I’ve been testing out the new Garmin Forerunner 405 GPS Sports watch. I’ve used the model that comes with a heart rate monitor strap. I love it, it’s not too big on the wrist, it’s pretty accurate on the GPS and it starts talking to your PC as soon as you walk in the room when you get back. You can also view your route in Google Earth and see at any point what your pace was, how far your had run or cycled and your heart rate. The Garmin software that comes with it provides graphs detailing pace, distance and heart rate and you can import and export courses. The map within the software is fairly basic but there are 3rd party products available that have OS level detail in which you can create routes. As with the 305, the 405 also has the virtual training partner feature which is a great help in beating your previous time on a regular course.
These watches have been really popular. The 305 was a bit cumbersome and you couldn’t use it as a watch. With the 405 you could wear it every day. As with the 305, this watch is aimed at walkers, runners, kite surfers wind surfers and cyclists. It is water resistant and would survive a quick dunk in the water but is not really suitable for sustained exposure to water during swimming for example. Probably alright for up to 30 minutes continuous submersion.
For walking, running and cycling though it is awesome. If you don’t like wearing a GPS receiver around your arm or on your shorts then this is the watch for you. And if you get lost it has a digital compass showing the distance back to where you started to help you find your way back.
I for one will be using it for more than just this test as part of my training for New York.