Garmins/GPS watches

Am thinking about buying one of these, but can't quite decide. Wondered if anyone would care to explain what benefits they get from theirs. I tend to run just with nothing and have got to where I can judge pace and distance fairly well. I like coming across someone that can give me an exact distance during a race, but I worry I might check it constantly if I were able. Set against that is the lure of all those lovely stats. Anybody got any before and after thoughts? Thanks in advance


  • I have a top of the range Garmin 310xt with heart rate monitor and footpod.. Its a really good device and permits you to accurately pace yourself and train in specific heart rate zone you set. It also permits and accurate record of progress.
    I must admit when I have it I on me I check it a lot as such I have recently started leaving it at home as I relax and enjoy runs more without always attempting to improve. I found the data my Garmin produced was something I associated with having a good or bad run.
    I still use it for intervals, heart rate training and races but when I just want to enjoy a long slow run I leave it at home and have a better time because of it.
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    stickit - I guess it all depends on your inner nerd.

    some love these things - Squeakz as an e.g. - for training and improving; others just love the stats for some reason; and others use whatever feature they like.

    I resisted the lure of one for a long time but was offered a 405 FOC so thought "why not". I use it for pacing - despite being able to pace myself fairly well I find it useful for keeping me in check when I'm feeling good and the temptation is to go faster than I should. Sure, I download the stats into Garmin Connect as a record, and review the last run but I don't analyse the minutae of everything like many do. It's just there as a record.

    One thing that it did give me a wake up call on was that the distances of a lot of my routes were shorter than the Garmin told me - that meant I'd been sub-optimal training so the Garmin gives a better method of performance measurement.

    If you're not bothered by distance measurement which is Garmin's BIG plus point, you can achieve the same training benefit with just a HRM which has been used for years in training before GPS systems came along.

  • I agree with both Buddha and Squeakz.

    I am a bit of a nerd and like to see every mile I run recorded.  I use it a lot to pace myself and also run on heart rate.  An HRM would do this just as well, but I like to record the milage and know how far I have run.

    Sometimes when I just want to run I switch it onto heart rate only and then I cannot see pace etc, this helps me to relax or I tie it to my camelpak where I cannot see it at all.  I do not use the elevation recording much as it is a 'bit' out.

    Nice to use as a navigation tool when I have been somewhere I do not know I can just run and if I do not remember the way back I can track back on the map part.

  • I find that I've become a bit anal about downloading all my runs, and almost feel naked if I don't run with it. However, and coincidentally, someone said to me last night to at least try one race without the watch to see if it concentrates my mind simply on the act of running, rather than worrying about the watch all the time.
    What I think the Garmins are brilliant for is the advanced training workouts... Unlike you, I find it difficult to assess my pace and how far I've run, so in that sense my watch has revolutionised my training.
  • I bought the most basic Garmin fr60.

    It completely changed my training. Ive had it a year and a half and use it every time. Including as a timer in the pool. To be able to provide actual proof of improvement I find really motivational. Plus its an easy way of keeping an accurate training log.

    Id say get one!

  • Thanks for the thoughts and comments - really interesting to get an inisght into the relationship between runner and watch. Just for the record atfer serious consideration of all relevant factors especially points raised by yourselves, I don't think I'm going to invest - I find thinking about buying something and then actually not saves a lot of money
  • Yes, not buying something tends to save money.
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