1

Garmin 305 - accuracy on trails (Read 1365 times)

    There are about a million posts around here on the Forerunner 305 (and it kinda has me wanting one!) but I can't find anything to ease my mind about this... I used to have an old Forerunner, I think it was the 201 and I returned it after about 5 runs. I mostly run on wooded trails, although the area itself is not that remote. But the 201 was awful at finding a satellite, even when it said it had a signal, it would grossly under-report my distance. I KNOW I would not take 2.5 hours to run 6 miles!! Does anybody know of significant improvements in the technology of the 305, or does anybody have a lot of experience using it in wooded areas? I want a heart rate monitor for sure. It would be nice to have accurate readings of distance run also, as I generally get home and say, well I ran for 2 hours, it felt like a 10 minute/mile pace, guess I did 12 miles (I've gotten pretty decent at estimating my pace, but still, I am a geek at heart and would like better!)


    A Dance with Monkeys

      Works great for me. The only places where I have had substantial trouble are on the sides of big granite mountains (like Pikes Peak) with dense tree cover. Most of the trails I run with big hills and thick woods do not stop my 305!


      Marathonmanleto

        The 305 is a terrific tool. Have lost signal on some remote Northern Michigan trails. Usually if it's not fully charged. Honestly though, there's nothing like it. I am completely impressed by it have used it now for almost a year.


        I've got a fever...

          I run regularly on a wooded trail with rolling hills, and I have no problems. The x05 series is a huge improvement over the x01 series. Forget that bad experience with the 201, and get thee a 305. Smile You won't regret it.

          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.

            I owned a 201 for 3 years. I understand how frustrated you were with losing the signal. I had that problem, too, but it was still me best running "tool" for marathon training. Most of the time, it gave me a pretty good distance of my run. Santa Wink brought my husband a 205 last year. There were plenty of time where, when we were running together, he had a signal while I didn't. His distances were sometimes different than mine, too (I assume more accurate). My 201 finally died 1 month ago. I used my new 305 last night for the first time on a trail with 100% tree cover. It never lost it's signal. I believe the main diffenrence is the much higher # of satellites the X05 series can track with. My main gripe that I still have with it is the elevation change inaccuracy. But as long as you are aware that it isn't correct, you can go from there. I haven't tried the heart rate monitor part of it yet. I have to research and set my "levels" first.
            Next up: A 50k in ? Done: California-Oregon-Arizona-Nevada (x2)-Wisconsin-Wyoming-Utah-Michigan-Colorado
              Awesome, thanks so much everybody! I am glad to hear everybody's good experiences with this, now I getting really excited to try it out... Improved signal, not to mention it's a lot less like wearing a computer on your wrist than the 201! trails2run - I didn't even know it could produce an elevation profile, so I guess I won't complain too much! How off is it? I suppose I really won't mind once Eric has the GPS integration here, I can get a good elevation profile then. The running nerd in me is happy, I love good technology.


              A Dance with Monkeys

                Here is the deal with elevation profile. The one that the device calculates is okay, but not great. However, motionbased.com, which many use to upload and review their runs, has a correction tool called Gravity Service. This replaces the elevation from the device with reference elevation data from the USGS. It stablizes elevation and works very well. The only problem is if you run over a bridge. The reference data does not account for bridges, so it will look like you actually went down the valley and into the river Big grin
                  That's really cool.. I have a feeling some day I will look back and wonder how I ever managed without it! I am even more excited to try it now. One of my trails, I cross 3 separate bridges over a steep ravine, if I don't remember that "feature", it will give me the impression that I can run enough hills to run the Monkey some day Smile


                  A Dance with Monkeys

                    Here was my trail run this morning: click Predawn, BIG hills, dense trees, narrow ravines. Garmin had "good" sginal and only dropped it for a few seconds during the entire outing. You can get an idea of the intensity of the hills and trees by the overall slow pace and the elevation profile. But the 305 performed very well!
                      Elevation gain of 1,767 just on a standard AM trail run? Wow. Impressive. I don't think my northern OH trail runs will look quite as impressive once I start using this! The hills I hit are more like 200 ft gain at the max, and definitely not enough of them to add up to close to 2,000 on a 7 mile run. But good to know how well the Garmin works on wooded trails. I was coming in to my question just hoping for a reasonably accurate distance measurement - that's it. I have been disappointed before with the Forerunner 201 and the Nike Plus Ipod sensor (but I have the sensor attached to my shoelaces, I am not about to change the shoes I run in just to have the ones with the spot for the sensor). The elevation mapping tool is something I hadn't even thought of (well I thought of it last fall as I ran this marathon: Golden Hills marathon as in.. boy, where do I find hills like this to train on close to home!) But it will be so helpful. Time to start price shopping I think... I have read the posts for the $50 rebate, so I will make sure to dig that up.. I like the motionbased.com site too.. not as user friendly as here, but so much data!!


                      I've got a fever...

                        I'm amazed at how much of a difference MB Gravity (elevation correction on MotionBased) makes on elevation measurements. Here's two runs on the same out-and-back course (elevation profile on an out-and-back is symmetrical, so it's an easy way to check accuracy). Here's the un-corrected version (as is from my 305): Here's the corrected version using MB Gravity on MotionBased: Huge difference! If you use Motion Based, be sure to turn the corrections on. I was especially concerned about the huge 300' cliff around the 3.25 mile mark. You think I would have remembered that. Tongue The main thing is that distance accuracy and GPS coverage were excellent (these runs were on a wooded trail). Altitude is a much more difficult variable to calculate, and I imagine it will improve. In the meantime, MB Gravity is excellent and free, so no worries.

                        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.


                        A Dance with Monkeys

                          (BTW, sometimes posting images from MB is flaky...just reload the page a couple of times until it looks right)
                            Wow, that altitude correction was surprising. But good to know how to do! Thanks everybody for being so helpful!
                              Well it didn't take me long to break down and get one Smile I think I ordered shortly after my last post.. I love it so far! Seems to be totally accurate on the two runs I've taken it on, it has the entire trail on the map and a realistic pace. One of these runs was fairly wooded, and motionbased.com lists the signal strength as excellent, so I am totally converted to the wonders of the new Garmin. In fact, I just spent 30 minutes analyzing the data on motionbased.com. Heart rate and elevation have been particularly fascinating to me.. and I hope the heart rate monitor helps me keep more of my runs in a true easy pace.. it was hard reining myself in, but hopefully will be good for me long term! Thanks again everybody for the helpful advice!!
                                I just used the heartrate monitor for the first time on Friday, and found it interesting, too. I also like to look at my pace per lap (mile) in the bar graph format on MB.
                                Next up: A 50k in ? Done: California-Oregon-Arizona-Nevada (x2)-Wisconsin-Wyoming-Utah-Michigan-Colorado
                                1