I start of with a story of when I first got into running and how I got my watch. If you are interested in the actual review, you can skip thsi part and scroll down farther!
THE STORY OF HOW I GOT MY WATCH
Once my boyfriend’s dad had found out I was training for a marathon, he was pushing for me to get a heart rate monitor. He was concerned for my health and pushing myself too hard. He had even given me a book on heart rate monitors, The Heart Rate Monitor Book By Sally Edwards, though seemingly outdated with its pictures, was informative.
I learned how to find out your max heart rate (HR), the percentage of your max HR you should train at, and how to control your HR. I considered buying a watch with the heartrate monitor, but didn’t feel like spending the money. Each time I visited my boyfriend’s family, his dad would say “So you have that heartrate monitor yet? You should really get one so you don’t get hurt.”
One day, I responded, “Yah, Dave (my boyfriend) got me one!” Dave’s dad looked confused, but just continued to do his yardwork. A few minutes later, Dave told me he wanted to bring our overnight bags upstairs. When we got upstairs, he pulled a box out from underneath the bed, and it was the Garmin Forerunner 405! I was so surprised! And I also understood why his dad had such a suspicious face on a few minutes earlier! He had told me he wasn’t sure if Dave had given the watch to me yet, so wanted to be safe.
It was great timing. I was feeling a little unmotivated to train. But now, I knew that I definately had to make sure I worked hard, I couldn’t have Dave waste his money on a watch when I wasn’t even using it!
I must say that I LOVE this watch. It came with a USB that uses the ANT+™ wireless technology so that when I walk into my apt after a run, the run is uploaded with all the data, included the route mapped out!
The ability to see my pace. One thing to note is that while running with my running club friends, a pack of 6 ladies all with Garmins, we noticed that our instantaneous paces were always off a bit but our average pace for each mile mark was the same.
- The ability to see my actual distance. Pre-Garmin, I would sit down and use mapmyrun.com and figure out a route that worked for me. The problem with this was that I always would get lost and go off track. Also, it was just time consuming! With the watch, I can run like a free spirit and know my distance.
- Time/distance alerts. During all my runs, especially during races, I like to see if I am on track with the average pace that I would like to keep with. Having the Garmin allows me to make sure I’m not starting off too quick or too slow.
- Interval training. When I have to do track workouts without a track, I love using the interval training to beep when i need to slow down or speed up.
- Elevations. I like looking at the elevations of my runs at times to see if I am getting enough incline for the Boston Marathon 2011!
- Loading advanced workouts into my watch to run
- The Go Back to Start feature. When I first got my watch, I tried out the Go Back to Start feature and it worked very well! It even put me back inside the house where I was!
- The Bezel sometimes seems touchy, but if you lock it, it is easier to deal with. Sometimes when it is raining out, I noticed it beeping like crazy. I felt like I was in Mario World and needed to be dogdging some bad guys.
- Heart Rate Monitor. I used the heart rate monitor when I first got the watch. However, I was training in the summer, and the monitor chafed a lot. I wasn’t really paying attention to my heart rate so I decided to give up the monitor (oops! Isn’t this the reason I was given the watch in the first place?!) I am hoping to incorporate heart rate in my training soon.
- Foot Pod. I don’t own the foot pod. When I went to my first indoor track practice, I noticed my watch not working. I was disappointed and found out that I needed to purchase the foot pod to have it work.
- Battery life. My first marathon, the watch died at mile 26. I was 28 seconds away from qualifying from Boston. A few of my other friends have had problems with the watch dying too soon. I often am a huge dork and wear two watches. I guess that is also the engineer in me: belt and suspenders.
I think it’s a great watch and not TOO bulky that it looks like you are wearing a calculator on your wrist. If you don’t need all the advanced features, a lot of my friends have the Garmin Forerunner 110 which is also a great watch! Some versions of it also can come with a heart rate monitor.
To see more information on the watch visit the Garmin website.
Have any of you had things you liked or disliked about the Garmin Forerunner 405 that I didn’t talk about?
Do any of you train and pay close attention to your heart rate? What tips can you give for someone just starting to incorporate this into their training?
Do you have another watch you really like to use?