For serious triathletes and those of us who just happen to cycle and run, the Garmin Forerunner 310XT is a great choice. But once you've purchased the 310XT, how can you maximize its value? Here are five tips to get the most out of your investment.
1. Read the manual: this may seem like common sense, but if you are like me, you will be so excited about your new toy that you will toss the manual aside when you open up the box the first time. However, the 310XT is fairly complicated to use, and has tons of great features. The only way you will know which ones are relevant to you, and how to use them, is if you read the manual. It will be worth your time.
2. Purchase the heart rate monitor. Yes, it is too bad that you have to pay extra for it, but tracking your heart rate allows you to train much more efficiently. And the 310XT connects wirelessly to the heart rate monitor, so you can see exactly how your body is performing. Do note, however, that the heart rate monitor will not work in the water.
3. Understand the device's limitations: You will not be frustrated that you can not get an accurate reading in the water if you understand that GPS signals do not penetrate water. Also, you'll need to purchase additional pieces if you want to attach the 310XT to your bike or to track foot cadence. Also, the 310XT's screen is glass, so dropping it could result in the screen breaking.
4. Learn how to use Garmin Connect. Garmin Connect is a site created by Garmin that can upload, store, and analyze the data the watch collects. Knowing how to use it properly will allow you to 'use' the 310XT long after you've finished your training session. The Garmin Connect site also features a report making tool and a map searching function. You can also talk to other Garmin Connect users. You can connect your device via USB cable or wirelessly via a ANT agent.
5. Get out there and train! Most of you will not have too much trouble with letting the 310XT collect dust in the drawer, but for those of you who do, this is your wake-up call. The Forerunner 310XT is only useful if its user actually uses it. So make the most of this great GPS watch by training long and hard.