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Best Watch for Running

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  • Best Watch for Running


    I use the watch primarily for running. I may consider doing a triathlon down the road, but running is my main thing. I started with the FR 305 and considered upgrading to the FR 310XT.

    Here is what I REQUIRE:
    *GPS Watch
    *Quick Workout Feature (Meaning I can set Pace/Distance)
    *Auto Lap Alerts

    Here is what I would like:
    *Wireless uploads
    *Ability to mount on bike
    *If I could use it for swimming too that'd be nice, but not required

    I'm disappointed in the 310XT because it doesn't have the Quick Workout feature that the 305 does. However, I had some odd issues with the 305 - some of those included:
    *Not waterproof (mine died on a day I ran in the rain)
    *Durability issues - one of the arrow buttons eventually broke
    *No vibration alerts (a pain when you run with headphones on and want to be alerted each time you hit a mile marker)

    I thought 310XT would be "the one," but not having the Quick Workout feature is a huge detriment especially when I'm paying significantly more for less.

    Any thoughts? I know you can't always get everything you want, but would the 610 or 910 or any of the newer watches have these features?

  • #2
    I'd recommend reading the various reviews on if you haven't yet.

    I don't know if I am clear about the "Quick Workout" feature. Setting pace and distance can be done with a virtual partner on many of the watches (including the 310xt) but I am assuming you are referring to something else. Unfortunately I haven't used my 305 in ages so I cannot recall this feature (and hence I don't miss it with my 310).

    It also sounds like most of your wants would force you into the 310 -- mostly the waterproof one I guess. Also I am assuming you have seen the 910 announced and hence the swimming features (I assume this is what you allude to in your "could use it for swimming" comment?).

    For just running my favorite would be the 610, I think it has essentially everything you are asking for except waterproofing -- perhaps missing the "Quick Workout" (?). At least it adds vibration over the 110/210/410 watches, which I also agree is a very nice feature.

    If you must have waterproof you are somewhat stuck. You could consider going to Timex, they have a heck of a deal on their new run trainer now with rebate (something like $140 after rebate). It lacks vibration alerts though...

    Again all of these are reviewed very well at

    Most watches outside of the 310 don't have a real nice bike mount option. Plus, to me a "running focused" watch should be as small as possible, this also makes using it while biking really tough because there I'd like to see a bigger screen and sacrifice some size.


    • #3
      Thanks Nord! Very helpful response.

      I appreciate your insight. The "Quick Workout" feature on the 305 is basically this:

      Training > Workouts > Quick > Distance & Pace

      From here, let's say I wanted to run 10 miles at an 7:00/mile pace - I could program this data in. I would hit start and I'd get an update at a specific interval (.25 miles) and then when I hit 10 miles the watch would stop and I could see my pace per lap in the history.

      As a marathoner, it's a HUGE feature. I use it every time I run. I set a distance and a pace. The Forerunner 305 then alerts me as to whether I'm on pace through the Virtual Partner, alerts me every .25 miles (AutoLap) the pace I just ran that lap at, and stops at the end of the workout to let me know if I hit the pace goal.

      So the 310XT has parts of this feature. It has the Virtual Partner which tells me if I'm on pace or not. And it has the AutoLap that will then alert me how fast I ran the lap. But I have to manually stop the timer at the end or it will keep going when I reach my distance (i.e. 10 miles). The 305 automatically stops and tells you if you made your goal or not.

      It may sound nit-picky, but imagine running a very fast PR mile and needing to stop directly at the time to tell whether or not you hit the pace? Now factor in I'm paying more for the 310XT rather than a 305...

      Overall, I just may keep the 310XT. But wish it just had this very simple feature.

      Thanks again though - your post was great and DC Rainmaker is awesome.