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"I called to order a heart rate monitor and had a better experience than if I had gone into a store in person!! Rusty took the time to help me choose a watch that would match my needs. We picked the Garmin Forerunner 210. Amazingly easy to use!!!!! Even when I accidentally shut it off and called Rusty for help.....was like calling my trainer!! I consider Rusty part of my training team now!! Definitely a Customer for life!! - Erin D., marathon runner

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Garmin fenix 2
Garmin fenix 2
Our Price: $399.99

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First Time Customers Save 10% - code ftc
Our Favorite 5 Features

  • Run oscillation and advanced sports features.
  • Get texts and stay connected.
  • Rugged and built to endure rough conditions.
  • TracBack guides home on the same route.
  • Barometric altimeter for elevation and weather.

Garmin fenix 2 Performer Bundle
Garmin fenix 2 Performer Bundle
Our Price: $449.99

First Time Customers Save 10% - code ftc
Our Favorite 5 Features

  • Run oscillation and advanced sports features.
  • Get texts and stay connected.
  • Rugged and built to endure rough conditions.
  • TracBack guides home on the same route.
  • Barometric altimeter for elevation and weather.

Garmin tactix
Garmin tactix
Our Price: $449.99

First Time Customers Save 10% - ftc
Our Favorite 5 Features

  • #1 GPS watch for military and police.
  • ABC watch offering GPS handheld maps.
  • Rugged and built to endure rough conditions.
  • TracBack guides you along a previously route.
  • Barometric altimeter provides accurate elevation and weather.

Garmin Forerunner 620
Garmin Forerunner 620 Black/Blue
Our Price: $399.99

First Time Customers Save 10% - code ftc
Our Favorite 5 Features
  • Our #1 pick for running watches for 2013.
  • The touch screen is color and high resolution.
  • Run oscillation improves your running efficiency.
  • VO2 max measurement and recovery times.
  • Very light at 1.5 ounces and thin.

Forerunner 620
Garmin Forerunner 620 White Orange HR
Our Price: $449.99

First Time Customers Save 10% - code ftc
Our Favorite 5 Features
  • Our #1 pick for running watches for 2013.
  • The touch screen is color and high resolution.
  • Run oscillation improves your running efficiency.
  • VO2 max measurement and recovery times.
  • Very light at 1.5 ounces and thin.

Forerunner 620
Garmin Forerunner 620 Black/Blue HR
Our Price: $449.99

First Time Customers Save 10% - code ftc
Our Favorite 5 Features
  • Our #1 pick for running watches for 2013.
  • The touch screen is color and high resolution.
  • Run oscillation improves your running efficiency.
  • VO2 max measurement and recovery times.
  • Very light at 1.5 ounces and thin.

Garmin Forerunner 620
Garmin Forerunner 620 White Orange
Our Price: $399.99

First Time Customers Save 10% - code ftc
Our Favorite 5 Features
  • Our #1 pick for running watches for 2013.
  • The touch screen is color and high resolution.
  • Run oscillation improves your running efficiency.
  • VO2 max measurement and recovery times.
  • Very light at 1.5 ounces and thin.

Garmin Forerunner 220
Garmin Forerunner 220 Purple/White GPS Running
Our Price: $249.99

First Time Customers Save 10% - Code ftc
Our Favorite 4 Features
  • Sharp color screen improves the resolution.
  • Water resistant to 50 meters and vibration alerts.
  • No foot pod needed for indoor cadence.
  • World's lightest GPS running watch (1.4 oz.).

Garmin Forerunner 220
Garmin Forerunner 220 Black/Red GPS Running
Our Price: $249.99

First Time Customers Save 10% - Code ftc
Our Favorite 4 Features
  • Sharp color screen improves the resolution.
  • Water resistant to 50 meters and vibration alerts.
  • No foot pod needed for indoor cadence.
  • World's lightest GPS running watch (1.4 oz.).

Forerunner 220
Garmin Forerunner 220 Black/Red GPS HR
Our Price: $299.99

First Time Customers Save 10% - Code ftc
Our Favorite 4 Features
  • Sharp color screen improves the resolution.
  • Water resistant to 50 meters and vibration alerts.
  • No foot pod needed for indoor cadence.
  • World's lightest GPS running watch (1.4 oz.).

   
 

GPS Watch

A GPS Watch Can Take Your Fitness and Fun Factor To The Next Level

GPS watch devices have been at the forefront of a fitness watch revolution over the past few years and, for good reason, as they generate a great amount of data to assess performance with.

A story appeared in the New York Times last year questioning the accuracy of GPS watches as opposed to foot pods but we found quite the opposite depending upon terrain type. For very hilly or mountainous terrain we found GPS watches to be far more accurate. In fact tester John Yarrington found a foot pod to be off by 1 mile in a 17 mile run.

All this is easily explained by the fact that foot pods work off of average stride length so any time you get into a situation where your stride length might change, like run/walk alternation, then you will always find a foot pod to be less accurate. The same thing is true if the steepness of the terrain causes you to greatly adapt your stride length. John Yarrington wrote a lengthy blog post about this topic and all the findings he came up with as he tested foot pods and GPS units side by side.

HOW GPS WORKS

GPS watch devices will Geo-cache locational data simultaneously with biometric data, meaning that location, heart rate, distance, speed and other numbers are recorded. These recordings are generally done on 1, 3, 5 or 10 second intervals but some watches, like the Suunto Ambit 2 allow you to set recording intervals as long as one minute and has over 1,000 apps.

garmin 210
Ryan Hall with his Garmin 210 in Boston

While these longer recording intervals may work well for hiking or mountaineering they do not work as well for sports done at speed like running or cycling. For running or cycling you should set your recording intervals at one second. The reason is that in one minute you could go around two switchbacks in a trail or a road and the watch only records the distance as the shortest point between the two points. One second recording intervals entirely eliminates this issue.

DIFFERENT WATCHES FOR DIFFERENT SPORTS SPECIFIC DATA

The type of GPS watch unit you will need will depend entirely on the type of sport, or sports, that you are participating in. Long course triathletes might need a watch like the Garmin Forerunner 910XT or the Polar RCX5 G5, whereas a runner might get by with something simple like the Timex Run Trainer or Garmin Forerunner 220. A cyclist will need a watch that displays speed in miles or kilometers per hour as and can do pedal cadence like the Garmin 610, Garmin 910XT or Polar RCX5 Bike.

Triathlon competitors that want power data for cycling will need to consider the Garmin Forerunner 910XT or the Garmin Forerunner 910XT as those are the only two watches that gather this type of data.

Mountaineers, hikers and ultra-marathon runners may want to consider a watch like the Suunto Ambit 2 or Garmin fenix because of their longer battery life.

Thus, as you can see, there is no one ideal, one-size-fits-all solution for every situation which is why it pays to talk to an expert.

WHAT TO EXPECT WITH A GPS WATCH

GPS units use lithium-ion rechargeable batteries because GPS takes a lot of power. If these watches used coin cell lithium batteries it could burn up dozens of them per month. This means that you have to recharge the watch every 7 to 17 hours of use depending upon the watch type.

Nearly all GPS training computers record heart rate, speed, distance, and location data via a bread crumb trail that can be used for later mapping. They also use some GPS based altitude but this often needs to be corrected as it is not as accurate as a barometric altimeter. Fortunately, Garmin has an elevation correction feature using US Geological Survey data so you can screw the accuracy down to within a couple feet.

Some of these devices allow for customized screen data and others do not. Generally the lower end running GPS units have fixed data points.

WARNING: THE DATA OUTPUT AND MAPS GET ADDICTING

GPS is highly addictive because you can store rides, share them with friends and with some features, like the Player function on Garmin Connect software, you can even drag and drop an icon to a specific point on your course, like the top of a hill, and see precisely what your heart rate, speed, distance, cadence and more were for that one particular instant.

Warning, you may start acting like a child and bring your GPS with you everywhere. One day we tried to see if we could scribble in the whole ski area at Grand Targhee in one day because that is the masochistic type of stuff we enjoy. I did this with the late Doug Coombs and Rick Hunt and we had a blast doing it, but boy were we tired for the 3 hour ride back to Bozeman.

You might even just use it to check your car's speedometer, just stay within the speed limit. It is also easy to ant to see how fast you can go down a steep hill on a bike but just be careful and look at the speed later, not during - we don't want anymore road kill we've got enough gophers out here in Montana :).

SPEAK WITH A REAL EXPERT TO GET THE SAME THING AS GOLDILOCKS "JUST RIGHT"

We highly recommend talking with one of our highly qualified experts and it is super easy. Simply dial 866-586-7129 toll-free from anywhere in North America and see why the Heart Rate Watch Company is second to none when it comes to quality advice.

copyright 2013, Rusty Squire, author, support@heartratewatchcompany.com







Heart Rate Watch Company
1087 Stoneridge Dr., Suite 2A
Bozeman, MT 59718
866-586-7129