Running with the Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS
In this day of high technology it’s possible to take the simple sport of running to a new level with the latest global positioning system watch from Garmin.
The Forerunner 410 GPS is the latest in Garmins 400 series and is the update to the popular Forerunner 405. I have been using the Forerunner 405 for the last three years and recently started thinking about an update. Seeing as I am notorious for over researching things I thought I would share with you my findings on the 410.
Looks like a watch
The first thing you will notice about the Forerunner 410 is that it looks like a normal sports watch and does not have that oversized boxy bulk to it that some GPS units have. This is the trademark look of the 400 series and one reason why it has been so popular. When not using it to track your runs it can be worn comfortably as an everyday watch.
The Forerunner 410 contains all of the features that the beginner to serious athlete can hope for in a GPS watch. In addition to tracking your distance, pace, elevation, calories, and heart rate (optional) this unit has some neat features that make it just fun to use. And when your training session is complete the Forerunner 410 can wirelessly upload your workout to your computer with Garmin’s Automatic Sync so you can analyze your workout.
The touch bezel, which is unique to Garmin allows you to quickly select features even while on the run and eliminates the need for some of the push buttons that appear on most sports watches. The Forerunner 410 has only two push buttons instead of the usual four or five; one for start/stop, and the other is the lap split/reset button.
One of the neat features of the Forerunner 410 is what’s called the Virtual Partner. The feature allows you to set a certain pace and then train with a digital runner. You can also use the 410 to create custom workouts and to set pace alerts which warn you if your pace varies from a preset pace. Add in the optional speed and cadence sensor and the Forerunner 410 can track your cycling workouts as well.
The Forerunner uses a HotFix satellite prediction system that allows it to very quickly acquire a satellite fix so that you are off and running in no time.
This feature is one of the improvements over the Forerunner 405, which I find tends to take some time to acquire that satellite fix. The GPS receiver on the Forerunner 410 is sensitive enough to stay fixed onto the satellites even when running under trees or near tall building.
The Forerunner 410 has an Auto Pause function that is great when running on busy city streets that may require frequent stopping and starting. The watch senses the change in your speed and pauses the timer until you resume. Pretty neat. This function works just fine on my Forerunner 405.
The Forerunner 410 battery is rated at eight hours of life when operating in the GPS mode. While in the power save mode the rechargeable batteries are good for up to two weeks. In the power save mode the watch will operate as a normal watch so you can continue to wear it daily. My experience with the Forerunner 405 battery has been very positive and I have no complaints with the battery life which has been as advertised.
The Auto Lap feature on the 410 is very cool and automatically calls out your lap splits based on a preset distance. The default on this feature is every mile but it is customizable to whatever you desire.
The 410 is water resistant and is just fine in the rain for an extended period of time or in the shower. There is some discussion and debate as to whether or not it will withstand being submerged for an extended period of time. With the 405 that I own I have never had a problem with the watch getting wet and I do wear it in the shower daily without any issues. The 410 does offer an improvement in this area over the 405 so I do not think getting the watch wet will pose any problems.
One of the complaints with the Forerunner 405 was the sensitivity of the touch bezel. I can vouch that it can be a little touchy at times but once I got used to using it I found it to be a great feature.
The good news is that the Forerunner 410 has greatly improved the touch bezel system and you can scroll through and select features quickly even while on the run and in any weather conditions. I think you will really enjoy this feature and Garmin is the only one with such a system.
The suggested retail of the base Forerunner 410 GPS is $249.99.
With the optional heart rate monitor the suggested retail is $299.99.
Hopefully you’ve fond this review helpful in your search for a GPS watch. While they are not cheap they are a fun and very useful training tool for the runner of any caliber. I received mine as a 50th birthday gift a few years ago and I not only love using it to track my training but I wear it daily as a watch. The Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS would make a great gift for the runner in your family and you can be certain that it will get plenty of use as it can be quite the addicting training tool and partner.
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© 2012 Bill De Giulio