I officially call myself a runner, even though I still consider myself a beginner. I’ve been running for almost nine months now and I have three races under my belt. Before my first race I realized I needed a way to track my pace. The stopwatch was not good enough anymore. I think when you first start running all you want to do is finish. It’s such a high when you run that first mile and when I ran three miles for the first time, I felt so wonderful. As my mileage increased to nine miles a week, naturally I started thinking about getting faster. You know you want every run to be better than or at least equal to the one before it. So, I finally pulled out my Nike + (that I’ve had for over a year). But, for whatever reason, it just would not sync with my iPod. I tried a new sensor, I tried resetting it, troubleshooting online, but each time I tried it, it just would not sync up.
I set my sights on purchasing a Garmin Forerunner. My girlfriend has one, as well as most of the other runners at work and they all swear by it. If you don’t know much about a Garmin, they are pretty expensive. I told myself if I buy this Garmin, there will be no quitting. I am really going to commit to running. So, on an impulse one day at work after a lunch time run, I went online and ordered my Garmin Forerunner 305. It came in the mail on March 17, 2010 (Yay! So, excited). My first run with my new Garmin was so cool. It was neat to see how fast (or slow) I was running. I could immediately see my average min/mile pace. No more, logging my time into a log to see my average pace.
Hands down my Garmin is the greatest running tool right now! I think it’s a worthwhile investment for every runner. There are several models which range in price from $100 - $400. Of course, the more bells and whistles the higher the costs. For most runners, I recommend the Garmin Forerunner 205 or 305. The 305 model costs about $20-$30 more for the added heart rate monitor.
I’ve been training with my Garmin for two months now and I hope to never miss a workout without it (seriously). It’s really helping me with my pace. Sometimes, I feel like I’m running fast, and look down and realize I could push myself a little more. One of my goals for the next few training weeks is to work on pace training and negative splits. I want to work on pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
What’s so great about a Garmin?
Alerts – You can set distance, time or pace alerts. Distance and time alerts will stop when you reach your goal. If you set a pace alert, the Garmin beeps when you slow down. If you’re doing a pace run, it keeps you on target.
Lap Feature – You can set each mile as a lap. The Garmin will alert you at the mile marker. You can easily track your minute per mile pace to make sure you’re on target.
Auto Pause – You can set to the device to pause when you stop running. This is a good feature if you have to stop for traffic, to tie your shoe or for other unexpected issues along your route. Once you resume running, it will automatically re-start.
GPS Navigation – You can save your favorite training routes or set this feature to track your location so you can return to where you started. This is great if you are in an unfamiliar area or out of town.
Advanced Features – There are a lot more features such as intervals and a Virtual Training Partner. I just need to read my manual and try a few of them.
Interested in Purchasing a Garmin, http://garminrunning.info/
Where to Buy:
Best Buy, www.bestbuy.com
Target (online) www.target.com
I love my Garmin Forerunner, and I couldn’t imagine training without it. If you are considering a Garmin, it’s really worth the investment. Happy Running Everyone!