Running Gear Review – Nike Plus Vs Garmin Forerunner 205-305 GPS

As a gadget and tech junkie, it was to my good fortune that my initiation into the world of distance running roughly coincided with the appearance on the market of several new high-tech running gadgets: the Garmin Forerunner 205 and 305, and the Nike+ system. I have used both the Garmin Forerunner 205 and Nike+ for greater than 6 months each, and what follows is a review and comparison of my experiences with them.

The Nike+ System

Back in 2007, I was just beginning my life as a runner, and I was looking for tools to help me progress. The Garmin Forerunner and Nike+ systems both had instant appeal to my techie side, however I was initially hesitant to invest the several hundred dollars (at the time) needed to buy a Forerunner. I was also swept up in the excitement surrounding the introduction of the Nike+ system, and my first pair of “real” running shoes were Nike+ ready. Since I owned an Ipod Nano, and had shoes that could accommodate the little Nike+ foot pod accelerometer internally, I decided to give Nike + a try. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll say at the outset that I no longer use the Nike+. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone since it does have its benefits and uses. The Nike+ certainly helped my running in those early days, and the motivation provided by the on-line Nike+ challenges was great. I liked being able to gauge my pace, track distance, and record my runs on-line. But for a perfectionist like myself, the Nike+ has some major drawbacks.

The most serious problem I had with the Nike+ was that it was only really accurate if I ran at the same steady pace on every run, and stuck to more-or-less flat ground. Any deviation from the pace you calibrate it at messes up both the pacing data as well as the distance recording for your run, and at times I found these measurements to be quite far off. Now, for many runners this is not a big deal, but if you like to mix up your training and include things like intervals, tempo runs, and long, slow runs, the Nike+ comes up way short. Furthermore, for me as a road racer, tenths of a mile and accurate pacing data matter a lot, so these shortcomings presented some major problems. That being said, I’m glad that I used it, and it did help a lot when I first started out. Even after I upgraded to the Garmin Forerunner 205, I did still continue to use Nike+ for treadmill runs (this probably goes without saying, but GPS doesn’t work on a treadmill). The Nike+ recordings on a treadmill are accurate enough, and in my case are more accurate than the readout of my treadmill’s own data console (it has never worked quite right for some reason).

I do believe that the Nike+ can be a valuable tool for a new or recreational runner. It’s cheap (less than $30.00), so it won’t dent your wallet too much if you decide you don’t like it, and the website and on-line community associated with Nike+ are both motivational and interesting. If you’re a new runner just starting out, or an experienced runner who tends to run most of your runs at the same pace, then the Nike+ would be a great addition to your running toolbox, and would surely provide some motivation for you to hit the road. However, as mentioned above, it has some major drawbacks for a serious runner who cares about missing tenths of a mile or needs really accurate pacing information.

Garmin Forerunner 205/305 GPS Wristwatch

If you want a personal running computer that will allow you to take your running to the next level and permit you to mix up your training runs with speed and long distance, you’re going to need something more than Nike+. I, unfortunately, am a perfectionist, and the inaccuracy of the pacing and distance data provided by Nike+ continually bugged me (and I was growing tired of mapping my runs on-line to figure out actual distances that I had covered). So, after about six months of consistent use, I decided to relegate the Nike+ to the treadmill only, and I asked Santa for a Garmin Forerunner 205 for Christmas. Sure enough, the fancy new GPS wristwatch was in my stocking, and it has not been absent from my wrist during a run in over a year. Simply stated, this is one of the coolest and most useful gadgets of any kind that I own, and it has allowed my running to progress in ways that probably would not have otherwise occurred.

First, let me explain the difference between the two current-generation Garmin Forerunner models (a fancy new waterproof model is on the way – the Garmin Forerunner 310 XT – but I’ll explain in a bit why I’d still go for one of the current ones for now if you’re considering a purchase). The two current models are the Forerunner 205 and the Forerunner 305. The only real differences between the two watches (besides color – the 205 is blue, and the 305 is red) are that the 305 can sync with an included heart rate monitor, an optional foot pod accelerometer (for the treadmill), and an optional speed-and-cadence sensor for your bike. Otherwise, from what I can gather, they are virtually identical. Given the minor price difference between the two Forerunners (about $10.00-$15.00 more for the 305), it would seem to make sense to go with the 305 if you’ve decided to buy a Forerunner.

So, I have now been using the Forerunner 205 regularly for over a year, and I have absolutely nothing but good things to say about it. The pacing data is right on (I have run enough chip-timed races with the 205 to verify this), as is the distance data. In addition to time, current pace, and distance, I have three data screens (which is the max on the 205/305) set up to show such variables as average pace, elevation, percent grade, calories burned, and time of day. Of all of these, the only one that seems somewhat iffy from time to time is the elevation, though if you smooth it out in one of the training programs that sync with the Forerunner, elevation patterns look pretty good as well. So far, I have pretty much exclusively used the Forerunner in its most basic mode – to simply track my data while I run. It is possible to configure things like training/pacing partners and interval workouts on the watch, and to use it as a (very) basic real-time GPS mapping device for things like hiking, but I haven’t used it much for this. In addition to running, I have used it while walking, snowshoeing, and biking (less extensively), and it works great for all of the above.

For me, the two features that matter most from a training and racing standpoint are accurate pacing and distance measurements, and as I said above this is where the Forerunner blows away the Nike+. I actually trust the Forerunner more than most of the on-line mapping programs when it comes to calculating distance, and being able to import all of my data into the computer is great. For the latter, I have skipped the included Garmin Training Center software and instead use an amazing, free program called Sportracks. Sportracks downloads all of the data from the Forerunner and lets you look at it in almost any way that you could possibly want. Among other things, Sportracks gives you GPS route maps, tons of data graphing options (e.g., pace vs. distance, pace vs. elevation, mile splits, etc.), and keeps a detailed running log that includes run times/dates, weather conditions pulled from the internet, distances run, and calories burned. As a scientist who loves data, Garmin Forerunner + Sportracks makes me one very happy runner.

A few last comments about some potential concerns with the Forerunner bear mentioning. One of the concerns I initially had about these watches was their size. Yes, they are big, but I have never noticed it as a nuisance while running, and I actually think the size is a positive rather than a negative since it makes it easier to read your data on the go. This is one of the major reasons why I would probably not consider upgrading to the newer and smaller Forerunner 405 – if you pack too many data streams on a small screen then things could get awful hard to read at mile 20 of a marathon. The other concern someone in the market for a GPS watch might have is the forthcoming new Garmin Forerunner 310 XT, which is waterproof to 50m and offers wireless data transfer. It would take a lot of new bells and whistles for me to spend an extra $100-$200 to choose to purchase the new 310 XT over the current 205 or 305. The new watch looks sportier, and the wireless sync feature is nice, but I don’t really care if I can dive to 50m with it on. If for some reason I’m out for a run and I wind up 50m underwater, I probably won’t be resurfacing to make it back home anyway (though in all seriousness, I can see how the 310 XT might be useful to a triathlete). For me, I’ll stick with the 205/305.

Hopefully I’ve given you a feel for what the Garmin Forerunner 205/305 can do. Really, there’s probably a lot more that it is capable of than what I have discussed here, but the best way to experience it is to try it out. As a runner who has now completed 1,266.01 miles (did I mention that I love accuracy!) with the Garmin Forerunner 205 (and it’s still going strong, with no major problems), I can honestly say that next to my running shoes, this is the most essential piece of running gear that I own. I highly recommend the Forerunner – get one and you won’t be disappointed.

Credit Card Debt Bankruptcy Alternatives

Credit card debt is one of the main forms of debt that individuals have. They are easy to obtain, but hard to get rid of. Credit cards have high interest rates and in order to get rid of them fast is to file bankruptcy. Now, there is a way for you to get out of debt without bankruptcy and losing your assets. In order to get out of debt, you can try a program like debt consolidation.

Debt consolidation is when you make one low monthly payment minus all of the high interest. You will pay either a lower rate or none at all. In order to get started with the process of consolidating your bills, you will need to contact a company that handles debt consolidation. When looking for a company, you'll need to make sure that the company does not offer any hidden fees. There should not be a fee to get started. The only thing you should be paying the company is your monthly payment. You want to get out of debt and live a stress free life.

Debt consolidation can come in two forms. One way that companies consolidate debt is to offer you a loan where they will pay off all of your credit card debt. In return, you'll end up paying the consolidation company each month. The second one is when the consolidation company helps you to manage your debt. They will combine all of your bills and you will give the company a certain amount of money each month, so that they can distribute it out to all of your bill collectors.

Consolidating debt is a life saver for anyone with multiple cards that have high interest rates. When you have credit card debt, you're making your minimum payment each month, but the amount that you owe remains the same. In order for you to be able to see the debt amount getting lower is by paying more than the minimum each month. It's hard to pay more than the minimum because you have other bills to pay. Some people get so stressed out about their debt, that they're stop making payments completely. The only other option for you is to consolidate your debt. You will wonder why you did not do this a long time ago. In a couple of years, you will be debt free and be able to live your life normally again.

Social Networking Sites Allow Friends to Find Each Other Online

Like most people, you've probably considered tracking down a friend who you have lost contact with, but do not know how to begin your search because you no longer have any of their contact details, or the information you own was given to you years ago and is incomplete. No need to worry, there is a relatively simple way you can try and find your long lost pals, and even make new ones, and it is through a social networking site.

Websites that have been designed for the purpose of online social networking have become extremely popular over the past few years, and there are a number of reasons for this. Many online users enjoy the fact that they can create their own profile for free, allowing them to have their own personal space on the web. People also like the fact that they can share pictures and other media with those in their network, as well as play games and get involved in other groups, or even create their own. Additionally, it is a great way for members to find old friends, new friends, connect with co-workers or past classmates.

If you would like to try and find your friend using a social network on the web, you should begin trying to locate them with two of the most popular networks – MySpace and Facebook. However, if you have no luck with these sites, try others including LinkedIn, Plaxo, Hi5, Wink and Orkut.

How should you begin your search? Essentially, all you do is follow the searching instructions that have been laid out for you by the site. You will discover that some webpages are different than others, but basically all of them function very similar to a forward search, and will allow you to lookup a friend by using their name as your main search tool. Therefore, in the provided query box, enter the full name of the person you wish to find. If too many results, or none are found, try searching for them under another last name such as a married or maiden name if you are aware of one, or try an alias or a popular nickname they went by when you were close.

If searching their name is unsuccessful, the site may also provide you with other options for your hunt, such as finding a person from their …

– High school or college name and year they graduated
– Place of work or their career title
– Common interests or hobbies

Should you be able to track down your friend on a social networking site, keep in mind that you will likely need to create a free membership in order to contact them or access their profile. Furthermore, also keep in mind that while you can use these networks as a type of forward search, they do not function as a phone number lookup , so if you are trying to find your friend through their telephone number, you will need to use a separate reverse search

Is There a Lot of Risk Investing in Bonds?

Every investment you go for carries a certain amount of risk. The question is whether you are happy with a large amount of risk, or you would prefer settling for a smaller amount. Investing in bonds is no exception to this rule, and this means you have to think carefully and work through the facts before you decide whether to invest or not.

When you invest in bonds you need to be able to accept that part of your bonds or possibly even all of them may be lost. So if you are investing money you do not want to lose, you may be better off looking for a more secure investment.

Of course you can make a decent profit on a bond investment – it all depends on the nature of the investment, how risky it is and the various conditions in place at the time.

Generally speaking there are different types of bonds available with different goals in place for them. So if you do not like to take much risk you can think about investing in a bond that is more secure. If you want to go for more profits you need to opt for one that also offers more risk. This is how the bond system works.

The best position to start from then is one of knowledge. For example you need to know how settled you are with the idea of ​​risking your money. Some people save up a certain amount to invest in bonds, knowing they are not relying on this amount of money for any other reason. In this way they will know that if the worst happens and they do lose the lot, it will not affect their life in any way.

One thing to bear in mind with the risks associated with bonds is that they are generally safer as an investment vehicle than the stock market is. So if you find stocks unappealing because of the risks involved, bonds provide the next step down and it could be enough to make you feel safer in investing in this way.

Finally, look at the yield for any particular bond to gauge how risky it is. The better the yield is heralded to be, the more risk is involved with it. You can use this as a yardstick to figure out whenever you have found the right bond investment for you.