When it’s time to analyse your training data, the Forerunner must be paired with the ANT USB stick, which as we’ve already mentioned requires software downloaded from Garmin’s website. Then you can use one of the two options (or both) to see how your training is coming along. Garmin Connect and Training Center provide broadly the same information. However, there are subtle differences.
Both have readouts for pace, elevation, heart rate (if you were using the HRM) and cadence (if you’re using the GSC 10). But Garmin Connect provides these either separately or two at a time, where Training Center can present up to three graphs together, which is handy for checking how your heart rate relates to pace and going up hills.
Garmin Connect hooks in directly to Google Maps, so shows your route overlaid onto a map, which Training Center doesn’t. You can also enter the Player mode to see precisely how the data relates to your physical location at the time. For a map view of your routes in Training Center, you can export them to Google Earth. But this doesn’t provide the finely sliced detail of Garmin Connect’s Player mode. Where Garmin Connect stores your data online, Training Center stores it locally, so you may want to use both at the same time for a complete picture.
Once past the initial stage of learning, Garmin’s Forerunner 405 provides a wealth of facilities to help you monitor and guide your fitness training on foot or bike. The Qstarz BT-Q2000 offers similar route tracking and pace capabilities for a lot less. But it doesn’t have the extra peripheral options, the standalone GPS navigation abilities, nor Virtual Partners, making it a much more limited device. So although the Forerunner is rather pricey, it’s a uniquely powerful device and could give you that all-important edge when training.
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