Garmins in Race's.....

Just got my first Garmin (a 201) and getting used to the various functions. Only used it in one race so far and used the Virtual Partner but seems to me you could use any of the functions to help push you along.

 Was wondering how other people use theirs in races?



  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    I don't. It gets in the way because the distance markers never coincide with the official ones, and it's the race markers and the race time that counts. GFs are great for training, but in races they're a hindrance.
  • Ooh, I do soooo love the chance to be a smartarse and a misery guts:

    They're banned in races under UKA rules.

    That's made my day.
  • I tend to just concentrate on keeping the pace, where I am in the race and how long there is to bloody go!

    ok - I do have the odd glance at the old £7.99 casio digital to see the time. But trying to work out your pace can be tricky whilst in oxygen debt..image

  • I set the bleep to loud and run next to muttly
  • I was aware of the no TDS rule but no chance of me ever having to hand back a winners prize so won't sweat on that one too much image

     What I didn't realise till Sunday when I raced with mine for the first time was just how many people DO use them during races, lots of people setting them where I was standing at the start.

    Got another race tomorrow and will probably try the auto lap and pace alert, still curious what other people do though?

  • Swerve, I thought I read heart rate monitors are exempt from that rule for races over 10,000m?
  • I will not repeat my comments on this after the IPOD thread. But yes over 10,000m a HRM is allowed. The grey area is "Technical" device so that could be ipod or TDM
  • Some folks in the race might find the constant beeping and alerts from a garmin mildly irratating.

    The thing to remember that a Garmin does play up at times and can get both the pace and the distance wrong, it loses signal.  I have heard of someone relying on a garmin to pace him round the marathon and when the garmin got to 26.2 he found he still have over a mile to go so didn't get his target time. 

     Even with its faults I *heart* my Garmin.

  • Can barely here the bleep on mine let only other people hearing it!

     And only had it short time but have found the current pace can give some funny readings at times, wouldn't use it as a speedometer so to speak. Seems ok on laps though, mile to mile etc

  • I use mine just the same as I would in a training run - to record the run and to give me an idea of the pace I'm running. I will click the lap button at each mile or KM post and maybe adjust my pace slightly which I wouldn't do in a training run obviously, but otherwise it's just to keep a historical record and so that I can look at the data afterwards.
  • The ban is an academic point anyway - if I don't hear a bleep from somewhere near me, I assume either the markers are wrong or I've gone deaf.
  • I use mine, mainly for the HRM function but also so I can see the split times, route, etc etc.

    On the Brass Monkey last weekend, loads were using them; every mile there was a chorus of beeps as we went through the markers (which were very accurate).

    Summary: during the race you need to be keeping an eye on HR

    After the race the stored info is invaluable.

  • Swerve's point isn't  just academic because if seen as cheating I wouldn't want to do it - must admit I'd no idea Garmins were banned from UKA rule races.  I don't normally use Garmin in races anyway but really missed it in Edinburgh 10k last year - high winds meant no distance markers were put up (Great Run organisers brought toblerone-shaped  ones up from London but wind meant couldn't put them up) and I completely lost track of where I should have been time/distance wise.  This thread means effectively that I'll have to plan not to use Garmin again in races - think it does help identify when you're moving below target pace and it tells you at a glance and reasonably accurately how far you've gone.
  • I don't use my Garmin for races as I find it irritating when the mile markers are even 0.1 off target.  Excellent for training though...
  • I always use my Garmin (205) for racing.  I love it, like to see the route mapped out etc.  I don't use the mile markers/split times though, I'm sure I would find that a bit of a distraction when racing.
  • I accept it's against the rules but still don't think its cheating as such. If you use a stop watch to record your laps that is no different than using the Auto Lap function on your Garmin. I know there are other function you could be using to increase motivation (not necaserrily performance) but don't think I will lose any sleep over that!

    Was going to try this in the Serpy 5K recently but found it doesn't work too well when you don't press the Start button hard enough and timer fails to begin image

  • Just wait til all the Garmin threads start after the FLM with people complaining about the course being wrong..

    No point in a race - a stopwatch is lighter and probably more effective - less distractions.
  • I do use mine for racing, but just the virtual partner (VP), as I like to have something to push me on when I am flagging (always like to keep a few meters ahead of it). I do not use the distance marker alarms or all the other bells and whistles. I set the VP for the race distance and shave just a few minutes off my target time depending on the distance. Regardless of how accurate the machine is it will never match the course markers as I rarely run the optimum route. As regards competition rules, I am only running against myself, so under my rules it is permitted. I just love to see that little man jump up and down.image
  • I raced in mine for only the second time recently, in a ten-mile race. The second mile marker was very late, and the third very early, meaning that the third 'mile' was more like 0.85 miles. Without the Garmins (there was a consensus on this!) I might have tried to pick up my pace in response to the long mile and slowed after the short mile.
  • Interesting - I never considered that they may be against the rules.  If wonder if anyone has had to hand back a prize because they wore a GPS?

    I always wear mine and use the average pace function to make sure I run at a consistant pace.  I'm always inclined to go off too fast with the adrenaline and at least the garmin makes sure I slow down early rather than waiting for the first mile marker.

  • tbh wouldn't expect the garmin to 100% accurate, you only have to look at one of your training routes in Google Earth to see how you are measured on a kind of point to point basis rather than what you actually run. Either that or I am not noticing myself running through peoples gardens on my routes! image

    Good point CL, mile markers can often be a bit out, often caused I dare say my a lack of a lampost or similar to put the marker.

    I'll be using mine at FLM this year and expect the odd mile to be out hear and there but will at least help me keep a track of my minutes per miling without remembering to hit the lap button each time.

  • It only measures on a point to point basis if you set it that way, mine's set to record by the second, making it really accurate.  My 15 mile training run yesterday was only 0.03 miles out.

    I'll be wearing mine in the Wokingham half anyway on Sunday, I'm certainly in no danger of winning any prizes so it doesn't really make any difference to me. 

  • Not quite sure I understand that (how does it record distance by seconds?) but will check out the settings in the instruction manual again.

    Have had various results in accuracy. Did a 16 miler yesterday, ran 8 miles, turned around and came back, finished in same spot but only recorded 15.91 miles. However, at the Dartford 10 clocked 10.01 miles.

    And likewise for the Wokingham Half, i'll be taking part but there would have to be a serious amount of people taking a wrong turn for me to get near the podium!

  • The Garmin has smart recording set by default, where from what I recall it records data based on every change in speed and direction, but you can set it to record so that every second of information is stored, making it more accurate.  It only holds 3.5 hours of info that way though.

    Probably makes even less sense now, the manual will explain it better though. 

  • No, that does make much more sense! Will have to look at that, presume you have to make sure you download each run before the next to be on the safe side.

    Note to self; read manuals more throughly!

  • It's an interesting point whether anyone has ever been made to hand a prize back because of wearing a Garmin and would you complain if person who beat you to a category prize had one on.  Liz McGolgan, who won both female and female veteran category in 2007 Dundee half marathon, definitely wore one during this race (you can see it clearly in My Race magazine's photographs of her).  Only thing is, this race wasn't on the Scottish Athletics official calendar so may not have been under UKA rules.  Watching Dubai marathon at the weekend with all the pacemakers setting a pace and then dropping out deliberately did make me think if that's okay don't see why a Garmin isn't.
  • I use a 305 in training and run to it in training as it helps me push on mostly (the day it tells me to slow down will be the day Lucifer needs ice skates to get to the day job). Not that interested in splits in training afterwards though.

    In races, I wear it but never look at it. I did look at it in one race and got so fixated by it, I simply got slower and slower. I find the race data afterwards invaluable imo. You can see how well your pacing is working out and use the data to adjust your training in the future. I'll wear it at London this year but will only glance at the current pace from time to time to make sure I'm not going too fast too early on

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