July 04, 2011


A week ago I got to pick up my birthday present: a Garmin 305. A key reason I wanted a GPS watch was for the race pace workouts I'm planning to do in preparation for the Bellingham Bay Marathon.

Upping the weekly volume is another key change I'm making to my training, so it's very helpful to be able to track distance. So far I'd focused on running for time, rather than distance (except in some speed workouts on the track or on a 'measured' stretch) and checked approximate distance using gmap-pedometer.com/ if I was curious.

Also, Boulder-based IMJ Coaching's Scott Jones recently recommended I should start aiming for distance, instead of time, in my training, advice that I was ready to hear and follow.

The Garmin 305 appealed to me particularly because of:
- positive feedback and reviews
- the price point.

I bought mine at the MEC - $155 plus tax. This includes the heart rate strap, charger etc.

The battery life of 10 hours is plenty for a marathon runner. (The salesperson who helped me at the MEC checked, saying "I see that you are an ultrarunner, pointing to my T-shirt with A Hundred Reasons to Run 100km,  as the 310 models have up to 20 hours of juice.)

While the 305 model looks, OK is, bulky, it fits my wrist well and is a lot lighter than it looks. Having worn it five times in training now, I find it just as comfortable as my Polor watch which I wear all the time.

I am slowly getting to know the Garmin. So far so good. I love knowing that I ran a total of 18.3km today at an average pace of 5:05/km.

On Saturday, my main workout was 11.2km (7 miles) at race pace. It's fantastic have a guide on the pace you're running (I ended up with an average 4:28/km). Having said that, focused on keeping to a narrow range of pace, I checked my watch often and found the pace updates change far more than I considered possible, jumping from, say, 4:07/km to 5:05/km, back to 4:17/km, etc.

No doubt, I have plenty to get used to and learn. For now, it's a great tool that is already re-inspiring my training!


Unknown said...

Hi Margeet, I've got two 305s (to cater for the battery life in ultras) and couldn't live without it. I know that it's supposed to be a pure sport, with little technical input, but for me it's a great training tool. I find it so valuable to review and compare my training in the build up to a race against previous years. Also it's a great way to keep score such that you get a definitive measure of how you're training and that is a great confidence booster for me.
Have fun with it

and.e.aitch said...

Hey, I walked by MEC the other day and your car with the "100 Reasons..." on it was parked out front, maybe you were in the store getting your birthday present.
Here's a Garmin ultramarathon tip for you. When I'm out for a run that's longer than my Garmin battery life, I carry a portable USB charger that's about the size of a cell phone and the Garmin charging cable. When the battery starts to go, I hook up the charger and the watch will charge and still keep recording the run. Perhaps you don't like carrying extra gear but it's a cheap alternative to the 310 for folks that occasionally want the extra battery life.

Margreet Dietz said...

Thanks Andy!