Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Garmin 910xt Review!

I try to be a gadget guy, I really do. For example, I know that Apple released a new iPad today that has twice as many jingles and does four times as many whatcha-doodles than the old one.  The problem is that I'm also incredibly cheap.  So, what inevitably happens is that whenever I need something I get the newest and coolest that is available......and then proceed not to get anything else for 5 years.  This is exactly what happened with my running GPS.

I had the old trusty red Garmin 305. I'd link up to the mothership and beam down more data than I could ever consume. The only problem was that more and more frequently, the Garmin would lose signal.  Fine when I'm talking to someone on the phone and I drop signal, but NOT fine when I'm cranking out 800 repeats.

So, true to form, when my old Garmin started to die, I bought the $400 version that came out only 3 weeks before. The Garmin 910XT.  State of the art!

The 910XT is a triathlon watch. In fact, it's essentially an upgrade to the clunky Garmin 310XT (and the 305 before that) It not only can track every single data point imaginable while running, but it can also do the same thing while biking and while underwater. The triple threat!  It boasts a 20 hour battery life that will put you through any Ironman training session that you can imagine.  It'll track and display pace/elevation/mileage/ pedal cadence/swim stroke/laps/etc etc etc. If you can think it, it does it.  And, when you're done doing it, you can upload it online to Garmin Connect or download it to the shitty Garmin desktop software.  I prefer the shitty software:



The thing that I really liked about the 910XT, and really the reason I bought it, was that it had a big screen AND it vibrates.  I didn't want to be squinting at one of the smaller more watch sized screens when I was plodding along.  Besides, I honestly think that there is a bit of a coolness factor with wearing a watch with some "girth". Lets all other runners know that you're serious.  But, even though it still has the same size screen as my old Garmin 305, it itself is actually quite a bit smaller and thinner.  So, still big enough to see when my oxygen deprived brain

It is thinner too!


Of course, the more I thought about the features of the watch, the more I decided that I wasn't using all of them to their maximum capacity!  I'm a runner, sure, and I ride my bike, but I'm not a Triathlete.  This was a problem.  So, I did some research and found that there are a few distinct things that set Triathlete's apart.  First, they shave lots of body parts that I don't.  Now, everyone manscapes, but these guys (gals?) take it to another level.  So, I decided to dive head chest first:

Yeah, that wouldn't work


Ok, not so good.  So the other thing that Triathletes do is lots of swimming.  Since I have a pool in my back yard, I figured this would be easy! Just take a nice cool early march swim with my new Garmin buddy.

Turns out, my water was like 50 degrees.  NO THANK YOU.
So, I just threw the watch in there to show you it is water proof. See? Waterproof.


So with my Triathlon career fading fast, I figured that I needed to pair my Garmin 910xt running with at least TWO MORE activities that would justify the higher cost.  Since I wanted to be able to do some pretty quick transitions, I tried to focus on things that I did around the same time that I ran (in the morning).  What better than to shorten up my morning routine with a little Garmin measured speed work?

First, I tried eating for speed. AKA: Speeting.  Don't get me wrong, I was good at it, but I had a lot of trouble with the breathing

Cinnamon Toast Crunch in 30 seconds? Yes!


Of course, the next step would be drinking for speed. AKA: Dreeking.  Now THIS is something that the skills could be easily transferable to something worthwhile. Second sport found!

The key is to relax your throat

Next up, brushing for speed.  Honestly, this was just messy.  Messy for the Garmin, for me, actually don't try this one at home.

My gums sure did get a workout trying to get this done fast. Look at the focus on my face!


Finally....well I think the picture speaks for itself.

I found my 3rd sport!

Overall, I really like the watch.  I'm glad that I got a new one before my old one died in a race and really screwed something up important.  Honestly, if I'm missing out on some training run data, no big deal, but if I go out too fast during a race and blow up, I'd be furious.

Pros:

  • Vibration on the mile markers so I know when they are even if I have my headphones in
  • Super bright, large display
  • Features that I'm used to with my 305


Cons:

  • Freaking $400
  • I really wish that I didn't have to keep track of a charger and a USB sync device.  Couldn't they combine these?
  • Did I mention FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS?




24 comments:

P1t0 said...

Well worth the $400! The thing looks sweet!!

Dude.... who takes your pictures?

Kate said...

Great review. You're such a Renaissance man with all the new sports! :)

TriMOEngr said...

I'm absolutely emerald with envy. But the best part of this post: "The key is to relax your throat." Pure awesome!

C2Iowa said...

cool post!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

here i was thinking the bodymedia bug was all cool for tracking my sleep and you have found a way to track your brushing, eating and more. geez i'm so behind

ptg said...

Bwahahahaha - #2 - "dreeking" - your comment on the photo -

TWSS!!!!!

pensive pumpkin said...

1. restock the wine. apparently you drank most of it while "sick."

2. neither dress shirt was white, yet I'm pretty sure both reside in Chevalier's closet as well. interesting.

did you say something about a watch? i need to read it again, methinks...

Heather @ Just a Colorado Gal said...

Your pics are killing me. Tell the truth: you seriously put shaving cream on your chest JUST for that photo, yes?! Laughing!!

Jamoosh said...

I used to be all about the "shitty" desktop software, but now love Garmin Connect. It is also good since I travel and can sync up using my work laptop and not have to wait until the end of the week to get home and sync on my home computer.

Michael said...

I just got this Garmin and it's amazing! Well, actually I've only been able to use it once for a run but I love the vibration feature!! I can't wait to use it for a swim. That's really why I bought it.

Shelly said...

What was your T1 time when you changed from the green shirt to the striped shirt?

Katie said...

you're killing me. "the key is to relax your throat." my head just exploded.

Suz and Allan said...

This is hilarious but honestly very informative!

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

I love your posts since you are full of information and laughs!

Okay, $400....that is tough on my budget but so darn desirable.....

Waterproof....just think, you can run peacefully in a downpour and know your Garmin will be faithful. Forget the darn swimming. You only want to do that if you are SCUBA diving, right?

And I am glad you found a new sport!

Ewa said...

I hoped to see your heart rate graphs for each and every activity. Oh, well...

Half-Crazed Runner said...

I can't believe you threw that watch in the pool! Also, I've experienced, first hand, the dizzying-headspinning Garmin sales peeps at the HUGE Garmin store in Chicago. They too showed me all the amazing things you can do with a Garmin watch these days - except, of course, if you lose signal! IDK - If you're ever looking for a new job, I think you just might fit in there! :D

Redhead Running said...

I love that you just threw it in the pool to show it's water resistance. Awesome. Also, timing everything. You are better than a triathlete now!

Running, Loving, Living said...

Great review!!! I love Garmin, good luck on your new one!!!

Denise said...

Where do you come up with this stuff? LOL

I want one! But I am also very thrifty so I shall continue to wear my trusty 305 until he dies...or I accidentally wear it in the pool in my next tri. Which wouldn't be so far off considering during my first tri last year I forgot to take off my Garmin's HR strap and literally reached into my bathing suit, yanked it off and threw it to my family as I ran to the pool.

mi55ter said...

I practise that 3rd sport you found too. Great for your wrist flexibility!

SlimKatie said...

I love this! I've been in the running store quite a few time in the past few weeks, and I each time I see the display of this new Garmin, I get way too excited. My 305 is working just fine right now, but I am tempted to get this shiny new one. I love that it vibrates (for the sake of earphones, of course!)--I always wondered why they didn't make that feature on the 305.

Kim said...

Very entertaining and informative post! SOLD! I've been thinking about buying this watch, AND just signed up for my first triathlon. I was afraid it was too much watch for me if I decided I'm really not a tri kind of girl. Now that I know I can use it to speed up my life, I'm sold!

5 Miles Past Empty said...

Oh man, I have missed stopping by your blog. =) Excellent review! I agree the price is very high BUT like you said, how long did you have your previous one? I got my 405 in 2008 and it is technically still good. BUT I kind of need the one that is made for triathloning, and dreeking and speeting....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review - I've been running with a Polar F6 and doing okay...someone tells me I "need" a 910x...Hmmm. How much butterscotch ripple could that buy??