Friday, December 3, 2010

Garmin Advice and Running Gift Ideas

People Falling Down

I'm still getting hilarious comments and stories in my inbox this morning from my post Surprise Farts in Yoga Class.  Thank you for all the funny stories. Life is so much better with laughter and lots of it!  I plan on putting all my blog, facebook and personal e-mail stories from people all together in one big blog but until then, if you're needing a laugh or two, check them out.

My friend called me this morning to tell me that her husband had mentioned that he wanted a Garmin watch for Christmas.  As some of you remember, I also asked for one of these trendy running gifts for Christmas and put it on my blog post Vision Collages and This Runner's Birthday Wish List.  Some of you gave me some good advice on that post and I think I've decided that I want the Garmin without the heart rate monitor.  However, I still have some questions and would appreciate any advice or knowledge you can provide.

1.  What are the benefits of having the Garmin with the heart rate monitor and keeping track of your heart rate?

2. What kind of Garmin would you recommend for someone who is only using it for running?

3.  Pros and Cons of having a Garmin?  I've heard that some runners become too dependent on is this a problem?  I've always been what I heard someone call a "naked" runner other than using my watch to time my runs and then calculate later.  I have a pretty good "internal garmin" and can run 8 min mile pace in my sleep and can usually "feel" a 7ish pace too but I'm thinking the Garmin will help me push myself to run at faster paces and hold on for longer.  The treadmill works this way for me.  I can put it on say a 6ish pace and then just hold on and try not to fly does the pace for me and I just keep up.  So, really, I'm thinking there are for sure more BENEFITS to a Garmin than not.  ??

Thanks for any advice or wisdom you have to give!

Also, I know that many of us have written similar blogs about Christmas Wish Lists for Running (I did mine for my birthday) but I figure we can never have enough of those lists to share with our family and the people out there that want to spoil a Runner in their life this Christmas.  So, what is on your Runner Holiday Wish List this year or what would you say is a MUST Have for newbie and veteran Runners alike??  



  1. Those are good questions. It would take me a full page to attempt to answer them. I have not been or currently "too dependent" on mine. I have had the 305 and the 405 with heart monitors. I would get the 405 w monitor; if it were me. I like mine.

    Holiday wish list? I meet with the surgeon in an hour (good news is what I want).

  2. Of the top of my head I need a hat for cold weather running, like a ponytail hat.

  3. I agree with Heather, a ponytail hat is on my list this year.

    I reccomend the 205. It doesn't have the heart rate monitor and you can get it as low as $130 on some websites.

  4. I don't train with a heart rate monitor, but I've heard that it can be a really useful tool. I HAVE one, but the battery in the watch is dead. Hmmm...maybe I should get on fixing that.

    I'd love to have a good Under Armour top, a light wind resistant jacket, and a Garmin. Not sure which one, bc I haven't had the money to make the research worthwhile. I'd also like a pair of trail running shoes.

    Pretty much all I am getting, though, is a new mountain bike. And I'm OK with that. :)

  5. I had a Garmin 110 and then lost it and I miss it every day. Its the freedom of being able to just GO and know how far you are going in the moment. To push yourself just a little further to a silly number. To see you are doing an 8 minute PUSH it and make it 745. Without the knowledge you are running into oblivion. Which has its place too. But I really enjoyed the constant personal push my Garmin gave me. Guess you know whats on my list!! That and tight running capris that keep my winter inner thigh fat layer in check (<; Cant wait for my hubby to ask for that at the running store (<;

  6. Loved this Garmin is my best friend. I actually don't use the heart monitor because it bothers my chest having it on, so I can't help you out there. I recommend the 305 (the one you have in the picture) I actually like the bigger screen, it is so much easier to read. I can only think of pro' challenges me to work harder, I can record all of my stats on my computer and see my improvements and it entertains me during my runs:) I do go for a run every now and then with out it if I just want a nice and easy stress free run. I hope you get one:)
    Your Friday night pizza sounds absolutely amazing. You should have your husband post the recipe:)

  7. I was always a naked running, until I started my marathon training, and bought the 305 to track my mileage. Haven't used the heart rate monitor yet, but I like how I can pick up my pace if I'm going too slow. They have a really good deal on them right now at Wal Mart.

  8. I love my Garmin 305, but don't use the HR monitor frequently. Your stats allow you figure out cals burned, pace, time, distance. I found it motivated me to run more! :) Plus, I didn't have to drive the distance to figure it out! I love wearing it whenever I run outsid, because every step counts! :)

  9. Love this post! I have the same questions!
    on my list: a Garmin...I got to chances to get it since my bday is right after Christmas..but I do hope my husband gets the hint everything I send a Link with a good deal on Garmin!!!

  10. 1. I really wanted one with the HRM but you know what, I don't really need it. I just used it once!

    2. Garmin 305

    3. I am O.C. and a data freak so I NEED a Garmin so I can see ho w fast and far I'm really going and if I have improved.

    Hope this helps =)

  11. I'm with hungry runner. I should use the HR monitor though. :(

    I love my 310XT. One day, I'll figure out all it can do. ;)

  12. Can anyone tell me the difference between the 205 and 305??? is it just the size and heart rate monitor?? Thank you SOOOOO much for the advice! I really find it valuable. I love this about blogging!

  13. I'm addicted to my garmin 405; it has improved my running so much. I use the heart rate monitor rarely , but it's useful.

  14. I am not a Garmin owner, so that's on my wish list. I am stuck between the inexpensive 205/305 and the 310xt (which is supposed to be good for the water/triathlons).

    Also- thanks for the comments on my training. I am really trying to make a good choice here, but am a little nervous about making my own plan. Structured training is still pretty new to me. Come and visit!

  15. I have the Garmin with the heart rate monitor - and I have NEVER used it. It is still in the box. I don't even know that I feel like trying to figure it out. I don't have a good internal Garmin, so if I don't have something on my wrist telling me my pace, I have no idea what I am doing. So I do look at it a lot, but I've been trying to not look at it more than once per song. Especially at a race. I used mine a lot in the last two when I was going for a PR. I feel like it really did help me out. But then I've only been running for just over a year, so I still feel new, and maybe that's why I can't judge my pace on my own yet.

    Basically, and maybe it is because I work in finance, but I am number obsessed. I need to know how far, how long it took, the elevation, I need it ALL. Okay, I just want it all. But I love it and it helps me out a lot!

  16. Great questions! I have the 305 and did a review of it on my blog (you can see it under the Sunday Sampler page). Since you're only using it for running, I probably wouldn't get the 305. I don't have any experience with the other versions, but it sounds like you don't need all the "extras" that the 305 comes with. Good luck!

  17. santa gave me a 305 last year. i have YET use it. amazing since SO many can't run without a garmin now. this year - new pair of shoes - which i just bought yesterday early for christmas. my favs - asics nimbus 12's. have a great weekend and go HUSKIES! :)

  18. I haad the 205 that I bought off Amazon last year the day after Christmas. I chose not to get the HRM because I didn't think I would use it. I think it's a good thing to have in order to keep track of distance and pace. If you are afraid of looking at it too much, you can set it to just show distance so you know how far you're going. For Christmas I just wanted new running gear, which I got yesterday! Yay!

  19. Good questions. My garmin does have the monitor and it sits unused in a drawer. Monitoring your heart rate isn't a proven method. If it truly was beneficial wouldn't the elites use it? I think it would make it stressful trying to stay within a range or if you went above a number that would be bad. Run according to feel. If you're supposed to be doing a tempo run, run the 10K pace and it'll be hard (because it's supposed to be). If you're supposed to run easy, then run easy. If you use a heart rate monitor I don't think you would push yourself outside your comfort zone and improve.

    Yes, the garmin produces a dependency. I love knowing my pace and mileage. I rarely do a run without my garmin. It helps me train better by trying to stick to a pace or even make sure that I'm not going out too fast.

    If your a numbers geek you can also download the data and see elevation changes, etc. I've done that in the past but don't know. It's too much work. Besides entering my time/miles in, I don't get too into the numbers.

  20. Hey Amanda! Thanks for reading my blog! I have a garmin 205. It's the light blue one. I got that one because I didn't really have a desire to use a heart rate monitor, and other than that it's the same as the 305 which I feel like everyone has. I use it mainly for running, but also for biking when I bike to a running location. I really like it. It does everything I need it to, and it was a little cheaper than the 305.

    Pros of have a garmin for me:
    - i am very short term goal oriented. I need to say to myself come on, there's only this far left. Look how far you're going, etc. I usually run about the same pace when I run so I'm not dependent on tracking my pace so much, just my mileage. It also gives you your average pace, time, and estimated calories burned at the end of the run which is nice to keep track of.

    cons - sometimes it loses signal under bridges and or doesn't get signal for 10 minutes or so when you first turn it on. Kind of a bummer if you want to get signal before you run and stand around to wait for it to find a satellite.

  21. Hi Amanda! Thanks for commenting on my blog the other day. I look forward to stalking you now too!

    I have been heart rate training for about two years now. The goal is to be able to go faster at a lower heart rate and it is totally working. Each of my paces have a different heart rate zone. When I first started, my zone 1 (easy hr) would be a 10-11 minute per mile pace, now my easy runs are at a 9-10 minute per mile pace. It is definitely working for me and I would highly recommend HR training. If ya want to know more, e-mail me and I would be glad to help!

    I have the Garmin 305, which is the one pictured, I like it a lot for just running.

  22. Those who use a Garmin seem quite attached to them, so they must be compatible with a lot of runner personalities. I also noticed that when I run with someone keeping our pace on a Garmin, it's all over the place -- 9:05 min. miles one minute and 10:30 the next. That would drive me crazy. I'm a minimalist, so a stopwatch is all I require to have a good run.

  23. I might be making a special trip to Oregon just to come run with YOU!!! I loved your three wishes. I can tell that you are an amazing mother.

  24. It is official. I am rigging it for you to win. I feel good about us being bff's. I stalk your blog religiously and is it creepy that I just keep re-reading your posts until you have a new one! You are the greatest, thanks for making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside:) Have an amazing Sunday!

  25. Thanks for sharing your Boston memory! How many marathons have you done?

    Elkton is an hour SW of Eugene. You can get to it from the Drain/Reedsport exit going south, or the Sutherlin exit if you are going north.

    It's always nice when the little ones fall asleep on long car rides ;) Ha ha!

    Have a great weekend!