How to Program the Garmin Forerunner 301

Here are step-by-step instructions on programming your Garmin Forerunner 301. If you are technically challenged, this is a "how to" for all novices.


  1. Image titled Program the Garmin Forerunner 301 Step 1
    Make sure your device is fully charged. On the right end there is a weather cap that lifts up to reveal the USB port. Plug in the USB and then plug in the wall outlet. When the device is fully charged the screen will go from "Battery Charging In Progress" to "Battery Charging Complete"
  2. Image titled Program the Garmin Forerunner 301 Step 2
    Turn on the unit with the far left button on the front. Push and hold the button for 2 seconds and it should now be powered on.
  3. Image titled Program the Garmin Forerunner 301 Step 3
    Set your time zone and user profile. Press the mode button, next to the power button to display the Menu. Use the down arrow button to highlight "Settings", then "General".
    • This takes you to the set time screen. Press the large red enter button on the front of the device. You are now ready to set your time format and time zone. When you are finished, push the mode button to return to the "General" screen. Again, use the down arrow button to get to the "Set User Profile" button. Press enter to display your profile options. Using the arrow buttons, select gender, date of birth and weight options that are unique for you.
    • When you are finished, again push the mode button to exit this screen. Use can also change units to km or mile in the "General" screen.
  4. Image titled Program the Garmin Forerunner 301 Step 4
    Choose your sport. It is important to include this step because the device calculates calories and display speed different for each sport. The Forerunner offers running, cycling and other. To access this option, press and hold down the mode button. Toggle down to your sport of choice and press enter. The device will automatically exit you from this screen. You are now on the time screen. The large numbers in the top section is the timer. You can reset the timer by holding down the reset button. This takes three seconds and the display will count it down for you. Across the bottom are two separate fields. The left field displays your pace in the units you requested. The right field displays distance traveled. At any time during your workout you may push the large red button to stop the timer. When you would like to resume, simply push it again.
  5. Image titled Program the Garmin Forerunner 301 Step 5
    Optional: the heart rate monitor. The heart rate monitor is an important tool for people who would like to improve or keep track of their cardiovascular strength. There are 5 common heart rate zones that help to gauge your perceived level of exertion.
    • Level 1 Relaxed
    • Level 2 Comfortable
    • Level 3 Moderate
    • Level 4 Fast Pace
    • Level 5 Sprint
    It will take some time to determine your individual level. Once you have determined what your workout goals are, you can then work within your perceived level by keeping track of your heart rate as you exercise.
    Image titled Program the Garmin Forerunner 301 Step 6
  6. Image titled Program the Garmin Forerunner 301 Step 7
    Begin by placing the heart rate monitor strap around your ribs, just below your breastplate. It should be tight enough that it does not slip down, but not too tight that it might cut off circulation. Once the heart rate monitor is in sync, it will display next to the heart in the time screen.
  7. Image titled Program the Garmin Forerunner 301 Step 8
    To manually set your heart rate zone, begin by pressing the mode button and then highlight "Settings". Press the red button on the front of the device, then toggle down to your specific sport and push the red button again. Scroll down to "Set HR Zones" and press enter. Select Max Heart Rate and put in your Max Heart Rate number and press ok. Highlight the next option, Zones and press enter. Select "Based on Max" and press enter. This allows you to set up your own personalized Heart Rate Zone. The device will now automatically calculate what zone you are at while you are working out.
  8. 8
    Depending on what your workout goals are, the Garmin Forerunner has many features such as keeping track of your workout history, setting alerts such as pace, time, distance and heart rate.
    • To keep track of your workout history by day, week or total history, start by pressing the mode button. Your specific sport history will display at the top. Press enter and select which type of history you would like to see. The Garmin saves up to 2 years of data. Scroll down to view your recorded history. If you press enter on any entry, a full detail of that event will be displayed.
    • When training for an event, alerts such as pace, time, distance and heart rate may be helpful to maintain a certain level of performance. Start again by pressing mode, then training assistant, then alerts and enter. For the heart rate alert you can either choose a zone or set a custom number. If you choose custom, you will also need set min/max numbers. If you choose zone, those numbers will automatically be set for you. For time/distance you set the alert to once or repeat, then enter the time/distance you desire. For the pace alert, you have the custom option again, or you may choose from a variety of speeds such as slow walk to sprint.


  • These are the basics for using the Garmin Forerunner 301. With these options you can use the heart rate monitor, keep track of your workout history and set up training alerts to help you achieve your workout goals. This device has many other options such as mapping, virtual partner, interval and advanced workout options as well as software that called the "Training Center" to further advance your training level. This article has only included the basics here to get you started.

Article Info

Categories: GPS