Petestack Blog

30 January 2010

Forerunner 310XT

Filed under: Running — admin @ 9:28 pm

While I’ve been very happy with my Garmin Forerunner 305 as a training/pacing/recording aid for three years, I’ve just bought the new 310XT with this year’s West Highland Way Race in mind. Mainly for the increased 20-hour battery life (which should be enough to see me home if all goes to plan!), although its ability to use British Grid as well as just lat/long for navigation could also be useful for further adventures away from the beaten path.

Anyway, it got its first outing today on an icy run to the Blackwater Dam and back by the Ciaran Path and my initial observations/thoughts go something like this:

  • It works, and feels reassuringly familiar to a 305 user.
  • The new soft-strap heart rate monitor is nice and was worth getting even though the 305’s monitor will work.
  • The watch strap retainer has a kind of super-secure interlocking system (not something I’ve seen on a retainer before when they’re usually just loops) that makes the end of the strap just a little awkward to feed in and out of it.
  • The new wireless computer interfacing is nice and I’m pleased to be able to download the data to both the Garmin Connect online thingy (looks like I can use that with the 305 as well?) and my existing Training Center software. (Garmin Connect has some nifty fun features like ‘movies’ of your run superimposed on a base map or satellite imagery, but it’s online and I like to have my data stored and accessed locally.)
  • Training Center and Garmin Connect have given me different elevation/altitude figures for the run, which seems a little curious?
  • The watch screen appeared to be briefly (and very lightly) misted inside at one point, but I’m not too concerned about that right now (think the 305 might also have done this from time to time, but can always consult Garmin support).

And that’s about it for now. Not giving up on my trusty 305 because it was a present, I love it and am quite happy to have the choice (and/or a reserve device), but the 310XT clearly has the advantage where battery life or potential navigational use (for which I’ve never used the 305) are concerned.

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