I’ve been meaning to do this post for awhile and being that I don’t have anything else on my mind this morning, here goes nothing. This is my opinion and review of the Nike+ Ipod versus the Garmin 405 so don’t get it twisted. I dont even know what that means.
I bought the Garmin about a month ago and have used it in a couple races so far as well as lots of runs; I had the + for a couple years.
First up, the Nike +. We had a real good thing going; I mean, we had a love connection. Things were good between us. The + is everything you’d want in a piece of technology. Super easy to use, not a big learning curve here. The software is easy and understandable, and the + itself is fantastic in the DUR! How does this thing work?!?! category. It’s also tiny so you don’t have another piece of gear to put on, again, fantastic. It hooks right into your ipod and that’s it. No weight lifting belt required here. I never had any problems with the + besides my complete, unadulterated love for it, until I suspected it of being slightly untruthful. Yep, the beginning of the end.
I started running races, and every race the + would be inaccurate on the distance, underestimating the mileage by up to 2 miles in a half marathon. Being the super sleuth that I am, I suspected something could be wrong. So I ran with it on the treadmill…. again, off on all the distances. So this peeved me because now I had to throw out a perfectly good but inaccurate treadmill and write some letters to the race officials who obviously didn’t know how to measure out 13.1 miles.
I kid. But I was frustrated with the + because for me, knowing how far I’ve run is a bigger deal than the time. It keeps me more motivated to know exactly how many miles I’ve completed. So we broke up. Clean cut, no lingering feelings. It’s not me, it’s you, +.
I started researching and reading about different options and it always came back to the Garmin. I read reviews on Runner’s World, read “real” running blogs, and everyone raved about the big G. So I took the plunge and bought it online for $260. I didn’t buy a heart rate monitor because I wouldn’t use one. I like to run with as little stuff on as possible… this policy occasionally gets me in trouble with older people, especially men, but I digress.
I bought the 405, which is their newest one out, because I figured if I was spending the money, why not get the best? This probably was an idiot decision, but we’ll get to that. First off, the price… the + is $30; the G is like a million times that. $260 is a lot of money to spend on something that you are only going to use when you’re wearing a sports bra and tennis shoes. As for user ease, the G is hard to figure out. That’s putting it nicely. I read the entire manuel and I still don’t understand half the functions on it. The touch “bezel” screen thing, which is new on the 405, is weird; it takes some getting used to. The learning curve on this thing is… curvy. It took me awhile to really get comfortable around G; we just didn’t have that open relationship like I had with +. But we’re working on it. Also, the battery dies quickly for a watch; I recharge mine after every run. So that’s like once a month.
On the plus side, the G is very, very accurate. It has GPS so it can track your runs all over the world. It tracks your pace, time splits, all that crazy stuff. You can do all sorts of online stuff with the G, post all your runs, see them on maps, etc. It also has functions for biking and other activities. I can’t really say all the functions because I don’t know them, but there’s a ton of stuff going on here.
My final thoughts: If you’re not too terribly stressed about accurate distances, buy the +. For the $$, it’s easy to use, small, and unobtrusive. If you’re a serious runner or have lots of money to blow, buy the Garmin. It’s very accurate and does a whole lot of crap, but is hard to figure out. I should have bought an older, less advanced model of the Garmin. I don’t need a watch that doubles as an espresso maker, fax machine, and receives cable tv because I just don’t use all the options that justify the price tag.