Saturday, January 17, 2009

For the Love of Garmin!

This little gadget has been almost permanently-attached to my arm ever since it was given to me as a present last summer. Several other updated models have also come out since then, but everything I could ever want in a GPS watch I have found in the Forerunner 205. It has freed me from the frequent trips to Google Maps. I no longer must make the drive to various running routes to closely watch the car odometer, attempting to approximate the mileage of a route.

Amidst some fellow runners who bear wrists naked to the privilege of a GPS watch, I've received comments such as, "Wow, that thing is huge! How do you run with it?!"
To all such inquirers, I answer you now. This handy-dandy contraption is only 2.72 ounces, a small weight to which I've become accustomed. Honestly, since I've learned the many slick capabilities of the Forerunner 205, I could care less about its size.

Browsing through some reviews, I also found one grievance pertaining to the side buttons, which this critic found to be difficult to push. Now I'll respond with my two cents. Unless you have sausage fingers and lack the strength of a butterfly, you shouldn't run into problems here.

According to the Garmin site, this particular model has a "GPS antenna around part of the wrist for a better view of the sky, and its high sensitivity GPS receiver provides improved tracking under trees and near tall buildings."

Garmin's advertising administration also couldn't resist adding, "Forerunner 205's courses feature lets you compete against previous workouts: you can compare your pace over your entire workout to your past performance over the same run. You can also use Forerunner 205 to train for your next duathlon or triathlon with multi-sport workouts, a feature that lets you seamlessly transition between sports without resetting the unit, so you can use it for running, biking and more."

Ah, but we can't forget about the newly-released Garmin Forerunner 405, available in black or green "to fit your style," says their site. The suggested retail price, $299.99, requires you to ante up much more than the 205, priced at $199.99.

However, it has more features, including "innovative ANT+™ wireless technology" that "automatically transfers data to your computer when the Forerunner is in range. No cables, no hookups." The 405 boasts the ability to wirelessly share workouts and courses with fellow users, in addition to offering an "optional foot pod to track your speed, distance and running cadence indoors when a GPS signal is unavailable."

As a self-proclaimed skeptic, I might have blown off these claims had I never been given a Forerunner 205. However, even I must profess my love for this little piece of technology. So for all you wide-eyed critics, whom I might have once been, I discourage you from knocking it 'til you try it. Despite my dislike for evangelism, I have become a firm believer in Garminism, and I hope you consider converting as well.

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