Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Garmin 310XT GPS/HR Watch

I am the proud new owner of a Garmin 310XT GPS and heart rate watch. I've used a Garmin 305 for the past 2 years, but felt it was time to upgrade to this newer model. Why? Because I like shiny new gadgets! Actually, the three main reasons were extended battery life (20 hours vs 8 hours), automatic ANT+ wireless data downloads, and the quicker satellite lock-on. I purchased the new 310XT with HR monitor from Amazon (factory refurbished) for $185. My old watch has found a home with a work colleague new to running (and with $40 less in his pocket).

Running reviews of the watch are quite positive. Here are the two people that got my attention the most:

Fellrnr: "Best Running Watch"

DCRainmaker: "Garmin Forerunner 310XT In Depth Review"

I never had problems with the Garmin 305, but I think the auto wireless download feature of the 310XT, along with longer battery life, will make my running easier--at least the "data tracking" part of running. Now I can use the watch for all my ultra races. Not sure I really NEEDED this new watch, but after my awesome sub-24 performance at Umstead 100, I DESERVED a reward!

Since I haven't even used the new watch yet, you'll have to wait on a full watch review. Hope to utilize the watch tonight, tomorrow morning, and every run afterward. Running is a simple sport, but that doesn't mean we can't make it more complicated with fancy running gadgets!

Only 93 days until the Howl at the Moon 8-Hour race in Danville, IL. Time to kick my training into high gear. I'll be sharing my data from the 310XT watch so you can follow along as I transform into the aerobic beast I've always dreamt of becoming.

UPDATE: After one week, I'm loving the new Garmin 310xt watch...but hating the new "soft" HR strap! The strap, underneath where the plastic transmitter goes, is chafing the hell out of my chest.  When I say "chafing," I mean cutting into my skin and drawing blood on runs as short as 5 miles! Here's a fix from DC Rainmaker's blog:


Jake Wyatt said...

Hi Chris:

I did that same 305 to 310XT upgrade myself last month (I didn't want to get rid of the 305, but after two and a half years of use the battery would only hold about a 4 hour charge.)

I'm awaiting your review to see what your experiences are with the raw elevation data that's captured by the 310XT. After a few weeks with the new watch it seems to me that the two devices must somehow do things differently, as they've reported some wildly different elevation numbers over the same course. (Or perhaps there's a setting or adjustment I haven't discovered yet.)

Looking forward to your review...

Chris said...


I'll keep an eye on elevation differences between he two watches. I run several courses over and over, so it'll be interesting to see distance and elevation recordings on the 305 vs the 310XT.

ed said...

I can't hardly go on a run without my 310. I'm pretty happy with it. I had upgraded from a 405 -- a bigger step up, I think, than from a 305. For a while I had 2 (until I stepped on one), however, they did not read the same consistently when comparing them side to side.

One seller (buydig) on ebay recently sold over 70 of the refurbished 310s in one day -- I may buy another since I rely on it so heavily . . .

Chris said...


So far (only 3 runs) I like the new 310xt better than my old 305. Love the wireless data download! And it seems to lock onto satellites quicker. Plus, the extended battery life should be nice for 50 mile and longer races.

David said...

The 20hr battery life is tempting...

Okay, I'm only marginally on topic here, but in the vein of running gadgets/gear, I'd be curious to hear your opinion on trekking poles for mountain ultras. I'm running T-RAD in Telluride this summer, and am trying to decide if I should use poles or not.

Chris said...


I generally HATE trekking poles for hiking or running. Only once really NEEDED them (Canadian Death Race). If the race has lots of steep and long up and down sections, then they may be worthwhile. Maybe check out race reports for the specific race and see if people mention trekking poles.