Garmin Forerunner 310XT
CUSTOMER REVIEWS: "This is the best GPS watch I have ever used for triathlon. The vibrating alarms for heart rate zones, speed, cadence and the ability to measure many metrics puts the Garmin Forerunner 310XT in a class by itself." - John R.
Our 2013 Thoughts On This Watch
Forerunner 310XT is still, 4 years after it's introduction, the single best triathlon watch on the market today for under $275. For watches that will endure a full Ironman with battery to spare it is one of the few options, a side from its successor the Garmin Forerunner 910XT.
Good triathlon watches are difficult to find because of the battery life and three sport metric requirements and Garmin 310XT pioneered this with great style and became a bell weather by which to measure triathlon watches.
"I still don't think there is a better value on the market for a triathlon watch", says Rusty. He adds, "As long as Garmin continues to carry the Garmin 310XT we will sell it because at $200 less than the 910XT all it is missing is laps, strokes and a barometric altimeter, so it is one heck of a good value".
Finally, GPS watch that isn't afraid of the water. The rugged Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS watches are the indispensable triathlon training tool - a GPS-enabled, swim-proof trainer that tracks bike and run data and sends it directly to your computer.
The Garmin Forerunner 310XT has up to 20 hours of battery life, tracks distance, pace and heart rate (optional), and goes from wrist to bike in seconds. This watch is hands down the best heart rate monitor watch for 2009. In fact it is probably one of the best GPS watches in history, a bold statement that this watch can back up with performance.
Time Your Swim
The swim-proof Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS watches are waterproof to a depth of 50 meters, so you can wear it in the pool or the lake to time your swim. And its slim design and flexible wristband mean Forerunner is easy to wear in any conditions.
When you're ready to jump out of the water and onto the bike, the Garmin Forerunner 310XT moves easily from wrist to bike with the optional quick release and bike mounts, making the transition between sports effortless. Forerunner 310XT categorizes multi-sport activities in one workout and can also log transition time in the process, so you can analyze your performance from start to finish.
Collect Workout Data
The Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS watches tracks your position precisely with GPS satellite data and records distance, pace, heart rate (optional), power data (from ANT+-enabled third-party power meters) and more. High-sensitivity GPS and HotFix satellite prediction mean Forerunner acquires satellites quickly and tracks your movement even near tall buildings or under tree cover.
And using innovative ANT+ wireless technology, Garmin Forerunner 310XT connects seamlessly to an optional heart rate monitor, foot pod and cadence sensor. When paired with the optional wireless heart rate monitor, Forerunner 310XT continuously tracks beats per minute and uses heart rate data in advanced calorie computation. Train in a certain heart rate zone to improve fitness and monitor your level of exertion.
Run, Sync, Store and Share
Once you've logged the miles, innovative ANT+TM wireless technology automatically transfers data to your computer when these GPS watches are in range.
No cables, no hookups. The data is just there, ready for you to analyze, categorize and share through our online community, Garmin Connect or our optional Garmin Training Center software. You can even plan workouts on your computer and then send them to your Forerunner.
Rusty's Year Long Analysis Of The Garmin 310XT
We started off our review of the Garmin Forerunner 310XT trying to be a skeptical as we could. It's more sort of prove to me
what you can do type of approach.
What Triathletes Really Need
In triathlon needs are going to vary somewhat depending upon the distance. Sprint, or Olympic, distance is like an all-out war
and there isn't much time to mess with stuff. Transitions have to be fast, crisp and well planned. For a short course race I would
likely wear the Forerunner 310XT on my wrist from start to finish because there is no time to waste strapping it to and detaching it
from a bike. For the most part you are just gathering your data and perhaps using it to pace your run.
In a long course triathlon, or full Ironman, and even in a one-half Ironman, I could see strapping it to the bike mount in T1 and
taking it back off again in T2. The bike distances are much longer and to the extent that you can use your watts and heart rate
data for pacing you are going to be much better off.
The key with the Garmin 310XT is not so much for racing. It is for training to help you establish the proper output and pacing
by using all of its features.
How close can you operate to your anaerobic threshold in a sprint, full and half Ironman. What should be your watts output on the
bike that is sustainable? What type of cadence and stride should you establish running and what heart rate zone can you effectively
operate at? How often do you drink and eat based upon the distance. These are the kinds of questions that must be answered.
These are the kinds of questions the Garmin Forerunner 310XT can help you answer and it is the successful programming of these answers
into the watch to create heart rate, cadence, power, and even drinking alerts that makes the watch such a huge tool on race day.
On The Bike
Quite frankly, the display screen on the 310XT is better than the screen on 90% of the bike computer's we
have ever tested and it is a watch. It beats every watch we've ever tested for screen clarity and the number of metrics you can put on
each screen, so it is the best cycling watch with no exceptions. The fact that it syncs with ANT+ watts meters is a real plus
because it can literally replace any bike computer.
On the Run
The battery life of the Forerunner 310XT being roughly 15 hours makes it exceptionally well suited to ultra runners because it
can go the distance. It is also one of the only GPS watches, the Timex Ironman Global Trainer being the other, that can last
long enough for full Ironman and ultra competitions.
If you have a pre-determined pace you would like to hit in terms of minutes per mile pace, just program it into the watch and you'll
have a virtual running partner pacing you the whole way letting you know just how far ahead of, or behind, pace you actually are.
We found this to be a good motivator.
But Its So Big
Actually, the size of the Garmin Forerunner 310XT isn't that big of a deal. Once you put it on your wrist you'll notice that it doesn't
feel any bigger and without the large screen it wouldn't work nearly as well.
Picking Up Good Vibrations
I've got to admit that it is easy to get addicted to the vibratory alerts, especially if you like to ride or run with your
iTunes blazing. The slight vibration lets you know when any of your parameters have been violated, so if too much Nickelback
is putting you into the red zone it'll tell you when to back off.
Recent Firmware Updates
The Garmin Forerunner 310XT has been recently updated to allow it to measure distance in open water swims thanks to a firmware
update by Garmin's engineers. If you swim with a wetsuit we'd recommend keeping the watch over the suit.
All in all we can't think of a better overall triathlon watch, especially if you want to eliminate all the other accessories
and internal sensors.
This is the best endurance fitness watch in the world - hands down! We don't make this statement lightly. This watch was designed with input from world-class athletes and it shows. This watch is guaranteed to blow you away.
copyright 2013, Rusty Squire, author, firstname.lastname@example.org