The Tarahumara running technique may help you!

The Tarahumara or Rarámuri are a Native American people of northwestern Mexico who are known for their long-distance running ability. The Tarahumara Indians are known for their track races across mountains and canyons The men refer to themselves as Rarámuri which means "runners on foot" or "those who run fast". The long-distance ...

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Garmin Forerunner 305

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Bicycling with the Garmin Forerunner 305

Using the Garmin Forerunner 305 for bicycle training If you decide to use a Garmin Forerunner 305 for your bicycle training you will have the benefit of getting more information than you get with a typical bike computer. At the end of the ride the 305 will not only tell you the ...

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Garmin Forerunner 305 vs Garmin Forerunner 405

Do you wonder what the difference is between the Garmin Forerunner 305 and Garmin Forerunner 405? You can see the specs below. Besides the difference in design and size the main differences are that 405 has wireless data transfer and a touch bezel. The touch-sensitive bezel controls the most of ...

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In many ways it is the software and what you can do with it and not the device itself that makes the Garmin 305 special. Most GPS based devices dump the data to GPX files and with the data you can do more or less the same things. With the graphical ...

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Product review of the Garmin Forerunner 305 sports and fitness GPS watch

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Garmin Forerunner 305 Pros and Cons

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Garmin forerunner 305 vs 405

If you are considering buying a Garmin running watch but in doubt whether to buy the Garmin Forerunner 305 or the Garmin Forerunner 405 then read along. In the following I have gathered my experience with the two running watches in an overview. I already have the 305 but I ...

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Review of the Nike+ SportWatch GPS powered by TomTom

The Nike plus Sports Watch is a running watch which has given Garmin much needed competition

With the Nike+ Sports Watch a new player has entered the market for GPS watches in a market where Garmin until now has been dominating. Nike’s product is quite different from Garmin’s products. It is a running watch with style. The watch is nicely designed, functional and easy to use and set-up, but depending on your needs it may lack a few key features. Read on and find out if the Nike+ GPS watch may be something for you.

Easy Set-up

The watch is very easy to set-up and use for the first time. Take the watch, press the button, wait for about 20-30 seconds until the satellite connection is established and run!

Thanks to the TomTom GPS sensor it picks up satellite signals within seconds. (Unfortunately it is not all users who are satisfied with the ability to pick up GPS satellite signals; some have reported serious problems especially in urban built-up areas).

When you have pressed the green button the watch begins to search for a compatible Nike heart rate monitor (not included in the box) or foot pod (included in box) within range and if it finds a sensor it will automatically connect to the device for the duration of the run. If you want to start running before the watch has received a GPS satellite signal, then the food pod will kick in and record data until a GPS signal is found.

The Nike sports watch has no advanced menus. Unlike the Garmin running watches the Nike+ Sports GPS watch measures your speed and distance when you run – and that’s basically it. It is both an advantage and a disadvantage. An advantage, because it is easy to use, but a disadvantage because many experienced runners will be missing some key features.

One of the shortcomings is the ability to see only two fields of data during the run. I personally like to see average speed, heart rate, elapsed time, current pace, and distance run. You have to scroll through the fields to see the additional fields of data and I cannot do that while I concentrate about running.

The design of the Nike plus watch makes it stand out

The watch comes in black or green. Nike’s partnership with Apple seems to have become more than strategic, the design is really great! It is no wonder that Nike picked up two Innovation Awards at the Consumer Electronics Show. It has a good, clear display and easy buttons, and this is a big advantage which many other running watches lack. If you want to start or pause your workouts then you simply press the green button. Nike has also been thinking about the design and the colors. The detail of connecting the USB into to the wrist strap is really cool.

The watch is comfortable to wear and not too heavy or bulky like some of the other Garmin Forerunner watches I have tested.

Nike+ footpod

The Nike + watch also works with the Nike + footpod which can be placed in the special hole in the sole of some of Nike’s running shoes. The foot pod included in the box makes it possible to use the watch indoors if you are training on a treadmill.

Nike+ Heart Rate Monitor

There is no heart rate monitor included in the box but it is possible to connect with a heart rate monitor. The Nike+ GPS watch is compatible with the Polar Wearlink+ Transmitter heart-rate transmitter. If you use a Polar heart rate monitor you can track and record your pulse. The Nike watch pairs with the heart rate in a few seconds and then displays your current heart rate when in training mode.

The Nike+ watch has a calorie counter

You can train to reach calorie targets as well as time and distance goals. Like other most other running watches the Nike + running watch uses your body weight, speed and distance to calculate how many calories you’ve burned during your run

Connect it to your computer

When you connect the watch to your computer for the first time you are taken to the Nike + running portal. Here you are asked to download a small program that allows you to change various settings. It works both on Macs and PCs. The download goes really fast and the program installs in seconds and you do not need to reboot your computer.

First time you connect you will be first asked if you are female or male, your weight and the desired units (metric vs standard etc). You also have the option of more advanced features, such automatic laps, intervals, and which detailed statistics you want displayed on the watch. All these selections are optional.

Nike has a motivating website

The watch is meant to be used with Nike’s website nikeplus.com, where you do most of the settings of the watch. Instead of just running and keeping all the data on your watch, you can upload them directly to the Nike Running portal by plugging the watch on your computer.

The Nike GPS watch has concealed the USB plug in the watch strap, and it can be snapped out quickly and easily when you want to upload your runs. The upload takes only a few seconds.

Part of the Nike website philosophy is to make you stay motivated. I was very surprised to get a video greeting from an American athlete the first time I completed a long run.

The portal also acts as a powerful reporting tool, where you can view and track all your past runs, share them with friends and set new fitness goals. It remembers your personal best times and distances and congratulates you when have run a new longest distance or fastest time.

You can view all of your past workouts in calendar format and further investigate speed, distance and time.

The Nike software appears to be robust and bug free. It is a good web application but I think more experienced runners would find the Nike Running portal lacking in detail as it has none of the powerful features of the Garmin Connect portal.

I have a fast computer but because the website is Flash based it may suck the memory out of your computer. Some users are complaining about this issue, and it could be great if Nike could rewrite their application to minimize the use of flash. I also found that the website has some incompatibility issues with Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers meaning that you may be asked to log-in several times. If you get the right browser it will work, but I think it would be great it Nike had made their web-site compatible with mainstream browsers.

Nike Heat Maps

If you do not know where to go for run and which route to take the Heat Map allows you to view popular routes in your neighborhood.

Interval Training

Using your PC or Mac you can easily set up advanced interval workouts. This is a great way to do interval training workouts so you do not have to concentrate about details of the distance or minutes while you are training.

Auto Lap

The Nike + Sport Watch GPS auto lap feature is very useful. Using the built-in GPS sensor, the watch detects the required lap distance you have run and automatically starts a new lap.

Your own or Nike’s Training Plans

Nike’s web portal offer customized programs for distances like 5k, 10k, half marathon, and a full marathon. If you do not want to enroll in the courses designed by Nike you can easily design your own course. Nike will reward you with trophies and motivational videos to keep you on track. Current users of the Nike + iPhone app will be familiar with this.

Battery Life

The Nike+ battery life is nine hours according to the manual. But I think that the battery life is less than what it claims to be. After a couple of short 1 hour runs the battery completely died. It would normally not be a big deal but I had to completely reconfigure the watch again and I lost the entire workout history that was stored on the watch.

In training mode you get the option of switching the GPS sensor, the heart rate monitor and/or foot pod connection on or off. If you switch off the receivers it will increase the battery life but I think that you would normally have these features on otherwise you may as well just use a normal watch.

The Nike+ sportswatch comes with a Nike+ foot pod and charging cable, but you do not always need a wall socket because the watch has a USB plug integrated into the band so you can plug the watch directly into your laptop or computer to charge the battery while uploading your workout data to the Nike website.

The Nike+ running watch could be a great running watch for you

My overall conclusion is that if you are a more relaxed and less detailed-hungry runner or if using too much technology is not something that you like, the Nike watch could be a great running watch for you, but if you are into many details and features – there are plenty of Garmin GPS watches to choose from!

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