening to anyone else, so I'm sure it was a fluke), I've got nothing negative to say about it.

        I've tried several Garmin devices.  For my $$ I'd go with the 110.  GPS accuracy is good.  You have all the basic functions a runner really needs.  My only complaint of any substance at all is that you must upload a run to Garmin Connect (or maybe RA -- not sure) to see your splits; you can't see them in the run history on the watch.  The price is good.  The form factor is nice and small and you don't feel like you have a toaster strapped to your wrist as I have read elsewhere about how some people feel about some of the other units.  The 210 is a slight upgrade from that, same form factor, about $50 more but still a good value -- splits are in the run history, too.

        - Joe

        We are fragile creatures on collision with our judgment day.

          So here are some of my questions:... for those of you who have Garmins, particularly the FR305 ...

          • Are you still happy with it?
          • If you've had problems, how long before they started, and were you able to fix them or work around them?
          • Would a new runner looking to improve (on just about everything) find some benefit in it?
          • Is there another Garmin you would recommend?

          Thanks, appreciate any insight you can offer.

           

          I've got 2 305s. The first one lasted about three years and quit working so I tossed it in a drawer and ordered another one. Right before the warranty was up the new one quit working too. With both of them the problem was the top and bottom of the watch started separating and causing the unit to lose contact with the battery. I called Garmin and they replaced the old one for $75 or $80 and replaced the newer one for free. Other than those things, I've been very happy with the 305 and my contact with Garmin support. They were very polite and helpful and got new/refurbed 305s back to me in less than a week.

           

          I'm still very happy with the 305 and don't have direct experience with other Garmin models. I was looking at the 310 xt as a replacement before I contacted Garmin support, but just couldn't stick the crowbar in the wallet for that one just yet.

           

          It's hard to answer your question about whether it will help you improve. Technically, it's just watch. A very cool watch, but still just a watch. Running more will help a newer runner more than anything else, and if the fancy new watch helps motivate you to do that, then I guess the answer would be yes. For me, I got plenty of motivation to get out and play with my new toy when I first got it - but now it just makes a tan line on my left arm.

          When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

          R2E


          "run" "to" "eat"

            i have a garmin forerunner 201 which i adore. AD. ORE. i had my first 201 for several years before it quit taking a charge, so i got another one just like the other one. it's big, bulky, and amatuerish, but it's also easy to read, easy to use, and doesn't have a bunch of freaking bells and whistles i would never use. i want to know how far i've run. it tells me with reasonable accuracy. it also works great on the bicycle, and the large screen is especially nice while cycling because i don't have to squint or wonder what it says. one of the very best features is the adjustable velcro band which i very much prefer over the buckle style. in conclusion, i am the one with the ginormous dick tracey watch on my wrist and i am hap-hap-happy to be so.

            i find the sunshine beckons me to open up the gate and dream and dream ~~robbie williams

              I've had my 205 for a little over four months and have had no technical issues with it yet. I love it because I'm a data junkie. I'm all about the splits, comparisons, trends, etc. I can't wait for the data to upload so I can compare it with how I did in my head. To that end, one of my biggest challenges for weeks after getting it was trying not to look at it constantly during a run. Because when you look at your Garmin, you really have to look at it. There's a lot going on there on your wrist. As for how it might help you improve...it won't make you any faster, but the 205's pace monitoring features have helped me immeasurably in giving a consistent effort. It's a product with which I'm well-pleased and recommend highly. 

                If your interested in a 301 with HR monitor, I have one  that I could part with.

                 

                The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                 

                2014 Goals:

                 

                Stay healthy

                Enjoy life

                 

                  I just "upgraded" from the 305 to the 210.  No complaints about the 305, in fact it was an awesome running companion for many years. I just felt it was silly big, and being a gadget fan, I wanted the newer one when I started running more again.  btw, I put upgraded in quotes b/c I think in the upgrade I lost some functionality (esp instant pace, but I dont find it useful anyway), but I really like the 210 better. it comes preset for autolap, and you know how fast each mile is as you go, which is just as good.

                   

                  key difference for me is I like wearing the 210 around, and I could never get the 305 off my wrist fast enough.

                     (esp instant pace, but I dont find it useful anyway)

                     

                    Yeah...I had to lose instant pace off my display. That will absolutely keep your eyes riveted to your wrist. 

                      I've had the 205 for 3 years and love it.  Can't really beat what you get out of it for only $99.  At least that's what I paid.  Every so often you can find that special price.  Normally on Amazon but I've heard walmart.com has it that low too.  Current pace, autolap, lap pace and distance.  That's all I really care about during training and during races and the 205  gives me that.


                      The Irreverent Reverand

                        I've had the 305 since November (I started running only a few months before that), and I love it. It is my first Garmin, and I can't compare it to other models, as I've never used those. The 305 keeps track of all kinds of data, lets me set alerts (too slow alerts and too fast alerts, to help keep you on pace), and also lets me set a complicated workout (ie, start workout with 1 mile at no set pace, then 2 miles at 9:00 pace, then 1 mile at 7:45 pace, then half mile at no pace, then ...) giving me alerts and text on screen to keep me moving through the workout. Very customizable, in terms of what data you show on the screen. I have the heart rate monitor, but haven't used it. I love my Garmin.

                         

                        I got the Garmin velcro wrist strap, however. I found the strap that came with the unit to be not terribly comfortable, and it didn't fit around bulky winter clothing as well as the velcro strap does. Once, months after installing the velcro wrist strap, it inexplicably became unhinged during a run. That was annoying, but it happened only once.

                        And, as others have said, I have heard of the 305 breaking down after about 2-3 years, with the unit casing splitting. Not surprising, actually. You're wearing a computer on your wrist and exposing it to heat, cold, sweat, rain, snow ...

                        Husband. Father of three. Lutheran pastor. National Guardsman. Runner. Political junkie. Baseball fan.

                         

                        Goals for 2014:

                        Sub-3:30 marathon; run for a year free from major injuries or interruptions

                        PRs: 3:27 marathon; 1:41 half; 45:07 10K; 23:26 5K; 6:02 mile; <12 parsecs Kessel Run

                          As long as you dont have too small a wrist, you just cant go wrong with the 305.

                          I dont sweat. I ooze liquid awesome.

                          tlazarus


                            I second the comments on the 305. Its available for so much cheaper than the newer models and works just as well. I've used a 201 and a 305, and the 305 is amazing.

                             

                            I should also comment that I've had my 305 for a few years now, with no case issues. In fact, I accidently ran it through the WASHER the other day (oops!) and it is still going strong.

                            2009 5k PR: 22:10 2010 5k PR: 18:36 2010 Marathon PR: 3:13:22 2010 Goals: Sub-20:00 5k Sub-19:00 5k Sub-3:30 Marathon

                              I've had the 305 for about 3 weeks now and I love it.  Despite it's size, it's pretty light.  I got mine on Amazon for about $120.  No complaints yet.

                              Started c25k on 5/30/11


                              DespiteMyself

                                Hey everyone ... THANK YOU for all the comments ... keep 'em coming! You've given me lots to think about. and you've opened up some alternatives I hadn't considered.

                                 

                                (BTW, I got the best advice from some of you about slowing my pace down. I totally enjoyed my run this morning. Yes, I'm counting it as a "long" run for me, not in terms of distance, but more in terms of time and mind-set. I felt like I could keep going a few more miles. I should've mapped out my run ahead of time ... was aiming for 5 miles, but ended up only being 3.8. So here is one reason for getting the Garmin & using Handy Runner as a back up ... phone call in the middle of the run deleted all the data prior to the call. I read that from someone else too, they said to turn off incoming calls during the run. Not sure I know how to do that or if I even want to (emergenices, y'know). Hoping that maybe Derek might have a fix for this soon, I'll ask. ... OK, sorry for digressing)

                                 

                                I should also comment that I've had my 305 for a few years now, with no case issues. In fact, I accidently ran it through the WASHER the other day (oops!) and it is still going strong.

                                 

                                OOPS! Well they DID say it was waterproof ... maybe sweat is just a little more insidious than soap-n-water

                                 

                                 

                                As long as you dont have too small a wrist, you just cant go wrong with the 305.

                                 

                                See, now this is one thing I DO worry about. I do have a very tiny wrist, and I think I will want to try one on for size/comfort... might have to get the velcro band.

                                If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot run," then by all means RUN, and the voice will be silenced.

                                 

                                Jiggle Monster

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