Definitions

power save mode

Garmin Forerunner

The Garmin Forerunner is a Sports Watch range made by Garmin. Most models use Global Positioning System (GPS) and are targeted at road runners and triathletes. The GPS models are designed as an accurate, precise method of measuring distance, speed, time, altitude, and pace, all of which can be important to athletes in training for races.

Six models of the Forerunner exist: the 101, the 201, the 301, the 205, the 305 and the 50. The 201, 205, 301 and 305 models include a docking station and software for uploading run track points to a personal computer, where a user can view a map of their run, see their progression over the course of the run in pace and altitude, and even apply the map of their run over a satellite image of the area where they ran. The 301, 305 and 50 models also record heart rate, which can be also be viewed on the map.

In 2006 Garmin introduced updated versions 205 and 305, which are smaller and which use a much more sensitive GPS receiver chip, SiRFstar III, and also provides users with a feature called Virtual Partner, where users can train against a digital person on their watch

In late 2007 the Forerunner 50 was introduced. This watch uses a footpod instead of GPS for sensing movement. It can also be bought with a heart rate monitor. Another option is for a bike speed/cadence sensor. One unique feature is that it used a wireless USB connector to upload run details.

In 2008, the Forerunner 405 was announced. The watch is the size of a normal wristwatch. It is smaller than all of its predecessors. The watch has a touch sensitive bezel along the edge of its screen for user's to control their watch features. The 405 does not need, or has, a USB connector to upload run details to the computer. It has a wireless data transfer that sends your run details automatically to your computer when you are close to it. It is certified to the same underwater level as the 305. The battery lasts approximately eight hours in training mode and up to two weeks in power save mode.

Criticisms

Since the Forerunner 10x, 20x and 30x are based on GPS technology, it requires a relatively clear view of the sky to the satellites in order to function properly. Consequently, if a user wears their Garmin in an area with heavy tree cover or other blockage of the sky, the Forerunner may not record track points. In doing so, the readout of distance traveled may return a shorter value than the actual distance. Users from the Pacific Northwest have reported regularly encountering this problem. The inclusion of the SiRFstar III GPS microcontroller chip in the 205 and 305 models has largely eliminated such problems. Still, though, users should be aware that the GPS technology itself has inherent additional inaccuracy regarding altitude measurements.

Triathletes often use their Forerunners for running, cycling, and transition training. Due to lack of adequate waterproofing they cannot use the device during their swims.

The Forerunners 201 and 301, however, have a battery life of approximately 15 hours.

History

Garmin registered the Forerunner name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in August, 2001 - many years before the product was introduced.

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