General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Garmin problems Rss Feed  
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2016-10-26 11:58 AM

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Master
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Livonia, MI
Subject: Garmin problems

From the time I started using a GPS watch to run, I used the Garmin 310 and then the 910 for all of my runs.  I found it to be dead on accurate as evidenced by the run portion of multiple triathlons as well as half and full marathons.  The mileage would rollover exactly as I was passing the mile marker signs during races and at the end the cumulative mileage matched what it should've for my race.  Every training run the mileage would roll over in exactly the same spots.

But I never used the functionality of the 910 and it was awfully big (and ugly) for my tiny wrist.  So I switched over to the Garmin Forerunner 235.  Did Garmin take a giant step backward or what?  First off, I can only get the current pace in multiples of 5 unlike the old 310 and 910.  Secondly, I run the same route from my neighborhood over and over again and every time I go out it's giving me a different mileage for the same exact run.  The thing is cheating me and making me think I'm running slower than I am.  My 310 and 910 never did that.  

At first I thought it was a malfunction and swapped it for a new one.....same problem.  I tried my husband's watch (I believe it's a Forerunner 210?), same issues.  Tried one of Garmin's Vivo line......same issues.  Now that I ran a race this weekend and had it totally wrong as I came up to each mile marker thereby keeping me in the dark about whether or not I was hitting my PR (5 seconds per mile did make a big difference to me that day) I need to make a change.

Do I need to get on Craigslist or the forum here and buy the old 310 or 910 to get the good technology back or what?  Anyone have a similar experience or recommendation for a different technology?



2016-10-26 12:33 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Expert
1074
10002525
Tyrone, Georgia
Subject: RE: Garmin problems
I have had the 305, 310, 910, and now 920 along with a 235.

I have found my 235 to be good with worn simultaneously with my 920 with only small variations in distance (e.g. no more than .05 miles over a 6 mile run). I used to notice some inconsistencies on my 310 more so than any other device. I can not provide any recommendations outside of the Garmin line as I have never ventured out.

2016-10-26 1:41 PM
in reply to: dandr614

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Master
4079
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Toronto
Subject: RE: Garmin problems

In a similar boat as above - I have had the 305, 310 and now have the Vivoactive. I haven't noticed any particular issue with the pace reading and certainly haven't had the same issue at all. 

sorry, no help at all ... 

2016-10-26 8:49 PM
in reply to: 0

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643
50010025
Subject: RE: Garmin problems
Current pace is always a crap shoot. I wouldn't rely on it. GPS isn't that accurate over short distances. It's better once it has a few points and can use some fuzzy math to give you a decent idea how far you went. The farther the points, the better the accuracy. So current running pace just isn't going to be that great since you're not moving that fast (compared to something like a car). I always use lap pace instead. Pair that with a lap time field and you should be set.

Edited by Blastman 2016-10-26 8:49 PM
2016-10-26 11:57 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Master
8156
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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Garmin problems
Similar issues with the Garmin 210. I basically can't use the pace function. It seems to fluctuate randomly by as much as two minutes a mile (I have been running for 37 years--I would KNOW if I sped up from a 7:45 to a 5:45 place, and with my body now, 5:45 is not happening without some very hard and intentional effort!) when there's no obvious change in effort or terrain (all flat here anyway). It also takes at least five and sometime up to 20 minutes to pick up a GPS signal and start tracking distance.

No idea why. It is counterproductive when I try to do a pace-based workout, as I am not applying an even effort, but am speeding up when it looks 'slow" and slowing down when it looks "fast". It's really only useful for HR based training. I thought it might have something to do with the GPS signal here in Vietnam--maybe not as many satellites around or something. But I haven't had serious issues with my bike Garmin (520) other than occasional electrical interference in one place where I ride--maybe from a security fence or navigation beacon near the road. That will occasionally cause it to quickly turn off and on again or show nonsense data but overall the distance and pace function seems accurate when one takes out those blips.
2016-10-27 6:30 AM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Expert
3819
20001000500100100100
Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Garmin problems

I've had "instant pace" issues with my Garmins over the years, so I use Lap Pace instead and just have it autolap like every half mile or so.  That seems to even out the fluctuation problem.

As for the GPS accuracy of Garmin units, it's been all over the place for me.  My (wife's that I permanently borrowed) 210 was great until there were any buildings around, and then it would be off by a lot (but it was consistently bad, so I was able to compensate).  My old 305 worked OK, but like you mentioned it was really heavy (oh, and not waterproof).  My wife's 220 seems to be pretty good with GPS tracking but she does a lot more hiking/walking than running.  My Fenix 2 used to be HORRIBLE when it first came out, like almost useless.  Now with firmware updates it seems to be OK but every once in a while tracks me like 200-600 yards from where I actually was.

 



2016-10-27 10:20 AM
in reply to: jmhpsu93

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Master
2167
20001002525
Livonia, MI
Subject: RE: Garmin problems

Interesting to hear everyone else's experiences.  Like I said in my OP, the 310 and 910 pace--not lap pace, but actually pace were always dead on for me.  Like, the certain mile would rollover exactly when I hit this specific pole on my run every single time!  And during races it always landed on exactly the correct mileage down to the fraction if I hit the stop as I crossed the pad.  These newer ones just seem much, much less accurate than the old ones and I don't get why that would be.

2016-10-28 7:32 AM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Expert
3819
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Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Garmin problems

Originally posted by noelle1230

Interesting to hear everyone else's experiences.  Like I said in my OP, the 310 and 910 pace--not lap pace, but actually pace were always dead on for me.  Like, the certain mile would rollover exactly when I hit this specific pole on my run every single time!  And during races it always landed on exactly the correct mileage down to the fraction if I hit the stop as I crossed the pad.  These newer ones just seem much, much less accurate than the old ones and I don't get why that would be.

IIRC from the Garmin forums (while researching my issues with my Fenix 2 when it first came out) they changed the GPS chipset about 3 years go in their watches.

Also, you might want to take a peek over at the Garmin forums and see if anyone else has had the same experiences as you and how they remedied them.  They have specific sections for each product.

2016-10-31 1:23 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Veteran
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Dayton
Subject: RE: Garmin problems

I've had a 310, 910, and now a 235.  I haven't had any issues with GPS accuracy since switching to the 235.  My local routes are still ticking over at the expected times.

Hey, the 920 is now $200 on Amazon (sold out) and Clever Training.  Not a bad way to go if you like the tri watch series.

2016-10-31 8:35 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Official BT Coach
18499
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Indianapolis, Indiana
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Subject: RE: Garmin problems

Originally posted by noelle1230

. . .  First off, I can only get the current pace in multiples of 5 unlike the old 310 and 910.

The newer Garmin watches round instant pace to the nearest 5-seconds.  Nothing wrong with your watch, just Garmin's way of smoothing.

When you upload to Garmin Connect the pace will be accurate.

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