Garmin 110 vs. 405. (Read 910 times)

    I just purchased the Garmin 110 for my wife and was considering one for myself.  The only concern I have is with the "average pace" display of the unit.  I'm so used to the "current pace" feedback from my Forerunner 205.  I just recently ordered the 405 because it has the "current pace" feature.  The thing is, when I run intervals on the roads (ex. sets of 3 minutes at 5k pace, then 3 minutes easy) and I want to be able to make sure the hard intervals are around 5k pace and not faster.  With my 205, I'm able to make sure that I'm in the ballpark for the most part and not working too hard.  It's also been good for tempo runs.   Is there a way to run intervals with the Forerunner 110 and get something close to "current pace" data?  Like I mentioned earlier, I just ordered a 405 and want to like it, but I've heard mixed reviews about this device. 




      Have you looked at the 310XT?  It is a little more expensive, but I love mine.  My previous Garmin was a 205 also and the 310 is very similar.

        My 305 is almost dead (10,000 miles later) and when I started looking at replacements, I noticed only the 310 and 910 seem to have acceptable battery life (greater than 10 hours).  I'd love to get a smaller form factor but unfortunately none of the smaller versions have that kind of life.


        Regarding current pace, my understanding was that feature sampled your current pace every second or so, which can be pretty variable on a GPS because of short distance accuracy.  I use lap pace, and start new laps every interval.  

          I have a 110 but I rarely use it if I know the distance I am running beforehand. Sometimes I use it to see how far I have gone while exploring a random route, but this is usually useless as the distance information is wrong when checked against the topo map. This is especially true when

          running terrain of varying elevation. 


          As far as the average pace, the format hasn't bothered me when used for training, but I found it dangerous to keep looking at, especially on longer, difficult runs. In the rare instances I am wearing the watch, I don't look at the watch for a good 15 minutes just so make sure I am running at a sustainable effort level. 

            Average pace is a better way of checking effort during intervals than current pace.  Current pace moves around all over the place and can be wildly inaccurate, but average pace settles down pretty quickly and tends to be reasonably accurate.


            As JBerger says - the 310XT is good, you can choose which data are displayed, so you can experiment with what works for you. I guess the newer 910xt can do so too, but I guess it's more expensive.

              I guess (?) the point of a garmin, or one point of a garmin, is to not have to do math...but, you could always break out the ol' noggin and say, hey - I'm aiming for 3 mins of 5:45 pace, so, after one minute I've either gone 0.17 miles or not, 2 mins 0.35, 3 mins 0.52 etc. Thing is giving you "distance" and time, right?


              Crazy, I know. I don't have these devices, though - so...feel free to ignore this.

              Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
              We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

                Thanks everyone for the responses.  I think I may just wait until my 405 arrives and see what it's like.  I have the Forerunner 205 now and I've enjoyed this device.  The thing I don't like about the 205 is the size and for some reason, the screen goes black about every 10th run or so (have to turn it off and on to clear it).  Not sure why it does it, but being that I purchased it 4-5 years ago, I just decided to shop around for a new one.  I liked the current pace feature of the 205 and never really found that it fluctuates all that much.  I ran with my wife's 110 yesterday and knew that  I was running about 7:45 pace and then I slowed down to jog and chat with her for 3-4 minutes.  The average pace on the 110 was showing around 10:00 miles at that point, even though I continued my run at around 7:45-8:00 pace.  Was just a little frustrated with the device at that point.  I do have to say that other than that, the 110 did a great job with accurately tracking distance.  For my wife, who really doesn't care much about the exact pace like me, it's a great watch. 

                  Yes, the trouble with average paces, whether lap average (so-called by Garmin "lap pace") or whole run average (so-called by Garmin "average pace"), is that they turn into a super long-term averages, so they really smear out real shorter term fluctuations in running speed as in your "slow down to chat with the wife" example.  Historically, the trouble with the so-called "current" pace is that a lot of people (myself included) find it too jumpy.  FWIW, however, Garmin just announced a new product, the Forerunner 10, where the current pace performs pretty darn well (if I do say so myself).  It's also pretty inexpensive.

                  - Joe

                  We are fragile creatures on collision with our judgment day.

                    I guess (?) the point of a garmin, or one point of a garmin, is to not have to do math...but, you could always break out the ol' noggin and say, hey - I'm aiming for 3 mins of 5:45 pace, so, after one minute I've either gone 0.17 miles or not, 2 mins 0.35, 3 mins 0.52 etc. Thing is giving you "distance" and time, right?


                    Crazy, I know. I don't have these devices, though - so...feel free to ignore this.


                    The gps has time information (very accurate) and position information sampled at regular intervals - everything else is derived from that. So sure if you had that data you could do the same sums as the gizmo is doing, but in practice it's much more convenient to let it do the sums for you.


                    Each position that's sampled is not necessarily terribly accurate, but the longer you go on the more accurate a pace estimate that takes into account all the data is likely to be. Current pace is presumably based on just the last few positions and in my experience can fluctuate far more than I believe can really be the case based on my own perception of how much my pace is.


                    Lap pace, or the pace for the whole run presumably depends on all the position data for the period in question - over a reasonably distance it tends to be pretty accurate, especially when your away from trees, buildings etc. (they can interfere with gps signals), and not making lots of turns. However - there's still some error. I have a ~10k run that I do from home pretty often - and usually the garmin says 9.8-9.9km, but I have had a couple of hundred metres either side of that, so on any one run you have to be aware that there's some error, but most of the time it's pretty good.

                    I've got a fever...

                      There's really not a good way to get reliable current pace info from a GPS running device.


                      Recall that Pace = Time / Distance


                      Time comes from the stopwatch and will obviously be very accurate.  Distance comes from GPS measurements.  Over a short time interval (like when grabbing "current" pace), the error in GPS measurement can dominate.  Current Pace samples only your last few GPS locations, and a positional error of ±6m when you've only covered 10m (for example) means that the Distance term in the above equation is a small number prone to large fluctuations.  So you get Pace bouncing all over the place when you're not.


                      This is well-illustrated when you look at what your real running path looks like compared to what your GPS thinks you ran: (source)


                      In the longer term, a lot of the error gets cancelled out, which is why Lap Pace is better than Current Pace.  I find that after about 0.2mi, Lap Pace tends to converge on a stable value.


                      As to the OP's original question, I think the only thing that might improve Current Pace measurements is to set the watch to sample every second, as opposed to smart recording.  I don't know if this will make a difference, but it seems like more sample points might help.  Also, (at least on the 205/305), under Settings --> Running --> Speed Units --> Smoothing  select Most.  This will force the device to incorporate a few more data points into the Current Pace calculation.  It won't be as responsive, but should be a little less jumpy.


                      But I think the better solution is to turn Auto Lap on, set an Auto Lap distance of at least 0.2mi, and use Lap Pace.

                      On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.