Garmin Forerunner 301

You're skiing in uncharted territory when suddenly you lose control, schuss off a steep drop and find yourself buried head first in a deep snowdrift. You look at the Garmin Forerunner 301 strapped to your wrist and the readout says your heart is racing at 156 beats per minute. Well, you might have guessed your tachycardia, if not with such exactitude, but when you crawl out from your snow prison you realize you're also lost. Now the 301 not only tracks your once-again-spiking heart rate, but delivers some welcome information. Its GPS technology is giving you the route back to your home base.

The Forerunner 301 ($324.98) combines bio monitoring with navigational technology in a lightweight (2.75-ounce) package that athletes such as skiers, runners and cyclists can bring on workouts. Back at home, the info it records easily spills into your computer, where you can track your workout and routes taken.

The 301 can be programmed to scan and supervise your heart rate, speed, distance, pace and even calories burned. The GPS (global positioning system) navigational technology can pinpoint your location on a map anywhere in the world, track your routes, save them and navigate you back to the starting point. Log in key locations as you go and the Forerunner will do everything but airlift you to your chosen destination.

An adjustable elastic strap holds the heart-rate monitor and fits around your chest. The monitor wirelessly links to the Forerunner on your wrist, which reads and saves the information (up to two years of data). As well as knowing where you are, the device records how far you've traveled and how long it took to get there.

Garmin has also partnered the multifaceted contraption with software for your PC called the Training Center, which stores data, analyzes your progress and customizes future workouts for a number of different sports. Looks as if the machines have taken over here.

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