Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wish list item #1: GPS watch for running

While I'm nursing injuries from ileotibial band syndrome (ITBS) and trying to figure out if a leg is really shorter than the other I find myself thinking of things that I want to have as my training picks up again. Of course, I have to see what PT says when I see them on Tuesday first. Anyway, I'm getting really tired of having to carry my phone to use the GPS tracking app to record times, distances, routes, etc. It would make no sense to get an iTouch either because I'd still have to carry that around too. I do use a running waist pack, but it rides up and can be a bit bothersome during a long run. The easiest fix for this is to get a GPS watch that will do all the above, transfer information onto the computer, act as a trainer, etc. I've got a few choices to look at and decide over, but I'm really having a hard time deciding. I'm vacillating between a NIKE GPS Sportwatch, Garmin 610 or a Garmin 910XT. So let me go through the pros and cons that I see in each one as far as I can tell through reading user reviews:

NIKE+ GPS Sportwatch 
Pros - Seems lighter and not as bulky as the others; easy to read, large display; virtual workout partner; upload to Nike+ website; cheapest option at $199.
Cons - Reviews seem to be mixed; GPS tracking is reported to be a bit flaky; no altimeter to measure elevation.

Garmin Forerunner 610
Pros - Touch screen; virtual workout partner; vibrate notification mode; download info to Garmin website; can track health info like body fat, body water and other measures with link to a special scale; virtual trainer; auto pause.
Cons - Pricey ~$350 for the watch alone...extra for a heart rate monitor and foot pod for indoor training (can be purchased with both options for $409 on eBay); battery life questionable; GPS accuracy issues; bulky; altimeter readings  
                                  off; special scale is ~$249.

Garmin Forerunner 910XT - This is the newest addition to the Garmin line.
Pros - Clear reading screen; training partner; training mode; accurate GPS/altimeter; can be used swimming (hope to get over my water phobia and do tri's eventually); download to Garmin and laptop; can connect to multiple scales and gym equipment; auto pause; optional heart rate monitor and foot pod.
Cons - Most expensive at ~$400 for the receiver alone; probably way more than I need; too big to wear as an everyday watch; poor battery life.

Decisions, decisions...

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