Exactly one year ago (January 18, 2009), my GF (405) and I had our first run together, on a perfect location, in a great race. It was during The North Face Thrill of the Trail in Nasugbu, Batangas that we got to know each other well, and what an idyllic setting it was.
The trails were the perfect settings for our maiden race together because there aren’t many obstructions to obscure GPS signals, and as such I was able to get a pretty accurate elevation measure of the area. Add that to the already accurate aerial distance measurement and you have a virtual 3D plot of your activity—something that I’ve never enjoyed before which my then barely-out-of-the-box Garmin Forerunner 405 gave me the pleasure of having. Here was my first actual race readings from TNF Thrill of the Trail 2009:
That was the start of a great relationship, and so they say the rest was history.
Caring for your GFs
Not all runners were lucky to have a long withstanding bond with their Garmin Forerunners. Here are some tips I can share:
Personally I follow this charge-cycle: As much as possible do not let the battery drain completely and when charging make sure to charge it fully—never do partial charging! Batteries have a “point-of-no-return” and when your battery reaches this point it will never charge! Full charging also helps reduce certain “memory” issues with batteries.
As much as possible keep your GFs dry. For 405s it causes the bezel and buttons to temporarily malfunction but for 305s it causes internal corrosion.
For more tips and guide on using your GF405 read my review here.
Warning: Fatal Software Issue
There is a serious flaw in GF405 software version 2.50 wherein your lap data will NOT be saved. If suddenly you find your GF405’s memory is full during your run and your Auto Lap is turned ON it will keep notifying you that your lap memory is full. The notification will keep popping up rendering the device practically unusable, until you STOP your activity. This software version does NOT automatically delete old lap data so your current lap data have no room to be saved and thus would be lost forever—frustrating indeed. The GPS routes though seem to be unaffected but it yields trivial distance/lap data ratio. This event unfortunately happened to me during my Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, below are my kilometer splits:
Of course a marathon is 42.195K long but in the splits I only had barely 31K on file, the rest was gone, but the GPS route seems to be complete. Viewing it on the player is more confusing as it displays a complete plot for 42K whereas it only has 31K worth of data (notice the details towards the end).
To avoid this trouble, make sure to delete your old lap data whenever your GF405 is warning you that your lap memory is almost full. The Delete › Old Activities option conveniently deletes all activities that are older than a month permanently so make sure to save on your computer (via Garmin Training Center) or upload online (to Garmin Connect) your lap data first.
As of January, 2010 no new software updates have been released.
Nobody’s perfect and definitely everything that is man-made has its flaws, but regardless of its flaws I still am glad that I got a reliable partner whenever and wherever I run. I do hope that this partnership continues for many more years and miles to come. Miles. Starting this year I’m also logging in miles! This would definitely make things more interesting.