We are very lucky to have all the latest gadgets and gizmos available to help us with our training, sometimes its great to just run and not look at any data and just enjoy running for the beauty of the act. Other times we want to be a little more specific and hold a certain pace or HR for a given distance or time.  Below are a couple of my tips on how to get more out of your Garmin Running Watch.
First If you have one of the latest Garmin Watches then I suggest that you set up two running Profiles, this allows you to have customised settings for you whether you are doing Interval based or steady state running, to do this:
  1. Select  > Settings > Activity Profiles > Add New.
  2. Select a sport.
    NOTE: The default sports use the default icon. If you select Other, you can select a different icon.
  3. Select an accent color.
  4. Select a profile name or enter a custom name.Duplicate profile names include a number, for example: Triathlon(2).
  5. Select an option:
    • Select Use Default to create your custom profile starting from the system default settings.
    • Select a copy of an existing profile to create your custom profile starting from one of your saved profiles.
  6. NOTE: If you are creating a custom multisport profile, you are prompted to select two or more profiles and include transitions.
  7. Select an option:
    • Select Edit Settings to customize specific profile settings.
    • Select Done to save and use the custom profile.

If you don’t have one of the later models you can turn these options on and off manually depending on the type of run that you are doing.
With our interval based runs such as the Friday Tempo Intervals & Wednesday’s Track, I suggest that you turn off “Auto Lap” and “Auto Pause”.  If the interval is over the auto-lap distance (or time) then it leads to messy data. Likewise with Auto Pause, when you are in a Rest Interval “RI” you want to be able to look back and see how long the rest actually was and if you have auto pause on 10 x 400m sprints might actually look like an exceptionally fast 4km non stop run.  Its also great to see how long the RI was as this will determine the potential of the intensity that you can run the interval, as the longer the rest between intervals the harder/faster you can run.
I also find that having different data screens for different sessions useful, I often have the following screens/data fields which I find useful.
  • Screen one – Lap Time, Lap Pace, Current HR, (plus optional Lap distance)
  • Screen two – HR and HR Zone
  • Screen three – Lap Time, Last Lap Time, HR, (plus optional Lap distance)
Again you might tweak these around, but I like to see what is going on and what just happened so I can keep an eye on if I am getting quicker or slower.
For steady steady state continuous runs I will use the Auto Pause (When Stopped) feature and also use Auto Lap and set this lap interval distance to typically 1km, but if you are doing longer runs you might want this 2, 3k or even 5km Laps.
Again for the Steady State run I often have the following screens/data fields
  • Screen one – Time, distance, HR, Avg Pace
  • Screen two – Lap Pace, Cadence, HR,
  • Screen three – HR, HR zone, Avg HR
With these runs we are looking for more bigger picture stuff and the run or section averages. For example you might want to run the first half a x % then finish stronger, so with these screens you can see how you are running now, vs the first x mins of the run.
So just a couple of tips, but if you want a full run down then just give me a shout.

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