• My Garmin Review, Finally

    March 26, 2010

    HAPPY FRIDAY!!! :mrgreen:

    All of this running talk has inspired me to finally write a review of my Garmin Forerunner 305. Ever since I bought it about a year ago, I’ve received a TON of questions about it. Usually, I just reply to individual emails from readers, but then it occurred to me that I never wrote a “real” review of it. So, here it is… finally!

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    As you can probably guess, I LOVE this thing! I actually can’t run without it now!

    The Garmin 305 tracks your time, distance, and pace. You can also keep track of your heart rate with the chest strap, but I don’t use it. The Garmin uses GPS technology to determine how far you’ve run (or biked) as well as your pace.

    Being able to see your pace, every step of my run, is soooo motivating! I’ll look down at my Garmin and see a 9:30 pace and know that I need to pick-it-up. Before I know it, I’m running at an 8:30 pace. It’s hard to tell how fast I’m running, so the Garmin motivates me to run faster (or keep up my same pace).

    PROS:

    • Great for athletes of all levels: You don’t need to be a super-star athlete to use the Garmin. It’s a great tool for everyone. I don’t consider myself a “serious” runner, but my Garmin has definitely helped me improve my running pace and increase my distance.
    • Continuously monitors speed, distance, and pace (as well as heart rate and calories burned): Having all of this information at my finger tips while I run, helps me train more effectively. Being able to see my pace pushes me to run faster, and being able to see my distance, motivates me to run farther. If I am at 4.75 miles, for example, I’ll usually keep running to hit 5 miles.
    • Tracks my every move with a super-sensitive GPS: The Garmin tells me exactly how many miles I’ve covered, so I don’t have to guess or use one of those online tools to figure out how far I have run.
    • Provides detailed post-workout analysis on your computer: I didn’t think I would use this feature, but it’s actually really cool. I’m a dork and like analyze my runs.
    • Keeps me motivated with auto laps: You can set auto laps at each mile so the Garmin beeps when you’ve completed each mile. On a log run, this is VERY motivating!
    • Multi-sport option: Works for running, walking, biking, and you can change the sport mode with a press of a button.

    CONS:

    • Satellites sometimes take awhile to load: Sometimes it takes awhile for the satellites on the Garmin to load, especially if I have moved locations, like the time I ran in San Francisco after I had run in Boston a few days before. I guess my Garmin got a little confused? But, I’ve figured out that if I put the Garmin on a windowsill with the power on (since I’m usually inside getting ready), it loads quickly. (The Garmin can’t find the satellites if you’re in the house.) This really isn’t a big deal, but sometimes I just want to get out there and run, and I don’t want to wait. It takes only a minute or two to load, but I’m impatient like that! ;-)
    • Size can be intimidating: Some people complain that the 305 is too big, but I don’t mind it at all. When I first saw it, I was surprised at its size, but after about 30 seconds of running with it on my wrist, I don’t even notice how big it is. Plus, I think it just looks bad-ass in general. ;-)

    As you know, I work with OpenSky to get you guys the best deals on my favorite products. So, from now until next Friday, you can save $75 on the Garmin 305!!! Just enter the code “GarminSale” at check-out.

    A couple questions for you guys: do you like deals like this? If so, what other products do you want me to offer in my shop?

    Jeez, Louise! That was way more than I planned to write. Onto breakfast!

    Breakfast

    I ended up sleeping in until about 8:30 this morning, so when I finally got my lazy butt out of bed, I was starving for breakfast. I usually eat around 6:30, so my stomach was more than ready to eat!

    For breakfast, I made a big batch of oat bran + spelt flakes with banana, walnuts, and raisins mixed in.

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    In the mix:

    • 1/4 cup oat bran
    • 1/4 cup spelt flakes
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
    • 1 banana
    • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
    • 1/8 cup raisins
    • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
    • Cinnamon
    • 2 scoops of peanut butter

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    I forgot how much I liked the combo of raisins + walnuts. Delicious!

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    And, of course, I drank a glass of iced coffee with breakfast.

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    The deadline for the first draft of my book is 1 WEEK from today! GAH! 8-O I feel like I still have so much to do. There’s going to be lots of writing and editing in the next few days!

    Question of the Day

    What’s your favorite piece of exercise equipment?

    P.S. I LOVE this post from one of the RD’s at NuVal: Myth Busters. It explains what NuVal is all about so well.

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    { 86 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jen March 26, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Awesome review – I absolutely love my Garmin 305 (and am dying for the new triathlon one that works in the water!!!). I agree – I feel lost when I run without the thing, and it definitely pushes me to run that extra .25 or whatever each day! I especially love it on long training runs 13+ miles because it keeps me going. Instead of only have the time on my watch, it shows me how far I have come and keeps me motivated!

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    Jen March 26, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    ps…i also love the online device that you can use with the garmin. For me, I have gotten so so much faster over the past 3 years since I got the watch – everytime I look at the charts online, it makes me even more motivated and happy!

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    clay March 26, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I love my Garmin! I have the 405 so it is not very big. It is the size of an everyday watch. Free weights, stability balls, jump ropes, and balance boards are the best gym equipment. I think machines are absolutely garbage because they do not incorporate balance or any stabilizer muscles!

    Reply

    Ana March 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    @Sarah: yes, it is the same product. i’m not sure why the price is so much higher in OpenSky. go with amazon, in my opinion. there’s no reason to pay almost double for it thru OpenSky.

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    Bekah March 26, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I love my Garmin 305! One day not to long ago it decided not to work, I know it was fully charged, but no power….I thought I had killed it! But it was resurrected by the next run and has been working fine ever since. I feel so lost if I have to run without it.

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    Jordan March 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Swiss/Stability Balls are my favorite! Kettle bells are gaining, but you can do so much with/on the ball. TRX’s are pretty cool too for at home use.

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    Lauren @ Running Examiner March 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Eek unlike other people, I have had the absolute WORST luck with my Garmin (it’s malfunctioned three times), and therefore can’t call it my favorite piece of exercise equipment :( I don’t even use mine anymore…I usually just resort to Nike Plus, which is useful when I’m home and done with the run.

    I’d say my favorite piece of equipment is my yoga mat! And I’ve had a six-year-long love affair with my Pilate’s Magic Ring :)

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    Katie D. January 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Lauren,

    I’ve had HORRIBLE luck with my Garmin too. I’ve sent it back 3 times and nothing has improved for more than a week or two. Sadly a $7 digital watch from Walmart has lasted longer, even though all it does is track my time.

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    Lindsey512 March 26, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    With all due respect Tina, I do not like this “deal.” As many others have commented, the Opensky price is not competitive at all! Unless I’m missing something, in which case, please feel free to correct me. It’s not as though you have to go to some obscure vendor to beat this price, either, Amazon’s price beats yours by 50+ dollars even with the $75 off???

    I guess I’m a bit riled up because I am actually in the market for this product and feel like you calling this a “deal” is really misleading. Sure, tell us to buy from Opensky as a favor to you if we want to make some kind of donation or support your blog, because that’s what it is, but don’t imply it is in our best financial interest.

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    Cole March 26, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    My yoga mat is definitely my favorite piece of workout equipment!

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    Ann @ Turbo Teacher March 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks for the Garmin review, Tina! I am currently contemplating purchasing the Garmin FR60. Is the 305 good for indoor workouts too ?? I assumed since it uses GPS instead of a footpod, it is geared for outdoor runs and such.. I get a little confused when I read about all of these gadgets and what they can do ~ so your review helped! Thanks!!

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    daisy March 26, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Tina can you remove comment #57 please? you are going to get controversy on here.

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    daisy March 26, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    sorry 58

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    Tina March 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    @daisy: I actually don’t delete comments unless they are really rude. But, yea, I agree with you!

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    Alison March 26, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I just got a Garmin this week! Like you I have the Forerunner 305 and I took it for it’s maiden run yesterday. It was awesome. I felt like I ran faster knowing that I could see how fast I was going. It was instant encouragement. My husband has owned the Forerunner 301, 205 and now the 405. The 405 is confusing to me, but I think I’m going to really like the 305.

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    Amanda March 26, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I have been so curious about your garmin, thanks for the post! My favorite piece of equipment is actually the treadmill… everyone else dreads them but I LOVE being able to keep track of my pace/mileage so I can set goals and really push myself. I am also an avid believer in interval training to get the best results, and treadmills are great for that. I love running outside too but don’t feel I push myself as hard, I just ‘trot’ along. The garmin sounds like the perfect combination of both!

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    catherine (FOOD SNOB) March 26, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    My favorite piece of “exercise” equipment would have to be my SuperFeet insoles. I am very active and spend a LOT of time on my feet. The SuperFeet keep my back in pretty good shape, and I haven’t had to spend hundreds of dollars on orthotics!

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    Lindsey512 March 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I really am not intending to be rude. It is a direct answer to a question asked in the post; whether or not we like that deal. I would definitely not have commented but for the prompt for reader opinions!

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    eatdrinkandbemerrynyc March 26, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Great open sky! I love my garmin but im humiliated to admit i’ve never downloaded my splits etc. I have a strange phobia of it!!!! I basically use it for TIME! I will start doing it though THIS WEEKEND and on my way to training for the NYC marathon. SOOOO BAD!!!
    Sara

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    Kait March 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I keep seeing Garmin’s everywhere and I’m not going to lie, they kinda intimidate me. I feel like I would get to focused on constantly one-upping myself…
    Good luck with the writing over the next week!!

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    Mary @ What's Cookin' With Mary March 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I love that the Garmin can inport the data into the PC. I’m a total nerd and would love that feature! Right now I’m rockin’ my polar, but maybe some day … ;)

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    Angie (Losing It and Loving It) March 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Great review! Hubby is actually buying this Garmin for me this week but yea Amazon has it for MUCH less $140+ less than Open Sky. Just can’t justify it but you should also have an Amazon affiliate link if possible for those who would rather buy at Amazon. They have an affiliate program and most times when people buy at Amazon they buy much more than one item *wink*

    I don’t mind deals like this on your blog at all, just recommend that you compare with Amazon or other places online and try to offer the best deal to your readers. That is what I try to do so that would be cool!

    Your breakfast always looks so good! Yum! Best to you on getting your book done.

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    Erin at The Healthy Apron March 26, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I want to get a Garmin! looks like a great exercise tool!

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    Lynn (The Actors Diet) March 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    raisins and walnuts are so good! i haven’t had that combo in forever.

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    Tina March 26, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I’ve been tempted by the Garmin (especially since you can also use it for biking), but I guess I don’t understand “the best deals” you talk about with Open Sky. I could find this same Garmin for just about half the cost elsewhere, so for me, there’s not a lot of incentive to purchase via Open Sky.

    For me, I love many of the products you recommend, when they are health, fitness, food and home organization related but I have to shop around and find prices that will better fit my budget. The value to me is hearing your experiences with a product and your recommendation, including your opinion on the less ideal aspects of a product.

    BTW, my fave piece of exercise equipment: my (multiple pairs of) athletic footwear. I never realized the importance of good sneaks until a pair of spin shoes cured my foot cramps and well-fitted running shoes with orthodics cured my achilles tendinitis!

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    Heather @ Side of Sneakers March 26, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Hahaaa for a second there I thought you said the Garmin was $75….I almost literally jumped to grab my credit card until I actually read what you really wrote…still a fantastic deal though!!!

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    Staceyhttp://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/ March 26, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Raisins and cinnamon are also the most perfect combination. I haven’t had raisins on my oatmeal forever.

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    Cynthia (It All Changes) March 26, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    I love my heart rate monitor because it tells me the calories burned and time and of course heart rate. It pushes me.

    I’ve really wanted a Garmin and I’m going to have a chat with Hunni to see if that discount is enough to get it ahead of schedule :-)

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    Leah (Cheese of the week) March 26, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Favourite exercise equipment? Swimsuit, cap, and goggles!! I know that’s more that one item =) Anyway, I love to swim for exercise – it’s a great stress reliever and I always feel great afterward.

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    Tina March 26, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    @Lindsey512: To be honest, when I made my original post, I had no idea that Amazon was offering the Garmin for a lower price, even after $75 off. I said it was a deal because I thought it was. I certainly didn’t mean to mislead anyone, so sorry you feel like I did.

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    Dynamics March 26, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Recumbent bike. I was attending Physical Therapy for shoulder strengthening and for some reason I was told to use the recumbent bike. It is amazing. I cannot figure it out, but it helps with posture. If no one needed to use it I was allowed to ride it for 30 minutes. If they were no so expensive, I would definitely buy one.

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    Dynamics March 26, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    It is a deal…at OpenSky! You never said it was the BEST price around. Amazon is a store in itself. Most stores who price match will not price match with Amazon. I do not feel like you mislead us. Again, it is a deal at OpenSky.

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    Lindsey512 March 27, 2010 at 9:28 am

    @Dynamics: Well, it’s not just Amazon. It’s $180 at Best Buy, and the MSRP on the Garmin website itself is $100 lower than Opensky, beating the discounted OpenSky price by $25. But like Tina said, she did not intentionally mislead anyone. I believe her. The tone of the post was just a bit offensive (to me) and confusing to other commenters, see comment 48 for example, because of this mistake.

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    Shannon's Food Runs March 29, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Haha, your con about the size of the Garmin made me giggle. When my Garmin arrived a few weeks ago, my husband got home from work before me, so he plugged it in to charge for me. I got home, unplugged the wire, and tried to put it on. I was SO bummed that it didn’t fit me! I know i have big wrists, but come on! Turns out I still had the charger base attached – oops!

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    Marie October 19, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    thanks so much for reviewing the Garmin! i’ve been looking for a heart rate monitor that will also track my runs and work as a training aid. can u wear the garmin during other forms of exercise (like body pump) and measure calories burned? i want the garmin for all of it’s uses during my runs, but i’m wondering if it can do double duty. maybe then i can justify the price tag for such a great toy ;) thanks!

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    J @ ... semplicemente j ... March 28, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    I love my Garmin … I had the 405 but did not like the touchscreen … I have now upgraded to the 910 … looooove! I am one of those people that has to know how I am doing … it helps me …

    Reply

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