Olympics 2012 - looking for that edge? Or just improving your fitness?

With the current phenomenal success for Team GB in the Beijing Olympics and the upcoming 2012 games to be held in the UK, interest in Olympic events has never been greater.

For any athlete whether amateur or aspiring Olympian, the key word is preparation, preparation, preparation… being able to monitor progress daily, weekly, monthly of your fitness regime has never been easier thanks to Garmin & their cost effective Forerunner 50 FP.

The Forerunner 50 FP is an interesting product, but not because it’s the company’s first non-GPS device or even that it’s the first Garmin watch that actually looks like a watch.

Without a doubt, getting rid of the GPS receiver and antenna has allowed Garmin to create something that actually fits on most runners’ wrists.

But, while it’s a much smaller training watch than the boxy Forerunner 305, it’s also much simpler. Its design is somewhat plain and overall it doesn’t offer the kind of advanced heart rate training options available elsewhere.

GArmin Forerunner FPWhat makes it a compelling product; however, are the two accessories that come with it--the foot pod and the USB fob.

The foot pod is about one-third the size of Garmin’s previous version, and it measures both stride rate (cadence) and stride length, which are extremely useful metrics to track in becoming a more efficient runner.

This new foot pod is also a heck of a lot easier to attach to a shoe. And you don't have to remember to turn it on before you go for a run. Like the HR monitor, it stays in standby mode until it senses movement. And it slips back into standby 30 minutes after you're done.

The USB fob is worth noting because it creates a wireless connection between your PC and the Forerunner 50.

When you bring the watch within five metres of the USB fob, it automatically uploads the data from your last run--all you have to do is drop the watch in front of the PC.

This may sound like a minor accomplishment at a time when you can use your mobile phone for everything even a boarding pass, but when you’ve just finished a grueling long run, the last thing you want to do is look for a USB cable.

Once it’s on your PC, each new workout is uploaded directly to Garmin Connect, the company’s new online training site.

Garmin Connect is a slick version of Motionbased, the online training site that Garmin bought a while ago. Garmin Connect tracks your data, presents it in flashy charts and tables, and lets you share your runs with other users.

This post was contributed by eXpansys plc, the owner of the eXpansys brand, the largest wireless technology online retail business in Europe and the USA.