Monthly Archives: January 2008

Garmin 205: Comfort and Style

Well these aren’t the most stylish devices that is for sure! The 205 is more compact than its earlier predecessors and much smaller than backpacking or car units (although missing many of their features!). It is like a bulky watch, except that I don’t really feel it much once I start running. And that is probably the most important part.

If you are looking for a watch to wear all day long, this is not your pick! I’m sure you’d get many odd looks and the need to re-charge it after 11 hours of use would make it difficult to keep charged.

Even with its bulk, it has been designed pretty well for comfort. It feels a little awkward at first but then I forget it is even there! It comes standard with an extra large wrist band so that it can be worn outside of your clothing if needed (not been an issue yet). Although in comparison to my Timex Ironman watch which I wear on the 3rd hole from the inside, I have to wear the Garmin on the 5th hole from the outside end of the strap.

Overall it is fairly comfortable, I ran with it on the opposite wrist and felt only mild discomfort throughout the run.

[tags] Garmin, Garmin 205, Forerunner, GPS, Watch [/tags]Yesterday’s Workout

The workout was 6×800 5 seconds faster than 5K pace. So I broke it down… my 5K goal is to break 18 minutes – 6:16 miles. 5 seconds faster is yup, 3:11. Since it was -30’s wind chill, I went to the YWCA’s track again with its 6 laps per mile – 3 laps per 800 and 1.5 laps for recovery. After my 10 minute warm-up I stretched and began knocking out the repeats. (I tried using my Garmin, but it couldn’t pick up a signal through the metal roof and concrete walls). Today’s run was in the opposite direction of yesterdays. My intervals were 2:54, 3:11, 3:09, 3:12, 3:03, and 3:01. Oops, I ran them a little fast but all except the 4th were under the target pace. I didn’t really like using this track for speed work because it gets a little congested and the turns are fairly tight for those speeds, even the slower paces aren’t comfortable turns. Overall I ran 6.33 miles in 48:41.

Garmin 205: Software

Yesterday I mentioned that I’ve used a couple programs to analyze my Garmin data. Here is a summary of each.

1) Garmin Training Center – this comes free with your Garmin. No matter what other software you use this is the main interface with the Garmin 205. There are probably ways to get around this, but when I plug the Garmin in this program pops up and it is also the program from which you setup future workouts on the Garmin (you are able to setup simple workouts directly on the unit, but this allows for complex workouts!)

2) SportsTrack – this was a free download. This program provides a lot better mapping and overall features than the GTC. It also provides a variety of maps, it actually calibrates the maps closer to their position, and you can add more details.

3) Motionbased Web Service – this is a free service with additional premium features available. I haven’t used any of the premium features, but they look pretty sweet and maybe a little excessive. But the free version is a little cumbersome, it takes 3 steps to finally get to analyze the data.

Here are screenshots from the three programs for the same run:

Garmin Training Center
SportTracks Motion BasedYou can’t see a lot of detail in the pictures but you get the overall idea. There are some interesting discrepancies in the data, which is based on the programs “smoothing” mechanisms. Here is the data differences:

Garmin SportTracks Motion Based
4.97 Miles 4.97 Miles 4.95 Miles
45:20 Minutes 45:20 minutes 44:58 minutes
+802ft -786ft +485ft -465ft +1,055ft -1,028ft

It looks like the actual altitude differences have the same overall altitude gains, although it makes me feel a lot better looking at the 1,000 ft gain since there were a lot of hills on this route! I’m not sure what is up with the time differences though. Eric from Running Ahead is working on GPS functionality which will be great since I already use that log and could reduce the number of logs I’m using![tags] Garmin, Garmin 205, Forerunner, GPS, Watch [/tags]

Yesterday’s WorkoutWe went to the YWCA to workout this evening after work. I ran on their track (6 laps per mile). I did 3 miles and 5 accelerations, the plan was to run 3 miles, bike for 30 minutes and then do the accelerations, but there weren’t any bikes open at the time. So I’m already off schedule, but my leg hurts and I’ve been doing a lot of walking lately, so I’m gonna take it a little easier. Oh and so you don’t think I’m a wuss for running inside – at 6:44 on Tuesday evening it is -8 with -34 windchill 🙂 Read this story about the weather!

Garmin 205: Mapping

The Garmin is great for mapping! While you are running it creates a map that can be used to get yourself home – should you get lost! Luckily, I haven’t had to use this feature yet! But I know some people who have and bought the Garmin for that purpose. The “Back to Start” function may come in handy as I continue to explore my new home and local running paths!

There is also a virtual partner (which is actually featured in the picture at right from Garmin). I haven’t used the Virtual Partner yet, but it is commonly used to check your improvement on a given course or to pace you through various workouts.

More importantly, at least for me is the ability to map your runs when you get home! After I synch my Garmin to the computer all my data can be pulled up in a variety of applications. In my short time with my Garmin I’ve used 3 different applications – 2 software and 1 web-based (more tomorrow). These put the GPS map onto a Google map so you can see where you went! I enjoy seeing the map and elevation data in relationship to the area I ran in. One day I may try to spell something with my map.

[tags] Garmin, Garmin 205, Forerunner, GPS, Watch [/tags]

Yesterday’s WorkoutI woke up this morning and did a fartlek run. It was a 45 minute run that is “a non-structured workout” but then is defined as” alternate running for 5 minutes at a moderate pace with 1 minute at 5K pace.” Normally I would do something more like a minute hard a minute or two easy and repeat. I followed the instructions and ran 5.3 miles in 42 minutes (oops I finished early). I ran along the Midtown Greenway for the first time. It is a nice place to run without a ton of wind, although it was windy in parts and there were some street crossings, which slowed me down some! It is plowed which was very nice. This morning it was a little warmer before we get slammed again with arctic air.

Garmin 205: A New Toy

The post-Christmas announcement of the Garmin 405, didn’t lessen the joy I’ve been getting from my brand-new Garmin 205 (technical information, purchase)! At this point I don’t think it justifies twice the expense for a little more style/comfort. I saw the 205 for about $150 around Christmas and the 405 is about $300 at this point. So why do I like my Garmin?

  • Accurate distances and times – no more guessing about routes or having to tediously click around on sites like gmaps.
  • Detailed workout information, including elevation. It also lets you know how long you have stopped for if you take a break and hit the stop button.
  • Alerts while running – I can setup the Garmin to beep at me at set intervals – both mileage and time.
  • Ability to create workouts – while I haven’t used this function yet I can program workouts into the Garmin and it will help me through them.
  • Virtual Training Partner – I can race myself using a VTP to help pull me through the workout.

[tags] Garmin, Garmin 205, Forerunner, GPS, Watch [/tags]

Weekend Workouts

I only ran once this weekend, which is a shame because it was beautiful and sunny for the actual weekend. However, we have been busy settling into our new house, unpacking boxes, and all that fun stuff! We made some great progress. Friday was a good workout though, we went to the gym and I ran on their indoor track. It was 7.5 laps per mile, but that was much better than a treadmill. It felt really good and I ran 6 miles in 43:51. Each lap was around 1 minute so that made it a little easier to keep track of the laps, but I did get my mile splits so I wouldn’t have to count as high! So for your pleasure here they are: 7:25, 7:14, 7:16, 7:23, 7:14, 7:15. I was a little surprised at how well I ran! Today (Monday) starts Half-Marathon training!

Foto Friday: Spirit of the Marathon Edition!

Eagan, MN Regal Stadium 16

I didn’t take any other pictures inside the theater! This was an excellent movie, I would highly recommend that anyone who didn’t go last night should go to the encore screening on February 21 at 7:30pm. It was inspiring, funny, touching, and triumphant! There were plenty of famous people and some excellent quotes.We also stayed to watch the “Making of the Movie” less than half our audience stayed. The theater had the movie showing on two screens, one of which was sold out!It was nice to see the Chicago Marathon in 2005 was excellent conditions, since my only experience was this past year as a volunteer.

I also thought it was interesting to see the Brooks Hanson guys pacing the elite runners throughout the beginning of the race. Especially now that Brian Sells is an Olympic Contender.

Did you enjoy the movie?

[tags] Foto, Marathon, Spirit of the Marathon[/tags]