GPS Fitness Trainers For Better Performance

Michael D.By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Along the concrete and asphalt paths of Venice, Santa Monica, and other coastal parts of West Los Angeles, people have been increasingly turning out for early morning training runs in preparation for the March 2008 Los Angeles Marathon.

During my morning visits down to the beach I’m seeing increased numbers of people training in groups. The 22nd annual LA Marathon is taking place on March 2 of this year and those groups are likely to grow in size during the next 45 days or so.

But what if your training alone?

Garman forerunner 201 I’ve been running the shoreline between Marina del Rey and the Santa Monica pier for the past seven years and one of the best things I’ve ever done is purchase a GPS fitness trainer to keep track of my progress.

The one shown here is an older model known as the Garmin 201. I’ve logged hundreds of miles on it and it’s been absolutely spectacular in helping me to keep my training schedule in check.

There are newer models from Garmin, such as the 301 (which includes a heart rate monitor) and the 305 (which appears more like a wrist watch than the model shown here).

If I were to buy new one I’d likely get the 305 model since it appears so small.

I’ve written tips on marathon training in the past, and I’ve had posts about the 2006 LA marathon, the Nike women’s marathon in San Francisco, the New York City marathon 2007, and other related marathon posts. I’ve mentioned time and again about the importance of measuring one’s performance and tracking your goals. The GPS based unit has helped me improve my running times and provided all sorts of stats (like miles run in the past year) that help keep me motivated to continue moving forward.

This morning I noticed that fellow blogger Ross Dunn had the ADEO GPS Fitness Trainer on his wish list. I hadn’t seen this device before but it looks pretty snazzy. I don’t know how it compares to the Garmin but maybe Ross will get one and provide us with a review.

As a chiropractor and an avid runner, I’m not particularly crazy about running on concrete (as I see many people doing down at the beach). Make sure you are getting fitted for the appropriate type of running shoes, especially if you’re going to be impacting hard surfaces for long periods of time. I posted in the past about Adidas locations that provide orthotic foot scanning.

Have a great run!

3 thoughts on “GPS Fitness Trainers For Better Performance”

  1. You know I also found a neat gizmo… the nike ipod runner chip. I use it all the time. It helps take my mind of of the running so that I can focus on more important things like form and keeping my heart rate in the zone. I explain it better on my site. When you get a chance leave a post or two.
    Work Hard,
    Ahmad Baari, C.P.T.

  2. I am simply amazed at the multitude of applications that GPS units have come up with. From tracking inventory, to driving directions and now your site lists the many features of superior models for running.

    When I run I often mentally need something to focus on. I choose my stride and my breathing or pacing.

    This new tool would be a welcomed addition to my regimen.

    Janice Smith

  3. Hi Michael,

    Came across your post when googling for gps blog posts.

    Interesting read there. Also checked out the stuff you’ve been posting before about marathon training as I am currently working on a small marathon website. I am a two time Olympic runner and have had my share moments with the gps getting exactly the time needed on the runs. The 305 model is just excellent, both looks nice + feels like a normal watch but will all kind of neat functions. Will keep checking in on your writing in the future.

    Regards from Norway,
    Marius Bakken

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