Garmin Forerunner 310XT Review

Garmin Forerunner 310XT will be the indispensable tool for both runner’s, biker’s and triathlete’s. The GPS enabled wrist watch goes in to the water, on the bike, and finishes off with a run. All the while it is tracking data which it sends wirelessly to your computer. The device has a battery life up to 20 hours. You will have the ability to track distance, pace, heart rate(optional) and more. Biker’s have the option of using the watch on a bike mount while swimmer’s have waterproof capabilities to 50 meters.  See frequently asked questions on the Garmin site for the Garmin 310XT.

 

Training

The Garmin Forerunner 310XT has the options to set alerts, train with a Virtual Partner, program interval or custom training workouts. The training menu will allow you to fully customize your workouts from the type of training to the data displays.

The sport mode will allow you to choose the specific settings for each sport. Each of the settings will be only for that particular sport (run, bike, swim).  You will be able to set up various features and functions specifically for each individual sport.

Garmin 310XT Functions
The 310XT can be used with either the Web-based software or the Garmin Training Center computer desktop software.  The software can be used both to store your data and analyze your workouts.  The software and updates for both options are free.  Satellite signals should be acquired within about 30-60 seconds.  You need to be outside in an open area with a clear view to the sky.  When the Garmin 310xt has acquired a signal the training page appears.  When you pair you Forerunner with the heart rate monitor for the 1st time make sure that you are more than 10m away from other heart rate monitors.  Once you pair the 310xt with the heart rate monitor it should recognize the hrm each time that you turn on the watch and the hrm is properly strapped on.  Use the USB ANT Stick to wirelessly transfer your workout data to the training software.  You will find 3rd party training software available, and most will be compatible with the Forerunner.

Auto Lap

Auto lap will automatically allow you to mark the lap based on a specific position or after you have gone a certain distance. This is helpful for comparing different parts of your performance within your workout. You can have the unit mark your lap based on the location that you pressed start as well as marking a specific location and each time you pass it a lap is registered. You will be able to retrieve specific data from each lap as a subset of your entire workout.

Auto Pause

This feature will help athletes who train in areas that include stop lights, traffic, or other places where you might need to slow down. You will be able to program the unit to pause automatically when you stop moving or when your speed goes below a preprogrammed number. Note: This function does not work during interval or custom workouts.

Auto Scroll

The auto scroll feature will automatically cycle through the training data pages while you are engaged in your workout. This will allow you access to all your data without having to fumble with buttons and such during the workout. You will also have the ability to select the speed at which these screens cycle through.

 

Garmin 310XT Images and Screenshots

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multisport Workouts

The Garmin 310XT has the functionality for triathletes, duathletes, and other multisport competitors. When you set up the multisport workout in your watch, you will have the ability to view your total time and distance for all sports. You will be able to easily switch between sports and the unit will process the data for each sport as well as a total time and data for the entire workout. The data stored will include total time, distance, average heart rate, and calories for all sports in the workout. You can also break out the individual sports and view their data separately.

Swimming

Use your Forerunner for surface swimming to record your swim time. The unit is waterproof to 50 meters. For the GPS to work you must be swimming outside using a swim stroke at the surface (most likely freestyle). Garmin recommends swimmers put the device in a swimming cap since water will disrupt the GPS signal. This will present you with the most accurate speed and distance data.

Virtual Partner

The Virtual Partner is a unique feature built as a training tool to help you meet your goals.  Every time you train or race the Virtual Partner competes with you, and ultimately pushes you to achieve more.  You can program alerts in your training for certain time, distance, and heart rate goals.  Each sport can have its own alerts.  The menu will specifically list the following alerts: Time Alert (notifies you when a specific amount of time has elapsed), Distance Alert (notifies you when you have completed a specific distance), Calorie Alert (notifies you when a specific amount of calories have been burned), and HR Alert (notifies you when your heart rate goes above or below a preset heart rate).  These alerts will not work during interval or custom workouts.  Based on optional equipment including a foot pod, bike cadence sensor, and power meter the Garmin 310XT can provide Cadence Alert and Power Alert.

 

 

Interval Workout

For the serious athlete interval training will be a vital part of their running program. The 310XT allows the creation of interval workouts based on time or on distance and rest portions of the workout. You can only have one interval workout on the watch at one time. When you create a new interval workout the previous one will be deleted.

History

The Garmin Forerunner 310XT can record up to 1000 laps and about 20 hours of detailed tracklog data. You should periodically upload your data to the online Garmin Connect website or the Garmin Training Center. With the uploaded data you will be able to more easily analyze it. The unit will not overwrite data when it is full. At that point you will need to delete old history to be able to add new data. This will not be a problem as long as you are using the above mentioned Garmin software.

This is a great unit for triathlon training. Learn more here.

Looking for a simpler training device check out the Garmin Forerunner 110.

 

The Garmin 301XT is capable of connecting to ANT+ compatible devices. Listed here are some of your options:

Heart Rate Monitor – The comfortable strap on our heart rate monitor will fit securely around your chest.  When matched up with your device it will wirelessly sends heart rate data to your Garmin 310XT.  The 310XT has extensive features to take advantage of the benefits derived from heart rate training.  You will be able to set up heart rate zones for training to improve your level of fitness.  Use it for training and racing as a means of measuring your pace for optimum efficiency.

Foot Pod – This tiny foot pod is small enough to attach to your shoelaces or fit in the mid-sole pocket of compatible shoes. It’s always ready to use, and a small, replaceable watch battery powers the foot pod for a year of training. Unlike simple pedometers, this foot pod uses advanced MEMS inertial-sensor technology to analyze your movements and is responsive to stride-length changes to achieve 98 percent accuracy for speed and distance. Additionally, this sensor measures running cadence to help you optimize your training.  This is a great option to have for training inside where GPS signals are not able to be picked up.  Use it for treadmills and indoor tracks.  You may also find a need to use it outdoors for routes that take you where GPS signals can be spotty.

GSC 10 speed and cadence bike sensor – Monitor your pedaling cadence as you ride with this self-calibrating, wireless speed/cadence sensor. It measures and reports your pedaling strokes per minute, providing feedback for optimal performance.  As an option with the 310XT this will help you gain a much more detailed analysis of your bike training than would be accomplished by using the 310XT watch only.

USB ANT stick – Plug the ANT+ Stick into your computer’s USB port and it will automatically receive your activity data when your compatible fitness device is within range.

You can transfer your data directly to Garmin Connect™ (a web-based community of Garmin users who track, explore and share activities) or Garmin Training Center (software to analyze activities and create workouts).

Third-party ANT+ power meters – Power meters display your power output in watts as you ride. This valuable data shows you how hard you’re working, regardless of conditions affecting your ride. Power data helps pros and competitive cyclists train smarter.

Weight Scales – You also can track weight, body fat, body water and six other measurements when using the Forerunner 310XT with the Tanita BC-1000 body composition scale. The readings are stored on Forerunner 310XT, then automatically sent to Garmin Connect™ when in range of your computer.

Fitness Equipment ( look for the ANT+ logo)

 

Specifications

Garmin Forerunner 310XT

Device size, without straps: 2.13 x 2.2 x 0.75 in.

Weight: 2.5 oz.

Display: 1.3 x 0.8 in., 160 x 100 pixels resolution, with LED backlight

Water Resistance: Surface swimming

Data Storage: Approximately 20 hours of data (assuming 1 trackpoint is being recorded every 4 seconds)

Memory: Up to 1000 laps; 100 user locations (waypoints)

Computer interface: USB ANT Stick

Battery Type: 700 mA rechargable lithium-ion battery

Battery Life: Up to 20 hours, typical use

Multi-Language Capable