Garmin Forerunner

Written by Robert Mac
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The Garmin Forerunner is a speed and distance watch with a built-in satellite sensor that makes for a great personal training device. The Garmin GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) sensor tracks your location through a precise interpretation of your latitude, longitude, and altitude. Knowing your location, the Forerunner can accurately determine distances you've traveled, and factoring in time, it can calculate your speed.

The advantage of GPS watches over other stopwatches is their navigational ability. While other watches can time how long you run or train, they can't determine your speed--you have to know distance to calculate that, and you need a GPS to figure distance. Plus, the Garmin Forerunner and other GPS watches can track electronic points and tracks for an "electronic breadcrumb trail" to find your way home.

Run Wild with the Garmin Forerunner

Using the satellite sensor, you can mark a specific point on your Garmin Forerunner and then run anywhere. When you're done--or lost--just check your watch and navigate back to your saved point of origin. You can even save other specific locations and create an electronic map or retrace your steps backwards to create reverse routes of your excursions.

The Forerunner also has a "Virtual Partner" feature that lets you set training goals for yourself by creating an ideal workout regimen. Plot your Virtual Partner's speed and then start running; you can compare your speed to your partner's and easily see if you're staying on pace or falling behind. This feature lets you compare your actual training session with the goals you planned for yourself.

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