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Forerunner 101, 201 & 301

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Forerunner Models Compared


All Forerunner models display data as you run and keep a run history with summary data for past runs. Beyond these basics, however, there are quite a few important differences.

Here's a summary of how the three models stack up:

Now, let's look at their differences in more detail.


Key Differences Among Forerunner Models

Forerunner 101
Forerunner 201
Forerunner 301
Heart rate monitor
Power source
2 AAA batteries
built-in rechargeable battery
built-in rechargeable battery
Type of PC connection supported
Save run/lap history to Training Center Software
Receive advanced workout programs & schedule from Training Center Software
Profiles for running, biking & other sports, each with separate speed zones, heart rate zones, and customizable data screens


The functionality in Forerunner 101 and 201 is pretty much the same except that Forerunner 201 can be connected to a PC. Forerunner 301 has several features not found in the 101/201 models, such as heart rate monitor, advanced workouts, and separate pace/speed profiles for running, biking, and other sports.

Thickness of Forerunner 101, 201 & 301


Forerunner 101 is noticeably thicker than the other models (by 0.2 inches) because it's the only model that doesn't have a built-in rechargeable battery. The size and shape of Forerunner 201 and 301 are identical.

See all three models side-by-side in the photo on the right.

Data Available While Running

The types of data available on Forerunner 101 and 201 are exactly the same. Forerunner 301 offers all of the data available on 101 / 201 plus a few additional values related to heart rate and speed zone.

This table shows additional data that can be displayed on a Forerunner 301:

Data Description
Heart Rate how fast your heart is beating right now (beats per minute)
Average Lap Heart Rate your average heart rate during the current lap
Heart Rate Zone

zone in which your current heart rate falls (based on heart rate ranges set in your user profile)

Heart Rate Zones
(example for a 35 year old male weighing 175 lbs):

  • Zone 1 (92 - 110 bpm)
  • Zone 2 (110 - 129 bpm)
  • Zone 3 (129 - 147 bpm)
  • Zone 4 (147 - 166 bpm)
  • Zone 5 (166 - 184 bpm)
Speed Zone

zone in which your current speed falls (based on speed ranges for the sport profile that's selected)

Zones for Running:

  • slow walk
  • walk
  • fast walk
  • slow jog
  • jog
  • fast jog
  • slow run
  • run
  • sprint
  • max speed

Zones for Biking:

  • Climb 4
  • Climb 3
  • Climb 2
  • Climb 1
  • Flat 3
  • Flat 2
  • Flat 1
  • Descent
  • Sprint
  • Max Speed

Zones for "Other" Sport:

  • Snail
  • Turtle
  • Squirrel
  • Elephant
  • Rabbit
  • Greyhound
  • Horse
  • Lion
  • Antelope
  • Cheetah

PC Connectivity

PC connectivity allows 201 / 301 to be used with a variety of software packages that analyze and map data. It also opens up more possibilities for using your Forerunner as a navigation tool. Forerunner 101 lacks any ability to exchange data with a PC, which limits it's usefulness.

The PC connectivity available in Forerunner 201 is not as robust as in Forerunner 301. Forerunner 301 uses a "USB" connection, which is found on nearly all modern computers. Forerunner 201 uses an older "serial" connection, which is sometimes not included on newer PCs (especially laptops).

Data for Mapping / Graphing Past Runs

Forerunner 301 appears to keep detailed data for more past runs than Forerunner 201. Before you do a "run reset", Forerunner 201 can have up to 3000 data points for your last run. After run reset, 201 condenses longer runs to just 250 data points; and this data is only kept for the last 10 runs. Forerunner 301 does not appear to purge detail data in the same fashion as Forerunner 201.


Within the product line, Forerunner 101 and 201 are the most similar models. They have the same built-in functionality, but the addition of PC connectivity makes 201 a much more interesting and useful tool.

Forerunner 301 stands apart from the other models with it's heart rate monitor and richer built-in functionality. PC connectivity via USB is quicker and easier to use than the serial connectivity available on Forerunner 201.

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