Keeping calm when your Garmin dies mid-run

My old Garmin Forerunner 305 has been acting buggy lately. Once in awhile it will refuse to connect to my computer in order to upload my data. A couple of times it has even given my computer the notorious blue screen of death (i.e., crashed Windows). It’s new trick is saying it’s fully charged, when it actually hasn’t been charging at all.

Yesterday I headed out for a 8 mile trail run with my husband. We arrived at the trail head and I turned on my Garmin. The familiar “low battery” message immediately flicked on. I won’t lie – I had a hissy fit. Less than 24 hours earlier, my Garmin was plugged in andtold me it was fully charged. “We won’t have a time for our run!” “What about my training log? I need the data!” My husband, a newbie runner, just kind of looked at me and said, “What’s the big deal? Let’s just run.”

Let’s just run. What a foreign concept. It sounded simple, but I’m a bonafide data nerd. I need detailed records that I can then turn into all kinds of Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts in Excel. It’s fun (to me). I’m a Type A control freak that needs to know exactly how many miles I’ve ran, how many more I have to go, and what my pace is.

There wasn’t much I could do about the situation, so I figured let’s see how long my Garmin holds out. It did eventually die, but at least it held out to our halfway point. Seeing as how we were running an out and back route, I have a pretty good idea of our distance.

More importantly though, the world did not end. Sure, I still kind of pout when I look at my running data and I see a glaring hole where my records for that run should be. But I think it was important for me to be forced to just let go….to just run.

I’m curious to hear from others on this issue. Do you always run with a GPS device?

Although I survived, I guarantee you I will be double- and triple-checking my Garmin battery from here on out.

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6 thoughts on “Keeping calm when your Garmin dies mid-run

  1. I have a glitchy Garmin too! What helped was resetting the watch, then killing the battery. I drained it by finding the satellites and then just running the clock. Then once it was dead, I recharged it. So far it hasn’t had any issues holding a charge and dying on me mid-run. Trust me, I lose my mind when it shuts off too! Good luck!

  2. Mine died a quarter of the way into my 12 mile run last week. Initially it was very upsetting~I felt completely lost. But by the end of the 12 mile (ish) run, the world hadn’t imploded. It was kind of nice running and not feeling compelled to check my garmin every few minutes.

  3. I know… we spend like $200 on Garmins and they do this stuff… mine is about 1 1/2 years old and will give me that low battery message just when I’m about to go on a long run. I go nuts!

  4. My 305 conked out this week too. Apparently there is a fairly well-documented wonky thing that at some point makes it start turning off when you hit a bump. I’m putting my husband on the case since I really don’t feel like buying another.

  5. Unfortunately, I do run with my Garmin and have become addicted! I recently started ditching it on my easy/recovery runs because I didn’t want to freak out when I saw how slow I was running (even though that’s the point of easy days!). Ugh, sometime it’s nice to just run!

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