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Poll: Tracking the Love (Part I)

Posted by Filed Under: Gear & Apparel, GPS & Mapping

running gearLast December I received my very first (and only) Garmin GPS. It changed the way I ran. Before and after each run I lovingly stroke it against my cheek. I would sell my soul in the blink of an eye to always have mine by my side. That is how much I love my Garmin.

But loved or unloved, there are many types of tracking devices to provide feedback to runners on running time, distance, heart rate, pace, and calories burned. And, in a shameless attempt to take advantage of technology while at the same time provide readers with information regarding these devices, I need you to
show me the love.

Vote here and let us know what tracking device you use and why. Be sure and check back next week for results and more information about tracking devices for runners. The more you tell, the more electronic devices I can exploit. Let the exploitation begin.

Note: If the poll does not respond (hangs), please click on the title of this post and try again.

[poll=3]

Why? (leave me a comment)

About Susan

I am a runner.I run to keep myself on track physically, mentally, and to ensure I do not spend all my money on shoes.



20 Comments
  1. Bob on September 20th at 1:30 pm

    I heart my Garmin 305 the distance, pace and HR feedback all on my wrist is something I just can’t imagine not having now that I have it. I know for a fact I train smarter and set more realistic goals having this feedback.

  2. Jessica on September 20th at 1:33 pm

    I use Nike+ because it’s cheap and requires no extra equipment since I already run with an ipod. Part of me really likes all the neat stats you an get from the fancier systems, but that also can get very distracting for me.

  3. Blaine Moore (Run to Win) on September 20th at 1:36 pm

    I use a regular wrist watch to track my runs. It tells me how long I’ve been running. I have a pretty good sense of my own pace, so I can usually tell you about how far and how long I’ve been running without the watch. With the watch, I can tell you fairly accurately how far I’ve gone.

    If I need to know the distance, I’ll use my bicycle or my truck to measure, or else I’ll estimate it using an online mapping software.

    If I need to know my weight, I’ll step on the scale before/after the run (although I usually limit weighing myself to first thing in the morning).

    If I need to know my heart rate, I’ll find my pulse with my index and middle fingers and count.

    I used a pedometer once. It wasn’t very accurate.

  4. Ed on September 20th at 1:46 pm

    I use nothing, though I would really like to get a Nike+. I am intrigued by it because of the iPod integration.

  5. Austin on September 20th at 1:59 pm

    I started with a Nike Triax V10, upgraded after my first marathon to a Triax Elite (I wanted to be able to plan my workouts in advance and have the watch help me measure myself against my goals). I finally got tired of the fact that my stride changed so much when I was tired that the accelerometer-based distance measurement wasn’t accurate at the end of any long runs, so I switched to a Garmin 305. I’m a data addict – I can’t imagine not knowing how far I’ve run on any given day anymore.

    One thing the Nikes did far better than the Garmin, however, was accurately measuring me against limits I set, such as keeping my heart rate or pace between two points and warning me when I was out of the range. The Garmin has great difficulty noticing when I’ve left the range (or re-entered it again), so I’ve basically stopped training this way, which is a shame, as I found it quite useful for what I was trying to do.

  6. Laurie on September 20th at 2:16 pm

    I use my Garmin 205 because I am obsessed with numbers. I love knowing how far I have gone without charting out a course ahead of time. I also the graphs and course info when I download my workouts.

  7. thodarumm on September 20th at 4:38 pm

    Groan…no, no..
    For months, I have lusted over the Garmin Forerunner 305 and the Polar F11 and managed to convince myself, I am not an athlete, I don’t need these. Dang, I think I cannot take it anymore. I am gonna break down.

  8. Dave on September 20th at 5:00 pm

    I went for the Forerunner 305 because I’d used Garmin for hiking and have had great experience with them.

  9. IHateToast on September 20th at 5:03 pm

    my husband is the gadget geek. okay, i am, too, but we can only aford one geek tool and i let him wear the crown with great pride. i just run around and then track it afterwards on mapmyrun dot com.
    i do sometimes use my husband’s garmin, but i often run where the satellites can’t find me. i get really annoyed that my pixel-self stops to pant and my virtual trainer passes me. i resent that.

  10. Dianna on September 20th at 7:23 pm

    Nike Triax v10 (cv10?). Usually, I love it. And it’s as accurate as any other gadget really – 98%ish. With age, it has become harder to remove the battery cover, which needs to be removed once every four weeks or so. I choose Nike because I run in an area that won’t pick up decent gps signals.

  11. Jon in Michigan on September 21st at 4:08 am

    I used a Garmin 201(?). I got it because everyone said that the Timex ones sucked and I didn’t know there were other brands. Then I found out that Garmin makes the guts for Timex and that the Garmin’s break constantly. They have a very nice return policy, but you can almost count on having to send yours back. Mine has clunked out several times since then, but because its out of warranty, I have to knock it against something to “repair” it.

    The Garmin does so-so with tracking. If you are in a big open field on a bright sunny day, there’s a good chance it will track well. Heavy clouds or trees? Forget it. If you run trails its almost useless. I’ve yet to get an accurate measure of a certified course.

    It does do a very good job for Geocaching though.

  12. massoman on September 21st at 8:09 am

    i use a garmin 101. i thought it was the most straight forward tracking device without HR capabilities for the price. i now think the garmin 201 is probably the best value because, unlike the 101 which requires aaa batteries, the 201 is rechargable. i know the latest nike thing is inexpensive if you already own a ipod, but i do not. i prefer to run without music.

  13. Mark Iocchelli on September 21st at 8:41 am

    I tried 3 or 4 heart rate/speed+distance+heart rate monitors.

    My first was a base line Polar but it cross-talked with other Polar monitors (one of my friends ran with one) so I ditched it.

    Then, I tried a Nike but the casing fell apart after a very short time.

    In the end, I returned to Polar and bought their extremely durable, top-end 625X Running Computer. It does everthing including the laundry. It, like the Nikes, uses an accelerometer footpod and, once calibrated, is unbelievably accurate. It was about 300 meters off on my last marathon (42,200 meters). That’s only 0.7%!

  14. Joe Ely on September 21st at 2:26 pm

    I use the Garmin 201, have had it for nearly 2 years. It just works. Plenty accurate for me and I really like the training assistant feature.

    I’m not quite as infatuated with it as Runner Susan is but it is a cool tool.

    And, like Jon, it doubles wonderfully for geocaching. Wow, two hobbies with one gadget.

  15. Linda on September 21st at 8:08 pm

    I run prairie trails and I love my Garmin. I even use it when we ride different pastures so I don’t get lost.

  16. Dawn - Pink Chick on September 21st at 8:09 pm

    If I wasn’t already married, I’d propose to Mr V. Mr V is my Garmin 301 and I’m very much in love with him. We spend a lot of time together and he’s almost always on my arm.

    I do hate it when he yells at me to speed up and that does happen a lot. Doesn’t he realize I sometimes just have to take a break. He can be a very push fellow. However, he’s also not very patient when I get ahead. I think he hates that even more. I occassionaly hear him panting when he says “Slow Down”.

    He’s great for interval training like 30/30’s, my fav. I like that I can set him to tell me how I do at each Km lap and how many calories. Hmmm that equals how much I can eat later…lol.

    It’s also fun beating him when I set him up as a virtual partner and finally all those cool graphs I can post and impress my other slow blogging friend. Heh, I can actually see my progress and oh yeah, lack there of sometime.

    He’s not perfect but then what guy is so I will keep him …. for now. ;-)

  17. Mark Iocchelli on September 21st at 8:11 pm

    I want to go on record that I was the first person to actually name his gadget and she is called “Gretchen”.

  18. iliketoast on September 22nd at 10:07 pm

    It took me about 2 years before I could run without my Garmin ….. I had to let go …. I love this device so much, but it just isn’t good for me … too long pushing the buttons, checking pace, checking distance covered, seeing how the little virtual man was doing and then running smack into a tree or parked car

  19. Lake Runner on October 10th at 1:55 pm

    My reply of ‘none’ is not quite true as I do own some kind of Timex sportswatch (no heart rate monitor or anything) – and I do measure the distances on a map (manually…so they are ‘about’ rather than ‘exact’).

    But I keep forgetting to press the start / stop / split button on my watch…as I find myself out for a run, enjoying the scenary, and thinking about other things than my running times…so only get to actually time one out of every 2 runs!

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