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Garmin 305 Tips


Just a brief intoduction to the main functions of the Garmin 305. It is by no means complete, please feel free to add but try to ensure accuracy of teh information.

This article is owned by Hendo

*The Basics*

1. When you lock on to GPS make sure the unit is outside stood on its own on a wall or something totally still with flat aerial bit facing towards the sky. It seems the higher you are, the quicker it acquires the satellites. Mine is quicker indoors upstairs than outdoors. You can also use the arrow buttons to change the display while acquiring satellites for a more informative view.
2. Use a bit of black insulation tape to tape over the four electrodes on the back and the small speaker holes when you wear it. Take the tape off to dock in to cradle, re-use for weeks.
3. When docking in to cradle, to ensure it connects to PC properly always pull plug out of the cradle, place unit in cradle (switched off) then put the plug back into the cradle.
4. Often if you still have connection problems simply plug the other end of the USB lead into another USB port on your machine then it will refresh the drivers which can be a bit buggy.
5. Common menu functions:
5a. To set the display fields use bottom left button (mode) to get to settings then the up or down arrow buttons on the right to navigate to settings, press bottom right (enter), select "General", press enter again then "Data Fields". From there you can set up all your display options that can be scrolled through while runing if you want.
5b. Use Training/Training Options and from there set Alerts, Auto Pause (handy), Autolap and Virtual Partner. I set autolap to 1 mile or 1 km which is handy.
5c. In a similar manner to the above using a combination of mode/up/down arrow and enter buttons you can view history from History/Running/By day and selecting the day you wish to view.

The training Centre Software that comes with the 305 is fine for recording your data onto your machine. The newest version, 3.3.2, is worth upgrading to, especially if you're upgrading from an older Garmin. It's the first version which can back up all your runs, which lets you associate multiple Garmins with one user, and lets you view runs in Google Earth. Don't try to view them all - it will hang indefinitely.
You can download it here:
Link (roll over me to see where I go)
SportTracks is free to try and will continue working without making a donation however it is 'donationware' and each donation helps the team to continue devloping the software. It is far more versatile with much better mapping, some people find it a bit quirky to use but it is VERY powerful... and is also not for Macs :-(
Link (roll over me to see where I go)
To allow you to upload straight to Fetch like I and many others do use the excellent HollyBar that you can get from here for free:
Link (roll over me to see where I go)
Hollybar is not yet compatible with Firefox so go to the site and add your support and the developer might amend this.
Hollywoof wrote the hollybar software and has recently launched a website for all things garmin called RunSaturday which is here:
Link (roll over me to see where I go)
For Fetch related training logs you can share runsaturday data with many different platforms - export and import to Fetch ( you need to set up the import from Fetch to then be able to then export), twitter and lots of other things.
If you're a Mac user then avoid the Garmin Training Centre software because, frankly, it's dreadful. "Ascent" is your best bet, and although it costs a little ($35), it really is worth it.
Link (roll over me to see where I go)
Training Peaks & WKO+
Training Peaks have an on-line training analysis site that is excellent. They also have an application called WKO+ which provides excellent analytical tools for reviewing and dissecting your training. It has a device agent that allows you to download the data from the Garmin directly into the application or up to the website.
You can download and try WKO+ from Link (roll over me to see where I go)
Pre planned running programs in Training Centre format are available via the site, they are produced by a world famous runner and trainnig expert Matt Fitzgerald.

If you're a Linux user, try gpsbabel (Link (roll over me to see where I go) - there's probably already a package for your distribution). You can download tracks from your 305:
gpsbabel -t -i garmin -f usb: -x track,start=,stop= -o gtrnctr,course=0 -F filename.tcx
where start and finish are in the format hhyymmdd, and filename is the filename you wish. For some reason, I always end up with 'biking' tracks after this, so I do 'sed -i 's/Biking/Running/g' ' to convert. You can import these .tcx files directly to FE.
To write back to the 305 (FE route export creates .tcx files), use the command:
To create a course:
gpsbabel -t -i gtrnctr -f filename.tcx -x simplify,count=150 -x transform,rte=trk -o garmin -F USB:
To create a route:
gpsbabel -t -r -i gtrnctr -f filename.tcx -x simplify,count=150 -x transform,rte=trk -o garmin -F USB:
If you receive an error that the route has been truncated, simply change the 'count' above (eg to 120) and try again.
You can also use the Linux version of the Garmin Communicator plugin from Link (roll over me to see where I go) to upload to FE.
*Heart Rate Strap*

1. Make sure that you wet it with either a little salt solution (on the strap where the ribbed bits are and on your skin) or saliva to ensure a good contact.
2. If you find working with five heart rate zones complicated and too much for you to start with see my article on how to get stated with just a few simple rules.
3. Cleaning the *elastic part only* of the HR strap is as simple as putting it in the washing machine along with a coolish (40 degree) dark wash.
Link (roll over me to see where I go)
*Turn off Tones on Keypress*

Go to "Settings/General/System/Tones", press the enter button and select "Off".
*Setting Alerts*

Press mode button on bottom left of device then select Training/Training Options/Alerts/ and you have three options:
Time/Distance Alerts
Pace Alert
HR Alert
Setting Autolap

To set your device to autolap every mile Training / Training Options / Autolap
Setting Alerts for Every Mile

Training / Training Options / Alerts/Time/Dist Alert/Distance Alert - set it to "on" and "once per mile".
Simply use the up/down arrows on the r/h side of the 305 to scroll to the appropriate heading, press enter and configure from there.

Press mode button on bottom left of device then select Training/Workouts then you have three options:
*Quick Workouts*

Pressing enter on teh r/h side of the 305 gets you yet three more options for quick workouts:
Dist & Time
Time & Pace
Dist & Pace
Simply use the up/down arrows on the r/h side to select the one you want, press enter and fill in the required information. When you have set the required time/distance etc when you press start to start the workout the 305 will more or less tell you what to do and alert you when you re running too fast or too slow.
I think that should get you up and running quite quickly. I don't use half of the 305 functions but it is brilliant. I love them! Just have a play and keep the manual handy to dip into as and when rather than trying to read it from cover to cover which is highly tedious! :-)
*Custom Pace Settings*

In TC the Pace zones can be given names. The watch will, on some screens, show the zone name. Therefore you can choose race paces and give the speed zones suitable names. This can be used in training very useful when your plan says, run 1 mile at 10K pace, then 1 mile at half marathon pace etc e.g. "1 mile pace","3K Pace", ....,"marathon pace", or in a race e.g. if your target is to finish a marathon in 3:00, then you can set up speed zones for 3:05-3:10 pace, 3:00-3:05, 2:55 to 3:00 etc and the watch will show your finish time if you ran the whole race at your current pace. However, beware that *most*races are longer than the Garmin measures, so add ~1% to the race distance before calculating the pace zones. E.g marathon = 26.2 miles, marathon + 1% = 26.2+0.262 = 26.42 miles. Use the mile markers to check that your Garmin does not drift by too much.
This tip can be very useful when tired - in a tough training session or towards the end of a marathon your brain is fuddled and you cannot work out if 6:55 min/mile is 3:02 or 3:05 etc.

Sometimes the unit just gets its knickers in a twist and needs resetting in which case you need to follow these instructions:
Link (roll over me to see where I go)
Mine got stuck with a constant beeeeeeeeeeep after pressing enter; the above reset did not work but I found another on ,which was to press and hold the Power, Mode and Reset buttons all together for three seconds, which worked instantly.
#Neither of these reset methods worked for mine, but after 15mins trying various combinations of buttons a FULL FACTORY reset was found by holding in MODE and pressing POWER. **Be aware that the watch will be reset to default settings and will clear all history, user and workout settings**
Not Communicating with PC

Here is a recent problem discovered and explained by Yorkshire Plodder:
"I discovered very early on that theres a problem when you create a course (or track or whatever) on your Garmin and not via the TC - the TC stops being able to communicate with the Garmin (it shouldnt interfere with SportTracks though) - parkbench you sound like you might have the same problem - have you created any courses/tracks recently via your hand set?
The good news is, when I deleted every course on my handset the TC was able to communicate with it again."
Parkbench had indeed created a workout with the device and not with Training Centre...
Thanks Yorshire Plodder! :-)
Dead Garmin

Mine stopped responding and behaved as if it was completely dead so in desperation I tried pressing the mode and reset buttons and it worked even though it didn't look like it had!
Link (roll over me to see where I go)
See above. I've included this though because I thought it might be worth pointing out.
*Viewing Lap Times*

If you set the device up to autolap at every mile for example (a commonly useful one) then after you have finished the run you can view your average pace per lap by pressing the mode button then selecting "History/Running/Bay Day/" with a press of the enter button when you reach each item. Then select the date using the up/down arrows, press the enter button again and the device will ask you if you wish to view laps. Press enter again and you will be able to view each lap in turn along with the time in minutes it took for you to complete. Another press of the enter button and you can view the lap on the map, delete that lap or the entire run (careful).
*Viewing in Software*

In the Training Center software that comes with the Garmin 305 you can view all the laps for a run if you have set the device to autolap, it will display each lap and the time taken.
In SportTracks you can view splits as seen in this screenshot:
Link (roll over me to see where I go)
*Sporttracks Plug-ins*

Sporttracks also has a number of 'plug-ins' that enhance it's functionality. The more useful ones include:
The elevation correction plug-in....
The elevation data recorded by a garmin can be very innaccurate due to the nature of the technology. The elevation correction plug-in uses accurate topographical elevation data to correct the garmin data and gives far more accurate ascent/descent values and elevation profile. The download and further info are at:
Link (roll over me to see where I go)
Incidentally, if you do use Sporttracks and you want to get accurate figures for the amount of ascent/descent you have done, change the the values for 'flat' (in the Categories-Climb view) to the minimum possible values (0.1 to -0.1 iirc) and change the climb and descent limits accordingly. By default it is 2 to -2 and it then sums up all ascent/descent within these gradients and reports the overall total. By minimising the gradients if classes as flat, all ascent and descent will be added in to the appropriate categories. On one hilly run by doing this I revealed another 500 feet of ascent.
*Virtual Partner*

Potentially a fantastic piece of software in the GPS that could help motivate you to maintain pace during an outing. I'd say that it is more useful as a training tool than a critical race pacer. Why? Because in a race there is always some discrepancy between the Garmin/satellite calculation of distance, and that done with a measuring wheel. This means that the 305 could go "beep: you've finished: well won" when you still have 400 yards of your marathon yet to do. Nothing can be more frustrating than missing a pb by a whisker. Also, on the some versions of the 305's software, when the virtual partner thinks it has reached the intended distance it stops the watch. If you use the it for a race, this can mean the watch is stopped before the actual finish (and no, you can't log this as a PB!!). But then again, they don't say that's what it was designed for racing .... when used as per the book it's a great motivator.
If you do want to use the virtual partner for a race, I recommend that you use the distance/pace quick workout option. Set the distance to a mile longer than the race to avoid premature stopping of the clock and set the p[ace to a second or two a mile quicker than you need to make sure slight discrepancies in race distance or you being off the racing line slightly don't mean you miss a PB by a couple of seconds when you thought you were on pace. Using it this way, the VP can be used to pace a race without the issues highlighted above.

To turn on the map display, go to Settings - General - Maps and set 'Show Maps' to on. I'd also recomnmend setting Orientation to track up, which aligns the map display with the direction you are running (same as orientating the map in the paper-based map world).
When running you can then change to the Map screen from the running 'numbers' screens by pressing the mode button, which will cycle through the run data, menu/settings screens and the map. On the map screen, the up/down buttons will zoom the map in and out (with down being zoom in, which is illogical to me).
Now when you are running a dotted track will show the route you have taken (which can help when you are lost!)
Other sexy things to do with the navigation side of things...
From the menu, choose navigation and you can choose 'mark position' You can use this in two ways. Pressing enter on it will give you your curent position and (approximate!!) elevation. Just pressing enter will then save this as a waypoint and return you to the menu (the waypoint will now show on the map screen).
If you want you can change the icon/name of the waypoint priot to pressing OK by moving to these with the up/down keys and then pressing enter and editing them. You can also edit the waypoint position information which means you can put in waypoints for other locations, say for a known point you want to locate and head towards on the map.
If you only wanted a spot check on position/elevation, choose the Delete option and the waypoint will not be saved. The Map option will save thw waypoint and take you directly to the map screen to view it.
Once you have marked (and saved) waypoints as above, the Find option on the navigation menu can be used to select and get directions to the them. Select the waypoint you want (via either the Nearest or List All options), press enter to view a waypoint details and then the goto option. This takes you to a map screen withthe route from where you are now to the waypoint show which you can use along with the compass, and dotted running route to go to the waypoint. However there is an even easier way of going to the waypoint. When you are 'going to' an addition screen is added to those cycled through by the mode button. Pressing mode will take you to a route finding screen which which shows you a compass with a 'direction of travel arrow on it. Turn until this arrow is pointting upwards and you will be heading to your target. The screen also shows distance and estimated time to destination based on current speed. Note that due to teh nature of gps, this direction of travel only gives an accurate direction when you are moving (walking is fine) and that it is a 'as the crow flies' route, so plese don't blindly follow it over a cliff in fog!!
When you are 'finding' a waypoint the 'Stop Go To' option appears on the navigation menu to allow you to, well, stop going to it and remove the route on the map and the 'compass screen'
The final thing worth mentioning here is the Back to Start option on the navigation menu. This works like going to a waypoint, but actually routes you back along the track you have already run, giving you directions along your actual route rather than a straight line between the two. The map and compass screens work almost exactly the same way plus the garmin will beep and notify you of approaching turns etc.
The Back to Start featuer is an example of folowing a track and there are a number of other clever things you can do navigation-wise with routes and tracks, but I'll save this for some other time!!
Fixing Problems - My HR won't display on my Garmin 305
I've had some problems with my HR monitor connecting to my Garmin 305. I wrote to Garmin, this is their response. I followed the steps and it fixed my problem.
Here are some general troubleshooting steps to take if the heart-rate monitor will not establish a connection to the unit.
1. The forerunner heart-rate monitor is to be worn with the logo right-side up, directly on the skin just beneath the breastplate. Direct contact to skin and moisture is necessary to establish an electrical connection between your body and the heart-rate monitor. As such, it may be necessary to wet the contacts on the monitor or use electrode gel to get a reliable connection established at the beginning of a workout. If the heart-rate readings are erratic, especially when biking, the heart-rate monitor can be positioned on the back instead of below the breastplate. This allows better contact to skin.
2. It may be necessary to rescan for the heart rate monitor, especially if the unit has been reset at some point. To do this go into the accessories section of the setup menu and select restart scan.
3. If electrode gel is used regularly, connection problems may persist if dried residue has built up on the contacts of the heart-rate monitor.
4. Move away from any devices that may be causing electrical interference. Common examples include, Computer monitors (CRTs) and high-voltage electrical lines. Use of an AM/FM Tuner or MP3 Player may cause erratic or intermittent reception and may need to be worn on the arm opposite the Forerunner.
5. If your forerunner is not receiving a signal from the heart-rate monitor, you may need to replace the battery in the heart-rate monitor. The heart-rate monitor uses a CR2032 Lithium Coin Cell battery. Be sure to replace the battery lid and o-ring correctly as the waterproof seal may be compromised.
If the above steps have not fixed the issue I would suggest updating the unit software and then performing a hard reset.
To update the software on the unit the Webupdater can be used, which can be obtained from: Link (roll over me to see where I go). Download and install this then connect your unit the computer. The webupdater will then check for available updates and download as necessary.
To reset the unit turn the unit off, hold down the mode button and turn the unit on. When the unit asks if you want to erase all user data, select yes. After resetting the unit, leave it with a clear view of the sky for about 30 minutes to acquire the satellite almanac.
Happy running with the Garmin!

Recent Updates User Comments
Feb 2014 michaelrhall
Feb 2014 michaelrhall
Jul 2010 Unicorn Added A Section on Custom Pace settings
Feb 2010 moggers Changed the terms of SportTracks as it is donationware rather than free. If nobody makes donations then the development could dry up, noooooooooooooooooo I changed that some people find it quirky, The interface is very simple to me so don't agree that everyone finds it quirky. Mentioned that it is VERY powerful. I upload to many sites but it's SportTracks that I find has everything that I want.
Jul 2009 The great dollop Added bit about hollybar being updated to runsaturday
May 2009 Wes-H Added details of Training Peaks who have an on-line analytical suite and also sell WKO+ an application that runs locally on a PC
Sep 2008 Spud-runner Updated HR strap & Troubleshooting (Reset) information
Apr 2008 Slinkyseal Added additional reset instructions, and that SportTracks is not Mac compatible.
Mar 2008 flanker added (under the Sporttracks plug-ins section) about correcting the ascent/descent limits in SportTracks so that it returns accurate figures for ascent/descent
Mar 2008 Making_Tracks Added some information about fixing my Garmin when the HR info wouldn't display on my wrist.