Running with Garmin: Learning to use the Forerunner 405

I’ve been the lazy owner of a Garmin 405 watch for well over three years now. I press start/stop, I set the Lap to one mile, I watch those miles tick by, and I scroll through the history to see the splits, average pace, distance and time.

I also use it as the subject of many photo-shoots. It’s very photogenic:

100_16278.29.11 043DC.NationalHalf 108
9.24 018

I know that its mode can be switched to cycling, and that I can change what I see on the screen. Its satellite can be quite moody, and sometimes we don’t always trust each other’s data (no, G, I did not just run a 4:45 mile. Try again.).

I also know that…

It survives the rain, but probably not the pool (we won’t test this theory).

It doesn’t like to store too many miles, and gives me the “I’m FULL” beep.

The battery is considered “low” at 18%, but it still keeps trucking along with me.

There have been way too many training runs where I keep going until I see the exact mileage on the screen, and have a stark realization that maybe I am just a little bit Type A.

I have never opened the User Manual, or taken the time to figure out its other secret weapons. The only time I’ve plugged in the USB stick is to unload the above-mentioned “full” memory.

Oh, the things I have missed!

After three years, I finally realized one of the best features of this watch – the Garmin Connect website.


After hours spent scrolling through each run and manually entering it into my Runner’s World log, I finally see this! I’ve been adding an extra step for no logical reason, when all along my calendar was already filled out – splits, distance, time, route and elevation.

Garmin, how did I miss this?!

While I’m not totally obsessed with stats or records, it is a huge convenience to realize my  little green watch has been keeping a log for me all along. I’ve actually been very lazy over the course of this training cycle; my Runner’s World log is essentially empty for the months July – October. I had no idea I was running 30-35 miles/week, or that my routes were being saved daily. I also had no idea you could import these routes to your device, so it remembers them for you.

The Forerunner 405 is not flawless (hence some of those manual entries – which are easy to add, edit and customize), and we have our far-from-perfect days with each other. But this resource is my newest training-friend, and I have my little green watch to thank for it.

What else am I missing? Add your two cents, tips & tricks if you’re a fellow Garmin user! Or, if you have a different watch you prefer, let’s hear it!

If you’re a stop-watch style runner (or no ‘gadget’ at all!), who has no use for stats, GPS systems or mile splits, I respect that, too. There’s nothing about this watch that makes me any faster, stronger or smarter. It just happens to a fun gadget that helps me out now & then.



Filed under gadgets, learning, running gear, things that make me Happy

18 responses to “Running with Garmin: Learning to use the Forerunner 405

  1. Welcome to the party. 🙂

    Seriously, though, even though I do look at the routes, splits, etc. I still enter it in Runner’s World, just out of force of habit. But I also love Garmin’s “player” function, just to see my little dot move through whatever course I’ve run.

  2. Wait. Wait…. Wwwwwwwait!!!!!!! You didn’t know about Garmin Connect?!?!? It’s like my favorite thing ever!!! I love peeping out the elevation vs laps, etc… Oh girl, why did you never ask anyone?!?!?! LOL! So glad you finally found that!

  3. It also, um, came with a HR monitor. 🙂

    My fave part is the “create workouts” part, so it beeps when it’s time to do something different and beeps if you aren’t hitting your goals. I didn’t use it until about a month ago but it’s SO awesome.

  4. I too am a lazy Garmin owner, but alas it does what I want it to. I have yet to sync it to the website or my computer. I just don’t really feel the need. But you may have perked my interest just to check it out anyway. I love my watch!

  5. I’ll never forget the time you ran further than our already exhausting 20-mile run just to see the number 20 on your Garmin due to some technical problem. I couldn’t take one more step and you went nearly an extra mile.

  6. i have the 305 and i live and die by it. i am obsessed with stats. i use garmin connect and i love it. i know there are a bunch of things i don’t use, i can set an alarm if i go below a pace. i need to learn more….but i find it so exciting to come home upload the info and see my pace, my HR, elevation….ugh love it.

  7. Also guilty of only using my Garmin (205) to a PORTION of its potential! I don’t use Garmin Connect either – thanks for the rec!!

  8. Hi, Heather! This is Jake from Garmin, and I’m thrilled that you discovered Garmin Connect! It definitely helps you get a little more out of every workout – even if it’s just sharing with friends or on Facebook to talk a little smack and strut your stuff. 🙂

    Here are some tutorial videos that we’ve done that will show you other top features that you may or may not know about. Enjoy, and keep up the great running and writing!!


  9. There’s a great function for interval workouts that you can program in to your garmin. I just learned how to do it this summer and it was like a lightbulb turned on. There’s an easy how-to video on their site, with a quick google search. 🙂

  10. Pingback: Just a Few Things: Basil & Caffeine-infused Edition | Dietitian on the Run

  11. Lauren

    After our hike last sat Dustin really wanted to connect my Garmin to the computer to see the elevation over the course! My response was “I had no idea it could even do that”. haha. Ohhh technology!

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