March 8, 2009
I got a Garmin Forerunner 305 in January and have rapidly become addicted the way it collects and files running data for me. It's an oversized watch with a GPS brain :>
You put it on (I have to wear a wristband/sweatband under it to make it fit better and stay snug and comfy on my wrist), turn it on, and it finds satellites. Then, while you're running it tells you how long you've been running (that's easy), how far you've gone (to the 1/100 of a mile), and--coolest of all-- how fast you're going. You can even program workouts into the watch so it'll beep at you if you're going too fast or too slow :O It's really, really helpful to get objective feedback on your pace. Sometimes I'm feeling really relaxed and look down and notice that I'm running fast (anything under 8:20 min/mi) and other times, the legs are tired and Garmalade lets me know that my speed's just not there that day.
But wait, it gets cooler....After your run, you connect it with a USB thingy to your computer and data from your run is uploaded to a garmin program on your computer. The program creates maps of where you ran and, more importantly, chart with your distance, speed, elevation traveled, etc. The charts are really neat and that's what I pasted into the post on my North Berkeley run. The program saves information from all of your runs so you can keep track of your improvements or how you did on a similar course.
In a nutshell, Garmalade's a terrific coach!