LeftCoast Mom and the girls gave me an early birthday present this past Sunday: a Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS fitness computer with heart monitor (pictured at right, click for details). And when I say early, I mean almost two months early -- my day isn't until the end of June.
But, she (they?) recognize that I've got a lot of training to do between now and then, so they went ahead and gave it to me now. The old Timex Ironman watch/HRM I was using earlier this year up and died, so I've been going without any kind of heart rate monitoring during my training on the run or on the bike save for the thrumming in my ears. If I'm going to get better at my triathlons, I need to be able to pay attention to my training zones, and the 305 is just the ticket.
I couldn't be happier with it, and I've only really used it once, on my trip to Seattle earlier this week. The setup has been a breeze, and I like the UI of the piece.
I stayed in the University District (at the Hotel Deca) and got a tip from the clerk that I should try out the nearby Burke-Gilman trail for my morning jog. I simply ran south on Brooklyn Ave and then cut right on the trail to run over to Fremont. An easy 5 mile out-and-back, so long as you knew which street was Brooklyn Ave on the way back. The GPS mapping function of the Forerunner 305 saved me from over-shooting the turn by displaying precisely which street I'd come down and letting me know it was time to turn left and head back to the hotel.
I have yet to log in to the online tool that Garmin interfaces with (akin to the Nikeplus online tool), but I am looking forward to logging my miles there.
When I get the chance later this week, I'm going to program in an interval training session on the 305 so that it can guide me (through beeps of the unit) through a good workout.
Even more exciting? The next time I'm running a 10k, I can have the 305 sound an alarm any time I drop below a specific pace and/or heart rate.
Looking forward to seeing the results of the new training partner!