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Gadgets for measuring distance

adkeditor
Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 18
New York, United States
Posted: Mon 01 Jun 2009 09:30 pm GMT   topTop
I'm wondering what people use to measure distance run on trails. I have tried various Nike+ products, with poor results. I saw an ad for a Garmin watch that comes with a foot sensor but haven't checked it out. Anybody know anything about it? What about pedometers and other devices?
clydesdalerunner
clydesdalerunner
Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 23
California, United States
Posted: Tue 02 Jun 2009 03:24 pm GMT   topTop
I use the Garmin Forerunner 205. It's the basic of the Garmin Forerunner series, However, I love it. It measures your speed, altitude, calories, fastes pace. You can race against yourself with the race program. So it actually shows to little digital men racing (you vs. computer). THere are many other functions as well. The 205 is not water proof, so that is the down side. If you get the 305 and up, they are water proof or resistant and they have the heart rate monitor as well. When you are done with the run, you can down load it all on the computer. Very easy and self explanitory.

Good Luck with finding your running device. I would go with the Garmin.
adkeditor
Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 18
New York, United States
Posted: Tue 02 Jun 2009 05:02 pm GMT   topTop
Thanks for the advice. What's are good prices for the 205 and the 305? Don they work with Macs? I forgot to mention that I have a MacBook.
xterrabuzz
Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 5
Minnesota, United States
Posted: Fri 19 Jun 2009 05:53 pm GMT   topTop
Very interested in this thread myself. Have been doing my own research for the past few weeks and what I'm finding is that there are no ideal GPS units that will fit the terrain I train/race in. Living in northern Minnesota there is always tree canopy and I mean always. If I where to purchase today I would go for the Polar RS300x with S1 foot pod to measure speed and distance without having to worry about lose of satellite signal.

If anyone has any experience regarding this unit I would love to hear and anything would be very much appreciated. Thanks
jimsty
jimsty
Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 66
Christchurch, New Zealand
Posted: Tue 21 Jul 2009 06:18 am GMT   topTop
I use a Timex GPS watch and it is great. Gives me all the data I need (apart from altitude) and the unit is not particularly big or cumbersome (you can see it if you click on my username).
The watch has a lott of settings / functions but remains easy to use. Gives me...

* Distance
* Current speed (whilst running)
* Average speed (eg: 13kph)
* Max speed
* Average pace (eg: 4.55min/km)
* Best pace

It also has an odometer which you can reset when you want, but I find this quite useful in tallying up my weekly or monthly distances. Quite a bit cheaper than the Garmin Forerunners but I have had no problems with it! Cheers J.
backcountryrunner
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 192
Utah, United States
Posted: Tue 21 Jul 2009 07:40 am GMT   topTop
Just bought a Garmin 60CSx (thanks to our REI dividend!). I wanted an all-around workhorse GPS unit for hiking/backpacking, geocaching and trail running and that model seemed to be a good fit, based on many recommendations. It's not ideal for trail running of course, as it's bulky and not super light (7.5oz with batteries) - at least in comparison to the wristwatch style GPS units. But good enough to attach to my pack for one-time measurement of my standard runs if nothing else.

For me, altitude/elevation measurements are really important in determining the relative difficulty of any given trail run, particularly on mountain trails, so that's another reason I chose Garmin.

I'll post here about how the 60CSx works out. In the future I'd love to get one of the Garmin Forerunners as a trail running GPS.
adkeditor
Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 18
New York, United States
Posted: Tue 21 Jul 2009 11:52 am GMT   topTop
I ended up buying a Forerunner 405, which is not much larger than a regular watch (and probably smaller than some). I didn't know about the Timex option. For the most part, I like the Forerunner. One problem is that the elevation data are way off. I exchanged a bunch of e-mails with Garmin over this before trading in my first 405 for another one just last Sunday. The assumption is that the original was defective. I've tested the new one twice, and the elevation is way off on this one as well. I took a three-mile walk around my neighborhood last night (can't run; hurt leg), and 405 tells me I gained 800 feet in elevation, the equivalent of climbing a small mountain. And the roads are mostly flat.
Alan
Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 4
Texas, United States
Posted: Wed 22 Jul 2009 10:42 pm GMT   topTop
I got the Nike ID as a goof and have been using it consistantly. It's great for when i go out and wander. It gives distance, time, average pace, current pace and that's it. The thing has lasted a year without needing batteries.
adkeditor
Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 18
New York, United States
Posted: Thu 23 Jul 2009 02:23 am GMT   topTop
I'll have to check out the Nike ID. I'm starting to get frustrated with the 405. I went up a small mountain today with an elevation gain of 850-900 feet, and it tells me I gained 1500 feet. On top of that, the thing kept pausing automatically even when I was moving. So what was a 2-mile last week became a 1.5-mile hike today.
backcountryrunner
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 192
Utah, United States
Posted: Tue 16 Mar 2010 12:21 am GMT   topTop
An update - I purchased a Garmin Forerunner 310XT several months ago, and I really like it. As we're still in winter lock-down here, I haven't been able to take it on any trail runs deep into the backcountry. We'll see how it performs there. But so far it seems as accurate as our full-size Garmin 60CSx. It's amazing what they can pack into a tiny wrist-bound computer (it is not watch sized - it's actually kind of bulky).

Two big reasons why I think the 310XT is better than others: 1) it has a 20-hr battery life! Other units may have, say, 8 hours, but that's not long enough for long training runs -- or ultras, if you use it during a race. 2) it's waterproof. Obviously important for inclement weather experienced on the trails.