I’ve been under taking some of the most complex workouts I have ever tried after starting my new training program with TriDot Training Systems. Many of the workouts involve warm up, interval, cruise and cool down phases/steps with specific duration, heart rate, pace, or power/cadence goals for each segment. After doing the first couple of workouts, I realized that printing them out or glancing at my phone constantly to see what step was coming up next was just not going to work.
I decided it was time to out those Garmin Connect and Garmin 910 XT training/workout plan features. For those new to Sport watched, often you can set up workouts that involve intervals, recovery periods, etc into your watch and perform those workouts at the track, treadmill or on the road whenever you want. Garmin Connect offers the ability to configure Run, Bike, and Other workout plans. Essentially, you can take a 50 minute workout like the one below to the right and turn it into an automated series of beeps and instructions on your Sport watch; which allow you to focus on the workout and not on the steps.
Warm Up: 5-10 minutes of dynamic stretching; muscle activation; including 4 x 30 second strides with 1 minute recovery.
Main Set: 3 x 8 minutes threshold with 2 minute recovery after each interval.
Balance of time at easy pace.
Cool Down: 5′ jog or walk, hydrate, light stretching.
To start configuring a workout plan, you go to your Dashboard within Garmin Connect, select Workouts from under the plan tab. From that screen you can either edit/delete existing workouts or create new ones. You can also push the workouts to your device from the screen. After syncing your workouts with your watch you will see them under the Training > Workouts menu of most Garmin devices. If you have the Garmin app on your iOS or Android smartphone you will see the in the Workouts menu of the app. Essentially, the benefit of going through these steps is that you can turn a workout like the one above into something your watch can understand like below, and make it easier for you to just perform the workout and review your results like those at the bottom.
Being able to set targets like, heart rate zone, mph, pace, etc, is as if your coach was standing right there giving you instruction during the workout. Your watch will give you feedback on whether or not your are ahead, behind, or in your desired zone, notify you when an interval is over, to start your recovery section or even the cool down. All of that feedback translates into turning the workout plan above into results that are easy to analyze against the workout plan like those below.