Monday, May 05, 2008


Building back up is almost as boring as tapering – not a whole lot to write about.

Saturday I ended up running 12 miles – giving me 57 miles for the week. Not bad for my first full week back. Now I just have to build on that.

Yesterday and today were both easy 8 mile trail runs.

So I’m thinking about picking up the Garmin 205 or 305. Not that I need one, but REI has them at $125 and $165, which makes them seem worth it. Maybe if I wait long enough, they’ll be sold out and I won’t have to worry about it. I just hate to buy one and then not have it work on the types of trails I mainly run on.

I am curious why people wear their Garmin during a race. And if a course is certified, why do people complain when their Garmin is a tenth of a mile off? I ran a 10K once that turned out to be closer to 7 miles – maybe that’s why people wear them during races. Anyway, I asked 3 different Garmin wearing runners how long the 10K was and I got 3 very different answers.

I knew the Stanford meet last night was a big deal, but seriously, check out the RESULTS to see all the great runners that were there. Or just check out’s recap. And be sure to check out the women’s 5K VIDEO where Team USA Minnesota’s Emily Brown PR’d by a minute to notch the win and meet the Olympic ‘B’ standard (she already has achieved the Olympic ‘A’ standard for the steeplechase).

Of course, before we get too excited here in Minnesota, we have to keep in mind that Shalane Flanagan just ran a faster pace for 10K, than Brown did for 5K. Check out the last 800 meters of her American Record (and Kim Smith’s New Zealand Record) HERE.

Quote of the day;

“Men, today we die a little.” – Emil Zatopek


Kevin L. said...

Hey Chad. I'll give you my perspective as an avid Garmin wearer. First off- I bet you'll be ok on the trails as far as reception- these things pickup signals very well.
I've worn mine in races to try to keep my pace down for the first portion of races, but I think I also get mentally pigeonholed into my pre-race pace in the later miles. Even if I would have otherwise pushed it- I might not event hink about it because I'm hitting "my pace". I'm trying to re-learn to pace in races without it- but it's awesome for training. Especially for running new courses without mapping them, and for getting speedworkouts in away from a track. I have the 305, and it's very versatile for speedwork. I also love it because I subscribe to that low-heart rate business during bas building season. As far as complaining about long courses- I'll ignore it if it's only a few hundreths long because that can be caused by not running tangents, but when it starts getting over .1 miles in a 5k for instance- it makes me question the course a little.

Formulaic said...

Firstly, I have to agree with you about base building. Starting over after an event is so boring/frustrating. There is nothing to report or say. No ground breaking run or lung bursting training. Just slow and steady. Yippie, low HR!

I know it'll get better and I know the training is SUPER important, but it is very boring.

Secondly, I like to use the 305 for pacing on the course. A lot of times there are no mile markers or they are way off, so using the race markers can really screw with your pace. Also, if the course is REALLY long, it helps to know that it wasn't you 'having a bad day' but that the course was long. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but I really mean that you can use the true distance as the measuring stick rather than what you 'thought' was the distance.

Thomas said...

I got a 305 a few months ago, and it's incredibly addictive. I can't run without any more!

I wore it for a race yesterday, and experimented with the heart rate alarm (an experiment that won't be repeated).

Of course it also measured the course as a bit over .1 miles long, but I won't question the accuracy. After all, even if it was indeed long, it was still the same distance for everyone else out there.

Anonymous said...


Jan and I share a 205 and we love it. Kevin is right -- reception is never an issue (it was with Jan's old 201). It almost always gets a signal.

Jan uses it all the time, but I'm more "old school" -- I think it can take away some running "self-awareness" that I like to have.

That said, previous posts have hit upon the best attribute of the unit -- the ability to set up whatever tempo/interval/speed work you want, wherever you want. No more going to a track if you are sick of running around in circles.

I suppose it could be useful in a race where the course is unknown to you or where splits may be off, but I'm still knocking off the "big ones" (i.e., Human Race, GiG (oops)) that distance accuracy is generall not an issue.

Adam said...

I've been on team Garmin 305 for a couple years now. I was pretty happy at the time to get mine for $265. I've worn it during a few races mostly so I could see how my perceived effort matched up with my pace at the time. I don't race a ton, so it's also nice to have a pace indicator for the first mile or two. After that, I don't look anymore, because I'd rather go by effort.

In the Get in Gear this year, the second half was really gnarly, especially heading west across the Ford bridge. I didn't want to know what my pace was then. Likewise with the Lake Johanna 4 mile. There was slush and snow all over, and you had to go by effort.

The bottom line for me though is that I really really like to look at charts and graphs, and with the 305 you get some really cool data. One more thing - it's awesome for ski races, where you can look at a really cool Google map of the course.

brent said...

i've been using the 305 since late fall '07. awesome. it does typically take 2-3 minutes to find the satellites which can be a pain in the winter when its chilly or when you just want to walk out the door and hit start. i find it to be very very consistent (eg each lap around lake harriet measures exactly the same every time). i never thought about the skiing angle but that is a good point, this thing can be used for biking, skiing etc with very little tweaking (not so w/polar etc). overall, good tool. my GIG distance measure 6.35 which was frustrating, i have no idea on that one.

Eric said...

I would agree with all the points made here by others on the Garmin. The 305 is nice if you want HR data, but otherwise the 205 is exactly the same.

I wear mine in races to collect data, and in longer races for pacing as well. For example, in my first marathon, the first mile marker put me at 5:45 and the second at 6:00, but I knew from the Garmin that I ran 5:54 and 5:52. Without the Garmin, I would have freaked out.

One point that wasn't mentioned, if you are doing trails in *consistent* tree cover, you will still drop signal occasionally. The solution is the Garmin Foot Pod, which you can pick up for an additional $40 or so (the 'old' version). It's excellent for treadmill use as well.

Anonymous said...

Here are my two cents, I bought 205 last year along with runing in Hyland park, I also use it when I go fishing, I mark all the good spots and keep going back to the same spot and catch my limit, very useful tool for ice fishing as well, can't get lost on the lake, Garmin will bring you back to your starting point.
- Imran