Garmin: FAIL! Again. *sigh*

Back in DC, for the most part, my Garmin worked pretty well.  I could count on it.  As long as I wasn’t running in downtown DC (where this happened), I knew it was fairly accurate.

But Garmin first started giving me problems when it switched from Google Maps (LOVE!) to Bing Maps (HATE!).  My runs in Rio went from being charted, to having no map at all.  AT ALL.  Not even a red line on white background, nothing, the mileage got counted, but since it takes a while to get signal there, it’s nice to know what part didn’t get counted so I can  manually adjust the mileage.  (WTF Bing?  And WTF Garmin for making this change?  It’s been a year, I thought they would go back to google by now.)

Then runs in Manila show up as if I have the ability to walk on water (what supposedly is Manila Bay in the map below is actually EDSA, a pretty major highway here, and Mall of Asia):

Garmin 1

But at least Garmin was still doing something, right?  I mean, once it got signal it was tracking the distance fairly accurately.

Where I live now it takes forever to get a signal.  FOREVER.  I usually give up and start up without waiting for the Garmin.  But yesterday, while waiting for Mai Mai for our run, Garmin actually got a signal!  I was excited!!!  My first run in Makati that would be accurate!

Or so I thought…

I knew there was something wrong when every time I looked at my pace I was running 6 min/miles.  (Hahahaha, yeah, that’s accurate!)

Then I got home, hooked it up to Garmin Connect, and right away I knew something was wrong…  Because, I still don’t have the ability to walk through walls.  But Garmin still believes I’m a super-woman.


Here’s a closer look…


The worst part is that the map above is SO inaccurate (that big loop at the bottom?  Never happened, not even close), that I can’t even attempt to remap it on google maps.  I tried putting it side by side, but all those little circles I apparently ran? I have no idea what it’s meant to be!  Plus the “hybrid” option looks exactly like the aerial view – without street names it makes it even tougher…  The fact that we ran a variety of loops, doesn’t help remembering it either.

Plus, it estimates I had 699ft elevation gain, plus 708ft elevation loss.  Meanwhile the run was on completely flat surface.  Maybe it thought I took the stairs up those buildings I supposedly crossed?

So our 32:48 minute run?  I’m calling it at 3 miles flat, because what else can I do?

I can’t even imagine training for a marathon here and being dependent on my Garmin…  Long runs would be impossible to gauge!


Filed under Runs

9 responses to “Garmin: FAIL! Again. *sigh*

  1. According to mine, I can walk on water too! Woo! Go us! haha

  2. In the first picture above, you were running on reclaimed land. Many years ago, it actually was part of Manila Bay, so blame Bing for not showing updating the maps.

    In Makati, there are a lot of tall buildings that block the connection to the GPS satellites so it takes time to get a signal. The tall buildings are probably also to blame for the inaccurate readings you got.

    • I know it’s reclaimed land, but google maps show as LAND no longer as WATER. It’s been reclaimed long enough for Bing to know better!

      NYC has a lot of tall buildings, so has Arlington (my previous neighborhood), but no problems with reading it… It really is a Garmin fail.

  3. Laura

    I think you are secretly the kid from Family Circus – that’s what those crazy circles look like. How crazy. Have you contacted Garmin?

  4. I ran in Makati yesterday, the first time in more than 2 years. It took more than 20 minutes before I could get a signal. I’ve never experienced problems like this anywhere else.

    On the shift to bing maps, I was one of those that complained to garmin when they suddenly changed. Garmin chose to ignore us though.

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