Technolust: Garmin Forerunner 405

I’ve been a very bad runner of late. Brooke and I started running to keep fit back in 2003, and for the first few years, I was motivated. One of the tools that helped me was a great heart-rate monitor watch I bought from Sports Instruments. That watch is now on its last legs, and it’s time for some new gadgetry to help get me back on track, so to speak.

I’d always loved the Garmin Forerunner series of GPS-enabled watches, but they were enormous and ugly, and often didn’t work in the city, where tall buildings interfered with their ability to pick up a signal. I kept telling myself that when they got smaller and more capable, I’d pick one up. I believe that day is now at hand. Behold the Forerunner 405:

Garmin Forerunner 405

This thing will do everything: track distance, time, map routes, even heart-rate (on one model). Best of all, it can upload its data to the web, where you can analyze it or compare yourself with others on Garmin’s new Connect community.

This is exactly the sort of tech geekery that gets me excited and motivated to exercise more. There are only two notes of caution here. One is that there won’t be any Mac support for the 405 until November 2008. The other is that Apple has long been rumoured to be working on a much fuller implementation of the Nike + iPod kit. While it’s doubtful that Apple could build something as sophisticated as the Forerunner (though it would play music!), I might still try to wait a while. Although I’m sure I could use Windows under Parallels for a few months to sync my data with my iMac, there could be some potential hiccups.

Don’t be surprised if I go out and buy one this weekend, though!