Garmin Forerunner 310XT

Link: Garmin Forerunner 310XT from BHIP Ltd.

The 310XT is a great multi-sport device designed for runners, cyclists and swimmers but most importantly, in my opinion, triathletes!

Garmin Forerunner 310XT

Garmin Forerunner 310XT

This is the first Garmin unit which actually feels as comfortable in the water as the user and is water resistant to 50m.

The unit records a whole load of data including pace, speed, distance, elevation, heart rate, cadence and more.

The optional heart rate chest strap, foot pod and bike cadence/speed sensors provide the numbers.

Strictly speaking, the HR chest strap isn’t necessary although I think you’d be missing out on some of the great features available such as heart rate zone training. Also, being able to monitor your HR while training, and indeed, use the HR zones is very helpful to ensure you meet your training objectives.

The GPS function can take care of speed, pace and distance etc if you do not want to shell out for the extra bike and foot sensors.

To record cadence (foot strike) when running you’ll need the foot pod and for cadence on the bike, the bike sensor is required. The bike sensor also provides backup in case satellite connection is lost – not that has ever happened when I’ve been out.

Additionally, the foot pod and bike sensor come in hand if you want to record data from treadmill runs and turbo sessions.

You can set alerts for speed, pace, cadence and heart rate (as mentioned earlier). These can cause the unit to vibrate so you can feel that you need to pick up the pace etc rather than having to keep an eye on the display.

Another nice touch for use in the water is that you can set a countdown to start the timer and also there is a setting that kind of takes into consideration the GPS signal during the swim. If you stow the watch under your swim hat then you should have a decent signal, however, if worn on the wrist then the signal will be sporadic at best as the unit will be in and out of the water all the time.

The display is very configurable, depending on the sport selected you can choose pretty much what you want to see. So, if you find while running that you want to see current pace, distance and heart rate, you can set it up to show that.

Virtual training partner allows you to set the average pace that you want to train at and the unit displays your progress in comparison. It shows you how many metres and seconds (or minutes) you are ahead or behind of your virtual partner based on the pace you set.

You can sign up to Garmin Connect – a great website that takes all your data and displays it as valuable information along with a Google map of your route which also allows you to “replay” the session or race.

The 310XT makes use of ANT+ technology which allows for seamless transmission of data from the unit to the computer and via the supplied USB dongle. Providing there is an internet connection, the data will be directly upload to Garmin Connect.

Overall – I really like the 310XT, it comes packed with pretty much all you could want. Having owned the Polar RS800CX I think I prefer the Garmin unit for sports use. One difference between the two units is that you could actually wear the Polar as a watch day to day. During the swim, the Garmin will not record the heart rate as the signal does not transfer through the water, this is also the case with the Polar.

Rating: 9/10.

Images are copyright and courtesy of BHIP Ltd.

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