Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Garmin Forerunner 405

Garmin 405In my efforts to accurately track the distances I run outdoors, I have tried going by:
After the death of my third Nike+ Sport Kit chip, I decided that enough was enough, and after months of waiting, the Garmin Forerunner 405 came out. I brought mine online at The price was $299... ouch. I was originally going to opt for the green one (the other choice), but for the sake of matching more of my running outfits (like I try to be fashionable when I run... hah!), I finally chose black.

When the watch came, I had to charge it overnight and do some setup. It charges via a clamp with two "electrodes," connecting to a USB cord, and finally, an AC adapter (see below for my messy peripherals).

My first run with this was a 10-miler in the park near my house. I was surprised that it picked up the signal so quickly, and when I pressed the Training button, my pace and distance appeared instantly. I did not read the instruction manual, as is my usual habit (!), so I did not know how to lock the bezel -- the silver circle that scrolls the menus (but I do now!).  Before, I would periodically accidently touch it and go to the Virtual Partner screen, which basically lets you set an "opponent" that "runs" a certain pace.

I don't nearly use all of the wonderful features on this.  For one thing, I was never able to get the included USB dongle to "talk" to my Garmin so I could use the online Garmin software.  Second, "The Ukrainain" gave me the heart-rate monitor (below, at the top of the picture) from his Garmin 305, and I think it's out of batteries, because it won't sync.  When I DO use it, I will post a separate review on the HRM and HRM training in general, an area I have yet to touch because I'm freaked out by my heart! =P).  Note that the HRM doesn't come with the basic Garmin 405, and alone, it's another $35-$50, depending on where you shop.

Garmin with peripherals

The watch itself if not too heavy... and I definitely appreciate the fact that it actually looks like a watch. After a while, you don't notice it too much if you strap it on with the correct tightness on your wrist.  I like mine a little loose so I can turn the screen away from me while running so I am not tempted to stare at it.  Instead, I set the Auto-Lap function to beep each time I complete a mile, and from there, I just chug along.  At some point, when I become more concerned with pace, I will use some of the other lovely features on this thing.

Maybe it's time to read the manual (after more than 3 years with this thing!).


(NOTE: I have been re-writing some of my reviews for clarity and detail.  The original post for this item is dated 5/7/08.)


  1. I am so jealous! I did by a hr monitor in March, ofcourse I thought this is all I need.... now ofcourse I am itching to get a gps! Have fun with your new gadget. Yes I like you, rebel against the reading of manuals.... two months later broke down and read the manual!

    Have fun with your new toy! Hope you can get it to download soon.


  2. I really want a Garmin watch, but they feel so clunky on my wrist. I ordered one (and returned it) after one run. It drove me crazy on my wrist. I have a smaller stopwatch that doesn't bother me though... so I wait for Garmin to shrink those things! :)

  3. Excellent post!
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