Garmin Forerunner 305 - I don't understand it!


I am quite untechnological, but recently I purchased a Garmin forerunner 305, which I love, because it tells me exactly how far I have run. I am training for the FLM and I basically use it so that I leave my house, and if I need to do a 12 mile run, I can run 6 miles and retrace my steps. Now, I am starting to realise that I have paid a fair amount of money and am probably not using this equipment to the best of its ability! I was wondering -

1. Is it possible to download training runs from the internet? What website can do you this on?

2. I don't understand the pace reader. It seems to jump around all over the place? One minute it tells me I am doing 7.5min miles (a likely story - not) and the next minute it says 10 min miles! Hmmmm

3. Does anyone else have problems when they turn it on, getting it to read the satellites? I turn it on outside my flat, but sometimes I have to wait for 20mins before it reads the satellites! And sometimes I have to run to Tower Bridge!

Sorry for my totally schoolboy questions, but I am struggling!


  •  You might need to upgrade the software,  this could help a bit with (2) and (3)

  • Ahh thanks. Will hunt down the training programs and see what I can do!!
  • cheeky1 - two of my fave features are autolap and average pace for current lap. If it's not already set up, you can use the training menu to set auto lap to one mile or whatever suits you. Then use the up and down arrows to scroll to the screen that shows current lap pace. That way you get a more consistent idea of your actual pace. Apparently the randomness is something to do with the satelite signal not you being really erratic!

    Mine takes about a minute to find full signal if I stand still and ages if I'm on the move.

    Also - I re-read the user booklet the other day and after using the thing for a few months it suddenly makes a lot more sense than on the first read through!! image

  • ditto gyraffe on the autolap/av pace for current lap -much more useful.

    before i run i switch my garmin on and put it outside to let if find the satellites in it's own time image.

    i still haven't attached it to the computer and done clever stuff with it image

    one day... 

  • I've had a few user problems with mine.

    Is it possible to upload your run onto something like map my run or Gmap thingimy?

    The map you get with the garmin software is not the best 

  • you can always map onto google earth, its certainly looks better than TC! In fact there is an option in TC which says something like 'map this on google earth'
  • Download Sporttracks and then you can transfer all your training data into it and see your run on a map.

    Mess around with the display fields, I use average pace instead of current pace as it gives a much bette idea of your speed.  Also, you'll probably need to update the software on the unit if it's taking that long to find satellites, should take no more than 2 minutes.  Download the Webupdater and run it, then it will automatically install any new updates you haven't got.  I had to do it two or three times when I got mine before it was fully up to date.

  • 1. Download "Sport Tracks", far better than the garmin training centre.  I'm as cheapskate as they come but even I donated money for this otherwise free software....

     2. Use the Garmin Updater software and update the watch software to the latest version.  You may need to go through the update process numerous times before you get all the updates.  Like all the Garmin software this is not 100% intuitive but if you can post on this website your are technically advanced enough to do the updating image

    (After I did this my satellite seek time went from 20 mins to 1-2 mins, it also retains a much better lock) 

     3. Turn on autolap but turn off the beeping sounds.  If you do loose signal and the distance function goes awol having it beep a new "mile" every 20 seconds becomes so annoying you'll throw your new gadget in a hedge..... possibly.

     4. Play with the displayed fields until you get just the right config.  Different for everyone but I use "Total Time", Heartbeat,  "Total Distance", "Average MIle Pace".  I've never found "current pace" accurate enough to be useful.  When I'm doing fartlecks I change the autolap to a custom distance and then have a "Pace This Lap" cell on the display, which after a few hundred meters is accurate enough to be relevant, I also turn the beep on for this bit.....

    Some of this sounds like a lot of fussing but once you get used to it, I used a crib sheet  to start with of written down instructions,  I can make my changes in 30 seconds and have a really useful device on the run with me.  I love my 305and can't run without it.

  • Is there a website you can upload your runs to ?   Someone said you could upload stuff onto Sanoodi or something but it's more the graphs with HR/Elevation/Speed on them rather than the route - there are a few clubmates interested in having a look at a few of our regular training routes.
  • In regards what Garmin is offering to show maps - you might want to check out the MotionBased technology that they're beta testing at the moment - You can overlay your runs onto Google Maps or Google Earth, and you can watch your run in satellite or map view - compare for a given route, see other routes taken by people etc.

    No-one's totally cornered the market, but it seems that Garmin and Motionbased have put in the hours to make their current and upcoming route plotter a heck of a good one. Instant graphs, stats etc too. 

    There's a demo at   (it's a bit slow to start, so give it a minute)

    I've been following their progress at after seeing the 305, and the stats of the upcoming 405 for next month. No crumb trail, but still looks a beauty. 

  • Regarding motionbased - is it possible to install it and import an existing training log file from the Garmin software to see what it is like without messing up the Garmin training s/w?  (I have a problem in committing image The same question applies to Sporttracks too.
  • I'd give them an email on their technical help emails - i've corresponded with them in the past and they usually get a reply back within a day.

    Sounds like you want to export the file from Garmin training, and import to Motionbased/ ST - if you have an export function in the normal Garmin software, i don't see why not. You could always backup your current settings and files then do it - If you're still unsure,  If you can export the training files, what you could do if you're Administrator on the PC is to create another user account temporarily on the windows/mac. then it shouldn't foul anything up. then delete the user when you've tried it out.

  • Problem with Motion Based is you must subscribe to it to use all the features.  Sport Tracks is free with an invitation to make a donation.  I find it slow too, and uploading data fiddly. 
  • Is that ST slow also? Ans ST uploading fiddly?

  • Sorry that is terrible grammar-I find motion based slow and fiddly; Sport Tracks is great.

  • I've downloaded Sports Tracks and its much better than the training centre softwareimage
  • Now I have a REALLY technical question.  So, I found I can't download the Garmin software onto Mac OSX, which is what we have at home. Not a problem, I thought, as I have a Thinkpad x61 laptop I use for work. So I plug my garmin into the Thinkpad, and the thinkpad says it has no USB driver!! What can this mean?  Does anyone computery know what I need to install/download to make my USB ports work?!!! I am running Windows XP.

    Thank youimage

  • Cheeky1, to help with your other questions, you may find this article useful:

  • Cheeky1 - The USB drivers are on the disk that came with your Forerunner.

    Put the CD in your laptop, run the installation and voila!

  • If used with XP then you would not need to install the USB driver.

    I have suggested the best possible solution to resolve the usb problem in the other thread started by cheeky1 

  • HI there, I have just bought a 305 and am stuck on the set up?

    I must say I need to know shall I set it to Europe, west, east or central??

    I am based in the uk and yes I am a budffoon but am stuck.

    Please reply asap so I can finsih the set up

  • Yes you can upload to MapMyRun. Click on 'Map New Run', 'Import', and 'From Garmin GPS'. It should be self explanatory after that.

     I quite like MapMyRun for the google style maps and it is very easy to create new routes and view the elevation profile, the distance, etc, and export it to a GPS. I've had a look at Motionbased and SportTracks but they didn't seem to show me anything I couldn't get just as easily in Garmin Training Centre and MapMyRun. In Garmin Training Centre you can choose to view the route in Google Earth if you want a better map. Of the software I've seen so far, the free ones are just as good as the subscription ones, and none of them are definitive. But I've only been playing with this toy for a week so maybe there is more to discover.

     Before I started using my unit I upgraded everything to the latest version. I haven't had problem picking up satellites. It can take a minute or so but that is approximately what the manual says.

  • Marty, it is Europe West.
  • THanks for that.

    Now another one, what doies itr means re the distance when is says: Statute or Metric? in the distance setting?

    What is Statute?

    Thanks again.


  • It means Miles instead of kilometers, feet instead of metres, etc.
  • Obviously i am missing a trick because the ability to give average heart rate over the course of a run is (or should be) a basic function of my Garmin 305. But I just can't work out how to get it to show it. I can pick up heart rate as I am running but not an average once I have stopped.

     Any thoughts greatly appreciated. 

  • The easiest place to see all the stats is in Training Centre, the software that comes with it but if you mean how do you see it on the watch you can do it this way:

    Press Mode twice

    Press Enter to choose History

    Press Enter to choose Running

    Press Enter to choose By Day

    Press Enter to choose the latest day you ran

    Bingo! You have some basic stats, including Average Heart Rate and Max Heart Rate

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