5 or 6 weeks ago, on a 17 miler, my Garmin Forerunner 305 had a low battery warning. I was running with David Weary and we figured he could email me his GPX (the data from the run) file if it were to die. The watch made it to the end of the run, but I knew its day are numbered. This watch is actually my 3rd or 4th Garmin 305. They do not have a user replaceable battery, so when the battery dies you send it back to Garmin. You pay a reasonable fee ($75 or $85 dollars, as i recall) and they send you a brand new “refurbished” watch. I looked into it, though and the 305 is discontinued. I did not find if they are making refurbished versions. I had a birthday coming up so I talked myself into a new watch.
I bought the Garmin 310xt, which the closest replacement. I had it several days and had lots of trouble getting it to communicate with my computer so I sent it back. Then I talked myself into the ultimate runners watch- the Garmin Forerunner 620. I am still figuring out all the things that it can do, but so far I know this one thing. I am very pleased with its ability to communicate.
After my first run with it, I plugged it via USB into the computer and I had no issues downloading the data from the run to Garmins’s online software – Garmin Connect. Once I get the data there, now-a-days, I am good to go. I use a website called Tapiriik which is set to automatically sync the data from Garmin to Strava, Training Peaks (my main running log), Runkeeper (which exports to Sears Fit for the free points.) and Sporttracks (which I used to use heavily). All my data is in all 4 locations now. The only problem with Tapiriik is that it may sometimes take an hour to get around to doing the sync. If I am in a hurry, I have to manually do it.
As I have become more familiar with the 620 though I am discovering some cool capabilities. It has wifi, so when I get home, I push a button and it sends the latest run through the wifi connection straight to Garmin Connect. Then I can shower and change and take my time getting to my computer. When I do so, Tapiriik has usually already synced the run to the various sites – though not always.
I found that the 620 also has bluetooth and Garmin Connect App for my phone. So now, if I am out somewhere at the end of a run. I can pair the watch to the phone and send the data online. On the app, I can give the run a name and such. Tapiriik finds it and syncs it to Strava et al while I drive home. Today, my run was synced to all the sites before I got home. Very Cool….
The run, by the way, was a run with the Hillview Club from Marie Kerr, up and over the Bunny Hill and down 55th to N and then to McDonalds for some post race smoothie refreshments. The knee felt great for most of the run except for one little section coming down 55th. It acted up just a bit there and then calmed down again.
This weekend Clay and I are heading to Carlsbad to run the Carlsbad 5000. My goal – get a medal. The top 250 runners in the Masters race will get one. Last year the 250th finisher finished in exactly 21 minutes. If i have a good day, I think I can do that….