Benefits of a gps device for ultra runners

garmin watchIf you are just starting out as recreational runner or you are a seasoned ultra runner, the benefits of a gps device are many.

URL has listened to the requests of our many first time ultra runners who have various concerns when taking on their first long distance trail run. The most popular concern is “how do we we find our way, is the route marked, are we going to get lost?”

The scenario – you have done all your training and your first distance race has arrived. You are still a little apprehensive about those extra miles and the unknowing of how your legs and body will perform – taking on the right amount of food and water etc.  During the race you make an easy navigational error, you’re not used to using maps, and because you are now off track any written route directions are now pointless. You do manage eventually to get yourself back on the correct course, but you have lost valuable time and you may now miss the next Check Point Station cut-off time (what a deflating experience that would be a DNF on your first ultra, just because you made a navigational error). In addition the detour has added a few more miles to your legs, and as you tire the likelyhood of more errors increases. You manage to complete your first ultra event, and you take home a bundle of experience, not just on navigation, but what suits you as a runner, a unique runner (we all are). Next time you will adjust your choice of kit, food etc, but hopefully decide that an investment in a GPS device is almost as important as your running shoes!

To help with this ‘development of an ultra runner’, all of our URL events have gpx files which you can download onto your device.

Don’t have a gps device? No problem! Ultra Running Limited have invested in twenty-five GPS devices, including the Garmin Foretrex 401’s that you simply hire for the day with the route already downloaded.

With a powerful new high-sensitivity receiver, compass, altimeter and a smaller design than its predecessor, the wrist-top Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS is ideal for hands-free navigation, and simple to use.

Garmin 401 photoOverview of the Foretrex 401

·         Newly updated industrial design offers a smaller, lighter unit than previous models for increased comfort and mobility

·         Easy, single-handed operational system features 5 ergonomically situated buttons that intuitively guide you through functions

·         High-sensitivity receiver delivers fast signal acquisition and lock for reception in narrow valleys, dense tree cover and urban jungles

·         High-contrast 64 x 100 pixel screen with bright LED backlight for use in low light; dual-position display allows convenient horizontal or vertical viewing

·         Built-in electronic compass and barometric altimeter provide additional navigational aid

·         Enjoy effortless sharing of waypoints, tracks and routes between Garmin GPS units with ANT wireless communication function

·         The Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS is compatible with Garmin heart rate monitors and GSC 10 Speed and Cadence Sensor (sold separately)

·         For the mariner, sail race feature allows you to configure the start countdown sequence with audible alerts at each start phase

·         View route and follow it back with Garmin’s exclusive TracBack® feature

·         Navigate 20 reversible routes; stores 500 waypoints with name and graphic symbols, and 10,000 trackpoints

·         Trip computer calculates current, average and maximum speed; plus, it tracks trip time and calculates distance

·         Computer-compatible design allows you to load waypoints and routes directly from your computer via USB

·         The Garmin Foretrex 401GPS features waterproof construction, rated IPX7? to withstand immersion in 1m of water for up to 30 min.

·         2 AAA batteries required. The hirer must however bring 4 batteries – 2 for the device and 2 spares for carrying in your backpack. Typically they provide up to 15 hours of use, so with spare batteries the device has unlimited time duration.