GPS-Enabled Personal Training System


August 22, 2003

Saturday August 23, 2003

The Forerunner 201 is an integrated personal fitness tool that uses a GPS sensor to provide users with a range of precise data including speed, distance, jogging pace and calories burned.

The GPS sensor provides latitude, longitude and altitude data so as well as the speed and distance travelled, users can measure how steep the slope is on a particular run. Calories burned can be calculated by entering body weight details into the device and data like lap time, lap distance and average pace is automatically archived and statistically calculated to provide an accurate performance record over a period of up to two years.

The compact, waterproof Forerunner 201 features an ergonomic wristband and a large (100 x 64 pixels), easy-to-read display designed for use by serious athletes or just those interested in personal fitness. Other notable features include AutoLap, which automatically records lap data at pre-configured distance intervals and a "Virtual Partner" function that allows you to program in the pace and workout distance for an imaginary training partner - the readout then lets you know how you are travelling in relation to your partner and encourages you to keep pace throughout the session.

GPS navigation capabilities also enable athletes to mark specific locations that can be recalled and plotted on the Forerunner 201 display. You can then navigate using these points and retrace your steps to a designated starting point.

The Forerunner is a self-contained training system and data is processed on board, but Garmin will provide software for those who want to keep exact records of their fitness regime over time on the PC at the site.

The Forerunner 201 is due for US release in November 2003 at an expected price of US$160.70. It ships standard with a charger stand that also connects to the serial port on most PCs for uploading/downloading GPS data and the rechargeable internal lithium ion battery provides up to 15 hours of typical use.

Stay tuned to for updates on Australian availability see

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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