Sunday, June 29, 2008

Garmin Forerunner 405

This Garmin Forerunner 405 will be on my wishlist for 2008. Can't wait to replace my current HRM Polar RS200SD. Here are 2 of the reviews by various runners found online.

Garmin Forerunner 405

GPS for runners gets more sleek and compact than ever with the Garmin Forerunner 405 sports watch. Runners have been enjoying the precision of GPS workout and race tracking with the Forerunner 305, one model below the 405. But the 305 is bulky. The new 405 is not only slimmer, but features an innovative new touch-bezel control system. The 405 also includes a heart rate monitor and wireless transfer of workout data to your PC and to Garmin Connect online.


Accurate GPS distance data for runners.
Captures workout and heart rate data, and wirelessly and automatically transfers to your PC.
Touch-bezel control eliminates need for multiple buttons.


Touch-bezel control takes some practice to master.
Heart rate monitor strap must be moist to provide accurate readings.


Garmin was selling the 405's for its debut at the Boston Marathon. They think it will hit stores in late May or early June. I ran 9 miles this morning with it. The past 3 years, I've used a Polar RS200sd with a footpod.

1. Interface: I thought the Garmin would be super slick like my iPod. It's not. The Garmin face is a scroll wheel, but it was not obvious to me how you "click" when you want to go down a menu or up a menu. I'll have to go look at the owner's manual.

2. Fashion: I wore it out last to see if it could be wore as an everyday wrist watch. Unfortunately, touching the scroll wheel in two places turns the backlit on. I did this on accident several times bumping the watch against things. I will probably only wear it for workouts.

3. Size: I was surprised at how light it was. I strapped it on and it was not too heavy. I was expecting it to weigh more.

4. GPS worked great. Found the satelites in Boston even with buildings around and I was off.

5. It is not waterproof like my Polar is. Only water resistant.

6. The interface showed me my time in larger font and my pace and total distance in smaller font. I wanted to swap out one of my numbers for Heart Rate instead and could not figure this out. I'm going to have to look in the owner's manual.

7. I think the GPS smoothes out my pace over the footpod with the Polar. The displayed pace was slower to respond to changes in my pace.

8. I liked the Garmin HRM strap better than my Polar strap for comfort.


Overall, the only concern will be the battery lifetime of the watch (8 hours in training mode) as running an ultra marathon may required more than 8 hours (My Sundown Ultra marathon took me 11 hours 21 mins ).

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