Monday, May 16, 2011

Garmin Forerunner 405CX

Finally, after a long waiting of 2 months, I got my Garmin Forerunner 405CX. My brother helped to purchased it in Singapore back in March in an Expo for SGD399. It’s still cheaper than normal list price in Malaysia for RM1300~1600, but I heard that the price is lowering now as this model is actually replaced by GF410. But the only important thing now is I got my unit :D

Why GF405CX? It is phase out model, some complaints about it Bezel, battery, etc., and it successor GF410 look cool too. I have to admit that I choose this unit mainly based on this review in Amazon and its price (as big discount for its discontinued status).

So far, I am using the Sports Tracker from Nokia phone. It tracked distance, speed and step rate. But it will be painful to gain the GPS signal and not to mansion about its accuracy. Also, it’s not really practical to tapping on the phone on the starting line and struggle to push it back to storage when the gun shouted. I need something to keep the running data effectively and less effort. And I looked into Garmin Forerunner series.

You may concluded, I am the addicted to running data, and these data keep me going. What to do? I am analytical type of person and running ultimately put my own body as a test subject to strength study. I admired those who running without any techno-gears and careless about these data. Hopefully, one day I will reach that stage. But for time being, I still need those data to prove to myself that I am Running.

I got the unit last Saturday afternoon. Open box, basic set up, create the account in Garmin Connect and downloaded the Training Center, get the ANT+ connect to my laptop, update the firmware on the GF405CX, all these activities took about 1+ hours (it can be faster if your network cable is faster). I charged the unit overnight on Saturday, and heading out for the Sunday 20km LSD started at Bukit Aman. I only switch on the GPS when I reached Bukit Aman, and it’s actually taken quit a while (2~5 minutes) to acquired sufficient Satellites signal. I don’t blame GF405CX, it took more that 10 minutes when I am using the Sports Tracker with Nokia A-GPS phone. I think it may be typical low signal spot around that area.

Garmin Connect: Activity Summary
It’s always felt good to play with new toy. I can’t stop myself to kept looking on the pace and pushing on. This caused not so slow LSD and my paces are off all the way from start. From this LSD, I think my current limit on distant is about ~16km. And this is the beauty of doing LSD on such a route like Bukit Aman – Sri Hartamas, you have not way to quit half way, and the worst thing you can do is only to walk yourself back to your starting point. I changed the mood to run-walk and felt the blisters on the toes, soaked up socks, painful knees and feet.

Exhausted GF405CX, after 20km…

After the 20km, reached home and turned on the laptop for data transfer. It does not have any issue and all transferring done seamlessly. And when I login to DailyMile, it had a function to synchronize with Garmin Connect. It was also done seamlessly, but later when I login to Garmin Connect, I found that I still need to manual upload the data from my Training Center to the web database. I just wonder where the DailyMile got the data from if I need to manually update it to Garmin Connect. It’s direct from the laptop Training Center? Or from the web database at Garmin Connect?
Garmin Connect: Playback Function
More Data...
Crappy interface on PC Training Center
You can plan your workouts on the training center and subsequently transfer it to your GF405CX. It will help to keep you on track and aligned to the training objective. I filled up the calendar with workouts schedule, and hopefully I will adhered to these schedule.

Configuration of the workout

Fill up the Training Calendar

Update (6/6/11):
Used the GF405CX for few weeks and 2 races, so far I had no complaint on it. The response time and accuracy is much better than my A-GPS phone with Sports Tracker. But as its doesn't synchronized with Sports Tracker, I have to export the training records into GPX file then upload manually into Sports Tracker. So, after I completed my May 2011 records, I had abandon Sports Tracker. My web-based tracking will be on Garmin Connect and also DailyMile.

I also encountered the frozen screen problem after yesterday NB15km race. Checked out the solution from the Amazon review above, and the problem resolved.

Link to Part II / Part III on this Device.

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