Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS Watch Review.

I think i did it again!

boxed

I went in too deep for my level! Oh well in for a penny in for a pound, so they say…

This watch is FANTASTIC! BUT…… Its so much more than i need. I’m not a triathlete, I don’t do multi-workout days and I don’t really swim too often. Though if i was, or did, or even wanted to try timing myself in the pool, I could, with this watch.

Garmin Forerunner 310XT Waterproof Running GPS With USB ANT Stick and Heart Rate Monitor Sport, Fitness, Training, Health, Exercise Gear

Just look at that title, it pretty much summarizes what this watch is all about. It is a waterproof GPS watch with a heart rate monitor attachment. It is designed for triathletes, as there are features for running training, cycling and swimming.

I must admit i got this watch when i was getting pretty serious about training in my army days. I’d just signed up for my first triathlon and I wanted to record everything. I don’t think I ever actually lived up to the watches expectations. However, For all the training that I did do, this watch was a solid, if not perfect companion. A coach almost.

Look and Feel

It was my first GPS watch and i expected it to be clunkier (if that’s a word), like a mini arm-computer. But its surprisingly comfortable and light. The rubber straps are chunky and it feels safe and secure when the buckle is attached. It is a funky orange and grey colour which i liked. It looks modern and professional. The screen itself is large enough, clear and simple, the backlight can also be adjusted in the options. The buttons are large enough the feel a good press on them but not too big to take over the whole face and side. The menu is straightforward to navigate and again, the simplicity of it is part of the attraction for me.

Features

What doesnt it do!? So as i’ve mentioned this watch is designed for triathletes, it covers all 3 disciplines. You can select your sport by holding down the mode button at the start. I found that because i ran more often than any other, it was useful that it just defaults to the previous settings. You can set it to just run, or you can input interval training sessions, with time or distance variables. There is a ‘virtual partner’ section, which you can set your pace and use it to stay on track with the little running man.

The cycling and swimming features are similar, though there are accessories that can be used with the watch for cycling such as cadence meters, cycle mounts etc. And obviously its waterproof so the swim section is covered. Though i’m not sure how well the GPS work under the water as i havent actually been outdoors swimming with it.

cycle

The GPS itself is fantastic. Once it has found the satellites and got a signal (signal strength meter is clear), I never had any trouble with it. I ran, through trees, near buildings etc. If you do happen to run through a tunnel for example, the watch will just track the two points of the signal and track a straight line. Very nicely done!

One cool option for all the serious athletes out there is that it has a multi-sport option. So when running the triathlon, you can transit the modes between swimming to cycling, to running, with a single press., tracking the overall time and the splits of each event.

multisport

Accessories

The watch comes with a USB stick that you can upload the data onto and analyse your runs, these can be saved and stored. It also comes with a heart-rate monitor. This is a strap that you wear on your chest. I struggled with this if i’m honest. I found it difficult to keep in place, uncomfortable and unreliable, I didn’t really trust the readings, probably because i spent half my time adjusting it on my run. It may have just been me, but this is my review after all.

This watch is one of the devices that can be used with the Tanita BC1000 Body Composition Monitor that i have mentioned in a previous review…… Tanita BC1000 Review . You turn the scales on with the watch and then it gives you your basic body composition measurements. This is very useful if you do not have the tabletop read out for the scales.

tanita

Other accessories that can be purchased include, different heart rate straps, quick releases for bicycles, cadence sensors, power sensors, etc. all depending on your specialism and requirements.

Pros and Cons

Pros

– Ability to last 20 hours
– Waterproof
– Ability to connect to ANT+ USB stick
– Smaller than normal GPS watches
– Multisport option
– Simple, user friendly interface
– Fast, reliable satellite reception

Cons

– Heartrate monitor, difficult and uncomfortable
– Expensive for novice athlete
– Maybe ‘too many features’ if only used for specific sports.

Summary

In summary, I LOVE THIS WATCH. I really do. Yes it was expensive and yes it is probably too in depth for my level. But for anything that i do need it for its there. I love the screen, the simplicity, the accuracy and the overall feel of it. I actually feel serious when i put it on. It might sound odd, and I touched on it earlier but it feels like a mini supportive coach when out there in the cold, trying to better yourself. This watch gets a massive thumbs up from me!

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