Reservations about GPS Watches (Read 1795 times)


Fat butt on couch

    Kidding aside, I don't think having a GPS watch and a regular chronograph are mutually exclusive. There are days where I wear one or the other.

     

     

    Exactly.  Over time I find myself using my GPS less....I know the distance of practically every route I run, so there is little reason to wear the GPS for most easy runs.  If doing a workout I will often wear it for some real-time feedback.  If I am traveling, or on the rare occasions I am doing a route I don't know the exact distance, I will wear it.

    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

     


    Needs more cowbell!

      Kidding aside, I don't think having a GPS watch and a regular chronograph are mutually exclusive. There are days where I wear one or the other.

       

      For intervals on the track (or on a measured road or path) I prefer the chronograph. Seems more accurate to use a measured course than to rely on the GPS for interval/distance. (There is a signal delay of up to 4 seconds when using the GPS for measurement, which might be significant if using for precision.)

       

      I've run into this issue while mountain biking with my Edge 500.  But I found out that buried in the settings is the ability to set the Garmin onto "every second" recording vs. the "Smart Recording," which can apparently fluctuate from setting data points anywhere from 4-10 seconds in real world use (at least this is what people are claiming on mountain biking forums.  I haven't actually looked at the files created by my unit closely enough to see what sort of data recording I'm yielding).  That could be cutting a LOT of corners on a particularly twisty track, especially if tree cover is any issue.

       

      On Friday I did a ride that recorded as about 10.5 miles when the generally accepted distance was closer to 12.  We have a route near us that is 8 miles and last time I rode it I seem to recall my Garmin rendering it as 7.4.  that route is a lot less twisty and has more open areas and larger, but less frequent, elevation changes than the 12 miler.  This Summer I was part of a mtn. bike relay that had the 4 mile loops recording as 3.5.  Again, lots of twists and turns and small, but frequent, elevation changes.

       

      On my road bike the mileage recorded is close enough where Smart Recording is adequate.

       

      Next trail ride I do I'm going to give the every second recording a try to see if it yields closer to accurate mileage.  I may try it on my 305 if I ever feel the need to see more instantaneous pace, ie during interval sessions.  It does make for bigger data files and I'm assuming it will eat the battery faster, but the battery life on the Edge 500 is already far more than I need in a typical ride and it lives on the charger when not in use.  I upload my workouts frequently and clear the memory frequently, too.

      Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

      '14 Goals:

      • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

      Julia1971


      All in for Boston

        You can make it beep at frequent autolaps, to annoy any competitors who run next to you

         

        I was this person at my race this weekend.  I was mortified.  This reminded me to try to figure out what the deal was.  I'm hoping turning off the "Key Tone" setting will fix this.

        Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. - Anais Nin

          I am this kind of control freak, surely because I am true-blood hacker who has just switched from hacking his computers to hacking his own body.

           

          I kind of like that thought - athletes are "body hackers".  Um, that doesn't sound too good, though.

          Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

            I do not own one - No desire.

             

            When I do a long run - I run by feel.  If I am running somewhere I do not know approximate distance - I run by time.  At my current fitness level - I would run out 82-85 minutes depending on preceived speed - Turn around and run back and call it 20 miles.  It if was 19.5 or 20.5 I do not care!  If in that run I wanted to do some mile repeats - Currently I would run hard for 6.5-7 minutes then recover and repeat.  If the pace was 6:30 or 6:50 who cares.

             

            But most people like their data

             

            That is what I do. I'd like to have one, but they all are so expensive. $400 for a running watch!!! I don't feel it is worth. A GPS for a car only costs $100 or so. Why is a GPS watch so expensive?

            5k - 20:56 (Sept 30, 2012)

            7k - 28:40 (Nov 18, 2012)

            10k trial - 43:08 (Mar 29, 2013), 42:05 (May 05, 2013)

            FM - 3:09:28 (May 19, 2013)

              This past weekend I used my Garmin 205 for the first time since January--the last workout on the watch was from January, so I'm assuming that's the last time I used it.

               

              I dug through my desk drawer to find it because I was going to help a friend measure out a middle school cross country race course in the woods. When I was done, I hooked it up to my pc (had to follow the instructions on RA to download the Garmin Connect Plugin again because apparently I had deleted it since the last time I used the watch) and it was all a fairly simple way to get the maps of the routes we had run onto the internet. The next morning I was heading out to meet some friends for a long run and the Garmin was still sitting there on the cradle on my desk, so I took it again--it was kind of helpful I suppose since the run was a total ad lib but it would have been just as easy to quickly measure out the route I had done after the fact using RA if I really wanted to know the (almost) exact distance I'd run.

               

              The thing is I after not using the Garmin for 9 months and then using it again, I kind of don't really see a need anymore except for the really odd thing like my cc course measuring errand on Saturday. I generally know (or can estimate with remarkable accuracy) the distance of every two points within 10 miles of my house, I run mostly the same routes over and over again, I've become really good at knowing my pace just off of effort and when I do workouts I either do them by effort or on the track.

               

              My buddy Dan, the cc coach I mentioned above, is thinking of getting one, so I might just give him mine and just borrow it back if I ever need it. Otherwise it will probably sit in my desk drawer for another 6-9 months.

               

              All of that said, if you still do want a basic GPS watch for not a ton of money, I know the 205 is still available and is under $150. I've had mine for 3 or 4 years and it's totally fine for every purpose I've ever needed. You can't swim with it but I've run in the rain plenty of times and usually rinse it off in the sink after use.

              Runners run.


              just a simple cat

                I was this person at my race this weekend.  I was mortified.  This reminded me to try to figure out what the deal was.  I'm hoping turning off the "Key Tone" setting will fix this.

                 I had set mine to beep at 1/4 mile intervals.

                 

                Forgot to change it back and ran a half marathon.   LOL   Me and everyone near me went crazy.

                 

                 

                   I had set mine to beep at 1/4 mile intervals.

                   

                  Forgot to change it back and ran a half marathon.   LOL   Me and everyone near me went crazy.

                   

                  The last marathon I ran, some guy had his iPhone speaking his splits/stats to him every 1/4 mile.  Yes, it was annoying, and I didn't run beside his group for long. 


                  Fat butt on couch

                    The last marathon I ran, some guy had his iPhone speaking his splits/stats to him every 1/4 mile.  Yes, it was annoying, and I didn't run beside his group for long. 

                     

                     

                    Someone needs to design an app that berates you and curses you as encouragement to dig deep and run faster.  "You slowed down 20 seconds on the last mile, nancy-boy.  Suck it up!"

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     

                      The last marathon I ran, some guy had his iPhone speaking his splits/stats to him every 1/4 mile.  Yes, it was annoying, and I didn't run beside his group for long. 

                       

                      Since Boston was kinda warm and I decided to make it a long run I took my phone and tracked the run with Run Keeper. Turns out that race is 27.29 miles long!

                       

                      This weekend I ran a half with a friend who had Nike+ going on his phone and discovered the half marathon is really over 14 miles.

                        Rather than starting a new thread, I thought I'd add on to this one with this question, since it's somewhat related.

                         

                        Are the Garmin cycling computers more accurate than the Garmin watches?  Or is the accuracy primarily a function of the accuracy of the data? 


                        Fat butt on couch

                          Rather than starting a new thread, I thought I'd add on to this one with this question, since it's somewhat related.

                           

                          Are the Garmin cycling computers more accurate than the Garmin watches?  Or is the accuracy primarily a function of the accuracy of the data? 

                           

                           

                          GPS units used for excavation and agriculture....ones that are very precise compared to running watches...use a land-based system to remove most the the error in GPS.  It's an add-on that adds considerable size to the unit and you won't find that in today's watches.

                           

                          IMHO cycling computers are likely to be similar in accuracy to running watches except you may find instantaneous speed calculations to be more accurate as you are moving at a faster speed (the errors are not as significant when you are moving faster).  This is assuming that the cycling computers have no better antennas than the GPS watches.  I don't have and am not familiar with GPS cycling computers; if they have larger/better antennas you should get better data, especially in areas prone to lost signals with running watches.

                          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                           

                            GPS units used for excavation and agriculture....ones that are very precise compared to running watches...use a land-based system to remove most the the error in GPS.  It's an add-on that adds considerable size to the unit and you won't find that in today's watches.

                             

                            IMHO cycling computers are likely to be similar in accuracy to running watches except you may find instantaneous speed calculations to be more accurate as you are moving at a faster speed (the errors are not as significant when you are moving faster).  This is assuming that the cycling computers have no better antennas than the GPS watches.  I don't have and am not familiar with GPS cycling computers; if they have larger/better antennas you should get better data, especially in areas prone to lost signals with running watches.

                             

                            My dad, now retired from farming and other stuff, sometimes helps out other farmers by driving their tractors. He's told me about how using GPS they can drive up and down through a field w/out touching the steering wheel. The "system" takes care of ensuring no over-lap and no gaps.  Knowing the error in the watches, I figured there had to be something else accounting for the error.  Makes sense...

                             

                            What you said about cycling and their speeds intrigues me for this reason. My "running track" is on a bike path loop around a local park. I've measure the distance with a wheel so I can do fairly accurate 200s, 400s, 800's, 1K's, etc.  Well, when I use my GPS watch at this park, the GPS watch is closest to the wheeled markings when I walk slowly. When I run or jog, the distance is considerably off, similar to what you'd experience running on a regular track. In both cases, my watch reads farther than what I actually go every time... which makes sense based on other information posted here. 

                              Rather than starting a new thread, I thought I'd add on to this one with this question, since it's somewhat related.

                               

                              Are the Garmin cycling computers more accurate than the Garmin watches?  Or is the accuracy primarily a function of the accuracy of the data? 

                               

                              Actually most of the Garmin watches we use do cycling great. I use my Garmin 610 for running and cycling. When cycling I use the ANT connected wheel sensor, which gives accurate wheel measured distance and speed. The cycling computer uses the same wheel sensor, therefore they are equally accurate/inaccurate. I still get all the same gps goodness layered on top.

                               

                              MTA: Here's everything you ever wanted to know (via DC Rainmaker)


                              Fat butt on couch

                                 

                                 

                                What you said about cycling and their speeds intrigues me for this reason. My "running track" is on a bike path loop around a local park. I've measure the distance with a wheel so I can do fairly accurate 200s, 400s, 800's, 1K's, etc.  Well, when I use my GPS watch at this park, the GPS watch is closest to the wheeled markings when I walk slowly. When I run or jog, the distance is considerably off, similar to what you'd experience running on a regular track. In both cases, my watch reads farther than what I actually go every time... which makes sense based on other information posted here. 

                                 

                                As for why it is more accurate walking than running, I don't have a good answer for you.  I'm stumped.

                                 

                                Regarding the more accurate at faster speeds comment I made, I was specifically referring to the instantaneous speed function.  A, say, 6 foot error in plotting your location is going to be a lot more meaningful when plotting your speed at 6mph vs 20mph.

                                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand