Forerunner 310XT

By STEPHEN REGENOLD

The Forerunner series of athletic-minded watches from Garmin Ltd. have gained a devotion with some athletes and exercisers that may only be described as cultish. But it is with good reason: Forerunner watches are top-shelf performers and they offer functions unlike anything else on the market.

To the point, the Forerunner series provides accurate and useful GPS functionality combined with all the fitness metrics an exerciser might want and need. For the past three months, I have had the Forerunner 310XT on my wrist. It is a big and solid watch with a substantial starting price tag of $349 to match.

Garmin 310XT watch.jpg

Garmin Forerunner 310XT

But for the money, the 310XT gives a stout waterproof design and an easy-to-use interface that measures your heart rate, calories burned, distance covered, altitude gained, and a litany of additional assets to track and quantify a workout in space and time.

The watch’s stellar GPS functions impressed me most. On training runs in the city as well as adventures in the mountains and woods, it was easy to track a route. The high-sensitivity GPS receiver captured every twist and turn, including under tree cover.

At home on a computer, a wireless connection via a USB stick takes information from the 310XT and puts it on a map. Grids and charts pop on the computer screen, revealing fitness-oriented details of your recent activity outdoors.

Garmin Forerunner Screen Shot copy.jpg

Forerunner graphs, charts, GPS-based maps, and readouts pop to life on a computer screen

On the go, the watch can accurately measure distance and pace. During a run or a bike ride, you can glance at the watch to obtain real-time, GPS-based information on miles traveled and speed obtained.

Made for runners, bikers, and swimmers — or triathletes if you combine all three — the watch is waterproof. It can be mounted on a bike and can track distance in an open-water swim.

Downfalls? The watch is pricey, to be sure. With an included heart-rate monitor strap it costs $399. The 310XT is $349 without the strap.

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Posted by Marcos - 10/07/2010 10:08 AM

I’m with you, I have it and love it! There’s only one thing I doesn’t do very goot still, is lap swimming, the GPS gets crazy with the in an out of the water motion, the folks at Garmin have released an update that’s supposed to solve this, but it still not good on a swimming pool. I haven’t tried it yet on open water or any big body of water, but this watch rocks!

Posted by mike levad - 10/07/2010 11:01 AM

Is the computer interface Mac friendly?

Posted by bikerdude - 10/07/2010 05:59 PM

I can’t really understand why someone would complain about GPS function while lap swimming. You know how long the pool is so count your laps and you have no problem.

Posted by jpea - 10/08/2010 10:43 AM

mike, it looks like the Garmin Connect and Training Center software IS available for the Mac as well https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=142&pID=27335&ra=true#specsTab

Posted by DIEGO HERRERA - 07/24/2013 06:54 PM

Hey Stephen, you are right when you say that the “Forerunner watches are top-shelf performers and they offer functions unlike anything else on the market”. I chose mine over other brands or even over the garmin 910 for many reasons. I wrote why i chose here My 310xt

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