Previous Garmin set up articles:
As discussed in last week’s article, your Garmin watch can be very helpful when it comes to keeping you honest during a tough interval workout! The basic setup is perfect when your workout is simply warm up, work for designated time, rest, repeat a few times, and cool down. These are great for elevating heart rate and keeping you focused, but eventually they can become monotonous. Setting up custom intervals allows you to program your watch for all kinds of rest/work patterns, to keep you from getting bored, introduce new challenges and increase your fitness.
The best way to explain how the setup process works for complicated interval sessions is to use an example. I’m going to borrow a workout from the Riding Bumps training program (Week 7) for this.
Setting up a Custom Interval Session on the Garmin 310XT
Interval session example:
Warm up 20 minutes. Main set: 5 x 3/2/1 minute efforts with 1 minute rest between each effort and 3 minutes rest between each set. Cool down for 20 minutes.
Steps for programming:
- To begin, turn your watch on. Once it has settled on the main workout screen, press the mode button. Scroll down to “Training” using the arrow buttons, press enter.
- Scroll to “Workouts”, press enter.
- Scroll to “Custom”, press enter.
- On this screen you will see a box labeled “Workouts” (empty if you’ve never created a custom workout before), and, at the bottom of the screen, the words “New” and “Delete All."
- Use the down arrow button to scroll to and highlight the box labeled “New”, press enter.
- Here you will see a title box, most likely labeled “Run 00” or “Other 00” depending on what mode you are in.
- You can use the up arrow button to highlight the title box and key in a name for your workout if you want to.
- “1. Open no target” is the first step. This is your warm up. It means that you can paddle with no goal until you press the “Lap” button, at which point you will be moved to step 2.
- Use the down arrow button to highlight <Add New Step> and press enter.
- Now the Duration box is highlighted. Press enter, select “Time”, move to the second box and change the time to 3 minutes. Press enter to save it. “Target” refers to a speed or heart rate goal. If you have one you can enter it, if not leave that box as “None.”
- Press the mode button to return to the custom workout screen.
- Now you should see: “2. 03:00 No Target.”
- Repeat this process until you have 3 minutes/1 minute/2 minute/1 minute/1 minute/ 1 minute.
- Including the warm up, you should now have 7 steps listed
Step #8 will be the 3 minute rest between each 3/2/1 set
<Add New Step> select “Time” and scroll it to 3 minutes. Press enter.
Press the mode button to return to your custom workout.
Step #9 will be setting this up to repeat it all 5 times:
<Add New Step> select “Repeat”
Number of Reps = 5
Back to Step (which steps do you want to repeat? This workout will repeat from step 2, because you don’t want to repeat the warm up) = 2.
Press the mode button to return to your workout, step 9 should now say “Repeat steps 2 to 8.”
Now your watch will coach you through a warm up until you hit
the lap button, then move into 5 sets of 3/2/1 intervals with 1 minute of rest between each work interval. All you have left to do is add a cool down.
Select <Add New Step>, press enter. Leave “Duration” as “open” and “Target” as “none”. (This way you can just paddle for as long as you like and when you hit the lap button your workout will be complete.)
Press the mode button to return to your workout screen. Step #10 should now be listed as “Open No Target."
You are done! From this point, press the mode button to return to the screen that lists your custom workouts. Whatever title you gave the workout will be listed here. It is now saved until you manually delete it, so you can use it more than once.
Do your Workout
Go to the list of custom workouts.
Use the arrow button to scroll to the one you just built, highlight it and press enter.
Highlight “Do workout”, press enter.
As soon as you press the Start button your warm up will begin.
Press the Lap button when you are read and your watch will guide you through your intervals.
Building Garmin Workouts on the Computer
For more complicated workouts, building them on your computer in Garmin Connect can be easier. The process is basically the same, but easier to look at on a larger screen with a mouse and a keyboard. To build workouts click on the “Plan” tab then select “Workouts.” Here you are given all the same options you have on your watch. When you are finished, give it a name and click “Send to Device.” (Your watch has to be set up for pairing, and you have to have the wireless transfer stick plugged into your computer. For a refresher about how to do that, click here.) After the workout is transferred, you should see it in the custom workout list on your watch.
The possibilities are endless for building workouts on your Garmin. This is just one example, but I hope it helps you understand what some of the options are, and helps you to get the most out of your watch.