ANT+, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS, WiFi

Garmin 310XT

Garmin 310XT

One of my biggest downfalls is I’m a sucker for technology and gadgets. Whatever the latest thingamajig, gizmo or doohicky happens to be, it must be better than the gizmo buzzing in my pocket. So how long would it be before my eyes spied the IPad? Monday night, Dylan and I accidentally wandered into Best Buy and while there we decided to take a look at the newest gadget. Impressed? You bet. At just 1.5 pounds, I tried to imagine ways to incorporate the IPad into my runs. At 10 hours of battery life, it would easily last on the entire run, except the longest ultra runs. Standing there with it in my hands, I started to image the possibilities. At stop lights I could get current on my RSS feeds. On a weekend long run, I could even watch a movie. The size is just what concerned me. Too big to wear on my arm or attach it to my belt. But with a little creative engineering, it could easily sit on top of the running stroller on those fair weather runs. So now I’m just debating which version…

I do seem to incorporate a lot of technology in my outdoor activities. Yes, I know that none of this makes me any faster but there’s nothing better than being able to look back to March 4th in 2009 and see that I ran 10.58 miles and the last mile, from the corner of Maidu to home, to 6 minutes and 27 seconds and my heart rate that last mile was… Seriously, I don’t pay that much attention to the numbers but it is so easy to track and gather this information. Aren’t all runners on the Type A side?

I use the Garmin 310XT like I use running shoes. When I go out, I put my running shoes on and I put the Garmin on. For years I used the Garmin 305 but the 310XT has some nice improvements. First, it’s more comfortable. Battery life is amazing at 20 hours so if you’re in the hunt for Western States then you can record the carnage and review the data over breakfast the next morning. Satellite acquisition takes place in seconds – no more standing out front of the house for a minute or two with your hand above your head. Waterproof. I’m not one to spend time in the pool but the option is there if an emergency arises. I’m sure Garmin has tested the waterproofing. ANT+ for wireless syncing. I walk in the door. I set the watch down and in a few minutes the data magically uploads to http://connect.garmin.com/explore?owner=michaelccook.

What else do I use? Cell phone of course. My phone of choice is the Motorola CLIQ running Android. I have all of my podcasts on the phone (favorites are www.twit.tv and www.enduranceplanet.com) and am anxiously awaiting an Audible Android client for my Audible books (www.audible.com). When running alone, I’ll usually have a podcast playing to keep me company. The phone has a 5 megapixel camera that does a good job with decent light. I will also carry with me my Sony point-and-shoot if I might be on a run/ride where I’ll want to take pictures.

In the winter months, on those night runs, my little Petzl Tikka Plus 2 LED headlamp lights the way for me. This is what gets me home on those dark and rainy nights. Without it, those back alleys or lonely trails could be treacherous.

Let me know what favorite technology you incorporate into your training. Some are going to recommend unplugging and if that works for you then no need to change. As for me, I’m always looking for an excuse so Dylan and I can take a trip to Best Buy.

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One thought on “ANT+, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS, WiFi

  1. Type-A??? What are you talking about??? Yeah, loving my 310XT. The battery life on my 405 was killing me. The Garmin Connect upgrades are fantastic! I have a ActiveBoard in the front of my classroom and use my runs to help teach math & science objectives to my 6th graders. It’s amazing how long I can hold their attention talking about the various graphs and ways to display speed, heart-rate, and elevation data. They love all the different ways to display maps as well. As a coach, I have several athletes who are also using the 310XT or other Garmin devices, so I can see their data when they choose to share it. Finally, just got a new headlamp for 2010–60 lumens! But the selling point was the clever little whistle they integrated into the headstrap. So, next time I see a mountain lion while trail running, I have a menacing noise to discourage the would-be attacker, while blinding it just long enough to make a hasty escape! Oh yeah, I have to say I don’t know how I’ve lived without my new iPod Shuffle on long runs; it’s the perfect companion when running solo; enjoying those podcasts from Endurance Planet. Now, I just have to take my iPhone 3GS out sometime and capture some pics and video from some of the splendid scenery out there right now!!! No more toys for a while. But I’m excited to learn more about that iPad! Apple: you are keeping me in the poor-house!!!

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