I am both a longtime user of a Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS watch (2+ years) as well as an active member of the social training community on dailymile. Together, I’d count my Garmin and the dailymile community as two of the most essential parts of my running toolkit, and when I first joined dailymile about a year ago I was disappointed that the site didn’t support syncing/uploading of data from the Garmin devices. I’ve gotten along just fine entering data manually (I actually kind of enjoyed doing it that way), but after a lot of hard work on the part of the developers (thanks Kelly and Ben!!!), Garmin Sync on dailymile has finally arrived!
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin Forerunner line of watches or the dailymile website, here’s a quick overview:
Garmin Forerunner Fitness Watches
The Garmin Forerunners are a line of fitness watches that operate by tracking GPS signals while you run. They have highly customizable data screens, and allow you to track things like distance, pace, elevation, grade, your GPS route track, etc. in real-time and with great accuracy (far better than the Nike+ – you can read my Nike+ review here). You can use them to create workouts (for example, I’ve used mine to do interval workouts on the roads instead of a track since it measures distance), and the best part is that they store your data for later upload onto a computer. I’ve been using the free PC-based program SportTracks for uploading and storing my Garmin data, and it’s a program that I highly recommend (I’ve posted a detailed review of SportTracks, and a SportTracks plugin for dailymile is in the works!).
My Garmin has played a huge role in helping me to improve as a runner, and the accurate pacing data that it provides has now helped me survive through 5 marathons and numerous shorter races. In fact, my Garmin is probably the only thing that rises above the shoes on my feet in terms of its importance to my running, and if you know me, that’s saying a lot. There are a number of Garmin models out there, ranging from the top of the line Forerunner 310XT, to the more watch-like Forerunner 405CX, to my trusty Forerunner 205 (check out my review of the Garmin Forerunner 205/305) – I’ve heard good things about all of them, but if I had to make a choice right now I’d probably buy the Forerunner 305 – it has the perfect combination of features at a fairly reasonable price (it’s like the 205, but with the added ability to track heart rate and sync with a footpod for use indoors on a treadmill). Below are links to the Forerunner watches on Amazon.com (Amazon has consistently had among the best prices on these devices):
dailymile: Social Training Website for Logging Your Miles
dailymile is a social training site for posting workout data, and has an interface that is kind of similar to Facebook, except that it’s geared directly toward active people who value exercise as a part of their lives (runners, swimmers, cyclists, walkers, etc.). I can’t begin to explain how much this site has meant to me and my training, and through dailymile I’ve met some truly inspirational people, many of whom have become good friends. To get a feel for what dailymile is all about check out this post that I recently wrote on the dailymile Community Blog (in the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I’m now part of the dailymile Team and the editor of the dailymile Community Blog).
At its heart, dailymile is a place to post your workouts and share that data with a group of on-line (and often real-world) friends. The site is filled with a great group of very positive people who are always there to cheer you on when you when you run a great race, or give you a kick in the pants when you’re in need of a bit of extra motivation to hit the road/trail for a run. Now, with the ability to sync your Garmin, posting of data has gotten even easier. After a relatively painless setup process, uploading data from your Garmin is a snap, and dailymile currently pulls your distance, time, calories burned, and optionally can include a GPS map of your running route (this can be turned off if you have privacy concerns). With a simple syncing process, you simply click a button, fill in a journal entry on the workout and add a few other details if you’d like, and then publish your workout. Friends can then comment on what you’ve done, and you can do the same on their workouts, which appear in a news-stream similar to what you’d find on a Facebook home page. It’s a slick interface, and a beautifully designed site. Having gotten to know the developers a bit over the past few months, all I can say is that the site is in great hands, and there are lots more goodies to come!
So, if you have a Garmin and are looking for a site to log your workouts and meet some great people, I urge you to give dailymile a try – you won’t regret it. Sign-up is free, and you can click the banner below to head over to dailymile and start logging your miles!