Garmin 310XT – How to set up custom data fields & basic intervals

Here is a repost of an article Kim Sutton wrote for us about how to set up custom data fields and basic intervals on the Garmin 310XT. Before reading this article, make sure your watch is already set up with your personal information and you know how to record a basic workout. Here are instructions for that.

Hopefully, the following information will help you customize the screens on your watch so that you see the information you want, when you want it. It will also cover setting the watch up for a basic interval workout.

Setting up custom data fields

Turn your watch on. Change the “mode” to whichever sport you are setting the watch up for. (See previous article for more on this) For example, I use “Running” for running, “Bike 1” for bicycling, and “other” for paddling.

We’ll assume for the rest of this article that everyone is going paddling and using the “other” mode!

1.     Press the mode button on the left side of the watch and scroll down to “settings”, press enter

2.     The first line will say “other settings”, press enter

3.     “Data Fields” should be the first option on the screen, press enter

Here’s where the decision making starts. That list numbered 1 through 4 represents the available screens for data you can have set up on your watch. For example: you can turn on just one screen and have it show you time, distance and speed, you can turn on two screens and have a second screen show you time of day, heart rate and average speed, you can turn on a third screen and have it set up for your interval workouts, etc….it is totally up to you how many screens you have and how much data each screen gives you.

I’m going to walk you through setting up 3 screens.

4.     Select “Other 1”, press enter. A message should pop up like the one in the top photograph, telling you to select the number of data fields you want.

5.     Press Enter, and then use the arrow keys to scroll up or down. For this example we’ll use 4.
Select 4 and press enter.

6.     Now the watch will tell you to “Use the Up, Down and Enter keys to change the data fields, Press Mode when done. ENTER”. Press enter to get passed that message.

7.     Now you should have 4 boxes on your screen. The top left one should have the highlighted bar across the top. Press enter.
A list will pop up, similar to the one in the second photograph, with every possible option for a data field. Scroll through until you find what you want. I will choose “Time”. Press enter.

8.     Next press the down arrow to scroll over to the top right box. Again, press enter, scroll through the list, and select what you want by pressing enter again. When you are finished, use the down arrow key to move to the bottom left box, and then the bottom right box.
(An example of an informative paddle screen could be: Time, Distance, Speed and Heart Rate. Whatever you want to see when you glance at the watch)


9.     When you are finished with the last box, press the mode button to return to the screen options 1-4.

10.  Use the down arrow key to move to “Other 2”. The watch will again ask you to choose how many data fields you want on this second screen. I just use this screen for one thing, “time of day”. This way I have a screen that is basically just a clock. You can set it for anything you like following the same steps we used for “Other 1”.

11.  The last screen I find useful for training is one set up for intervals. This could be the screen “Other 3”.

12.  Again, choose 4 data boxes.

13.  This time select: “Time – lap”, “Dist. – lap”, Speed, and Heart Rate
Lap time is the elapsed time of the interval you are in. For example, if you set the watch for a 2 minute interval with 1 minute rest, the “Lap Time” box will count 2 minutes, then 1 minute, and continue that pattern for the number of repeats you selected. The “Lap Distance” box will show the distance you travel within that time interval. It is a good screen to be in when you’re hurting during an interval and want to know when it will be over!

When you are finished setting up your last screen hit the mode button until you are all the way back to the general data screen. (4 or 5 presses) Now you have custom data screens. To view them press the up or down arrow buttons on the right side of the watch. (There will always be one extra screen as you scroll through; it is the Virtual Partner screen….just skip over it.)

Programing a basic interval workout

Interval workouts are a great way to improve your overall fitness and to simply add variety to your time on the water. Using your Garmin for these workouts can be extremely helpful. Once you have programmed in a basic interval workout, your watch will beep when you need to speed up or slow down, count how many intervals you have completed, and time your warm up and cool down.

1.     To get to started, press the mode button

2.     Use the down arrow on the right side of the watch to scroll down to “Training”, press enter

3.     Use the down arrow again to scroll to “Workouts”, press enter

4.     “Interval” should be highlighted at the top of screen, press enter. Your screen should now look like the photo on the right.

Now, let’s say you want your watch to guide you through a 15min warm up, 10x2min work intervals with 1min rest intervals, and a 10min cool down….

5.     The first highlighted box is “Type”. Here if you press enter, you can choose between tracking the interval by time, or by distance. We will use Time for this example. If it is not already selected, press enter, scroll to Time and press enter again.

6.     Use the down arrow to move to “Time”. This is how long the work interval will last. Press enter. Here you have the option of choosing 5 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds, or a custom amount of time (anything you want). Select “2 minutes”, press enter

7.     Use the down arrow key to move to “Rest Type”, again we will use “Time”, press enter

8.     Move to “Rest Time” and select “1 minute”, press enter

9.     Use the down arrow key to highlight the word “More” at the bottom of the screen, press enter

10.  Now the word “Reps” should be at the top of your screen. This refers to how many times you want to repeat the pattern of 2 minutes/1 minute/2 minutes/1 minute etc. Press enter. Select the number “10” using the up or down arrow buttons. Press enter again

11.  Use the down arrow to move to “Warm Up”, check the box by pressing enter. Do the same for “Cool Down”

12.  Use the down arrow to highlight “Do Workout”, press enter

You have now programmed your workout. The default screen Garmin will move you to looks like this 
I prefer to use the data field screen that we set up for intervals earlier. To get there use the arrow buttons on the right side of the watch to scroll through your data screens. Choose which ever screen displays the data you find most helpful.

When you press the Start button your watch will display this message: “Warm Up Until Lap Key”. The timer has started, you should be warming up. Your warm up ends when you press the Lap button. If you want a 15 minutes warm up, check your time every few minutes until you are at 15. When your 15 minute warm up is complete, press the Lap button.

The watch will then say “Go for 2:00 / 1 of 10”. You have now started your intervals. Paddle hard for 2 minutes. At the end of the interval your watch will beep to count down the last 5 seconds, letting you know you are now in your 1 minute rest interval. It will say “Rest for 1:00 / 1 of 10”. Paddle easy. Again, it will count down the last 5 seconds and beep to let you know your second work interval is beginning.
When all 10 intervals are complete your watch will beep and say “Cool Down Until Lap Key”. When your cool down is complete press the Lap button to end the workout. Hold the Lap button down for 3 seconds to save the workout. Your screen should now be cleared; your workout is completed, saved, and ready to be uploaded to Garmin Connect.

You can also build completely custom workouts on your Garmin watch. (Anyone following the Riding Bumps training program for Chattajack might find this helpful) Look for that article next week.




Get the most out of your Garmin 310XT