The Bottom Line
- A complete solution for monitoring and analyzing workout data.
- Highly customizable display.
- Connectivity to personal computer training software and online tools.
- Setup, and mastering the features will take a little time and practice.
- Price: $250 - $320
- Dimensions: 2.1" x 2.7" x 0.7" (5.33 x 6.86 x 1.78 cm)
- Display size: 1.3" x 0.8" (3.3 x 2.0 cm)
- Weight: 2.72 oz (77 g)
- Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion, 10-hours on a charge
- Waterproof (but not recommended for swimming or water sports)
- Waypoints, 100; routes, 50
- Heart rate monitor included. Bike cadence or foot pod (for treadmill workout) optional.
- Auto-pause, auto-lap, auto-scroll (cycles through data screens during workout)
Guide Review - Garmin Forerunner 305
Garmin is one of very few GPS makers to offer units specifically for running and cycling, but fortunately for fitness buffs, it takes the category seriously and offers a solid range of products that it continually improves. The Forerunner 305 is positioned just below the new-for-2008 Forerunner 405 in the Garmin line.
The Forerunner 305 will serve the needs of someone who wants to simply track time, speed, and distance in a basic running or walking program, but it also has enough features to satisfy the most obsessive enthusiast, and is great for someone who needs to share data with a professional trainer or coach.
The 305's display is all about choices. Using the unit's relatively easy to learn "mode," "enter," and "scroll" buttons, you can partition the display into as few as one large data display, or as many as four. When cycling, for example, I kept an eye heart rate, current speed and elapsed time.
The Forerunner 305 comes with a data dock that plugs into a computer's USB port, and this permits you to upload all of your training data into Garmin's Training Center software, or online to the Garmin Connect website. Storing and analyzing your workout data using these excellent graphing and sharing tools is one of the key benefits of using the 305.
The unit comes with a wireless heart rate monitor strap, computer docking/charging station, a separate charger unit, and the Training Center software on CD. Setup and installation went smoothly, but you will need to spend some time with the manual, and getting accustomed to the button functions.
A full set of time, distance, and heart rate zone alerts are completely customizable and will keep you in your desired ranges. You may also compete against a "virtual partner." Advanced workout options abound.