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Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS Personal Training Device

Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS personal training deviceGarmin's Forerunner 301 is similar to the company's very popular 201 model, with the addition of a heart rate monitor and the ability to set up profiles for running, biking and another sport, and to set up workouts with specific durations and targets.

According to the Garmin corporate website:

The Forerunner 301 includes the following smart features:

- Auto Pause pauses and resumes training timer based on a specified speed so you never have to start or stop the timer.

- Auto Lap records lap data when you reach a specified distance so you never have to punch the lap button.

- AutoLearn feature learns user’s heart rate zones, adjusting them as fitness levels improve.

- Virtual Partner lets you train against a digital person at specified time, distance or pace goals.

- AutoScroll cycles through data pages during a workout.

The Amazon.com website features a useful table that compares the 101, the 201 and the 301 models.

Outside magazine commented:

Leave it to the GPS pros at Garmin to thoroughly idiot-proof heart-rate training: The company's new Forerunner 301—our pick for Gear of the Year—is a no-brainer digital coach. It's ideal for runners, trekkers, cyclists, paddlers, and anyone else who wants to collect satellite-enhanced workout data in the field and crunch the numbers later.

PC Magazine said:

When you're out running, you shouldn't lose track of where you're going. That can be tough, though, when you hit the sidewalk in a new town. The Garmin Forerunner 301 is more than just a heart-rate monitor: It also tracks distance, speed, pace, and calories burned, and its built-in GPS sensor provides basic navigation. The unit is bulky, and you won't win any style points—but at least you won't find yourself running in circles.

The G4 website wrote:

The Garmin Forerunner 301 is on my products wish list. I find endurance training an agonizingly boring experience even with my MP3 player in hand. With the Forerunner and the data it provides during and after the run, exercising becomes much more enjoyable. Now I can literally see the improvement both physically and on the computer screen. I'd recommend the Forerunner 301 to any outdoor enthusiast dedicated to endurance training or just looking for motivation to keep in shape.

Pros: Virtual Trainer; Measure Numerous Metrics; PC Based Data Analysis.

Cons: AutoLearn for Running Only.

According to the GPSTracklog blog:

The Forerunner is a very nice, lightweight (only 2.6 ounces!) GPS receiver that straps to your wrist. Ideal for runners, this flagship Forerunner model includes a heart rate monitor as well.

Now I go at outdoor activities fairly aggressively, but I consider myself an explorer, not an athelete in training. And while the Forerunner was a lot of fun, it is best suited for those wanting to track their heart rate and performance. It is not a great navigation device.

Sure, it can point you in the direction of a waypoint, or navigate along a route, but most GPS receivers have much more flexibility when it comes to navigation. The 301 suffers from a limit of 100 waypoints, and you cannot upload tracks to it. But here's an amazing statistic...the 301 is the top selling GPS on Amazon! I'm betting there are a lot of runners and lightweight backpackers who consider this the ideal receiver.

* Get the Latest Price on the Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS Personal Training Device.

June 8th, 2006

 

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