The top model in Garmin’s Forerunner range of fitness watches, the 405 features GPS and a wireless heart-rate monitor – an optional extra, included in the price list. It offers an impressive range of workout types, wrapped up in a neat, robust wristwatch that could just about pass for a normal timepiece.

Before embarking on your technology-assisted workout, however, you need to locate a satellite. Here we hit the first snag. The Garmin Forerunner 405 took several minutes to hook on to a link. Less iron-willed joggers may dislike waiting around in the cold, and we can’t help wondering whether the benefits of GPS are worth this (minor) hassle.

From then on, things became easier, although the superb range of features makes the Garmin Forerunner 405 a bit of a challenge to use. The silver-coloured bezel is touch-sensitive and used for selecting most options – unfortunately, it’s difficult to use accurately even when standing still. As you run, the 405 displays real-time details on its clear screen.

All the usual programmes are available. You can choose to run for a certain distance or time, and set rest periods and multiple reps. The virtual partner is a particularly useful feature – set the speed of your imaginary opponent, and the Garmin Forerunner 405 keeps track of how far ahead or behind you are. It’s surprising how effective a motivation this can be.

When you’ve finished exercising, you can upload training data from the Garmin Forerunner 405 to your PC (and the Garmin website) with user-friendly wireless faciities.


The Garmin Forerunner 405 is a robust, good-looking and fully featured device, but it’s expensive and quite hard to use.