As part of the preparation for my half marathon in December, I went on a 10k training run today. (10k is 6.2 miles, for all of us imperial holdouts.) For this run, I strapped on my Garmin Forerunner 305 (now discontinued, similar watch to the 310xt), strapped my iPhone to my arm with Strava Run going, and listened to a few podcasts as I jogged around Houston on an unusually lovely day. Unfortunately I made the stupid choice to weight train my legs yesterday (including squats,) so they felt like lead weights most of the time. It was a slow pace, and I walked a little at the mile marker from 5k on, but I DID it, and that’s what counts. When I got home, I uploaded the data from my watch into Garmin Training Center then reviewed the data in Golden Cheetah.
Today I had a bit of an issue with Strava that I have never had before. It dropped my GPS signal about a half mile before the end of my run. That was annoying to find out after the run was finished, but since I’ve used the app for nearly two years without that issue, I’m going to assume it was some sort of error on my end and keep using Strava. (Feel free to be my athlete friend, follow my profile here.)
One thing you might notice is the icon that shows a trophy x6. That means I earned 6 personal records (or 2nd or 3rd fastest times) on this run. It’s a quirky little incentive that I love about this app.
GARMIN TRAINING CENTER
I love running with a GPS watch. I can set all sorts of alerts for pace, heart rate, and distance. Today I just had a beep letting me know every time I finished another mile. While running I can glance at my wrist to check my pace, which today I tried to keep at a 10 minute mile. At the end of the run I felt like I still had a bit left in the tank, so I decided to do four 20-second sprints at full speed. Unfortunately I forgot to turn off the watch when I got in the car, so I went a half mile and got an alert that I had crossed the seven mile marker at 20+ miles an hour! Whoops. Thankfully it was only about a minute so the data isn’t skewed TOO badly.
When I got home I plugged in the watch, opened the Garmin Training Center software that came with my watch, and uploaded the data. Here’s one way the results can be viewed:
Here’s my speed in dark blue and my pace in light blue. I can also view things like heart rate, elevation, and heart rate as % of max. (You can see the dark blue line jut upwards at the end where I drove with the watch still running.) One of the neat features of this software is that I can export the files to other programs, like Google Earth to see my route details or Golden Cheetah for more analysis options.
One of the drawbacks to Garmin GPS watches is that they don’t give a calorie count based on heart rate but rather distance, time, and profile stats. In order to find out quickly how long I spent in different heart rate zones, I downloaded the free program Golden Cheetah, intended for cycling but perfect for what I’m looking for. This calorie count drawback can be a big issue when using the watch indoors as there is no notable movement on a GPS when running on a treadmill. I still use the watch then analyze data with Golden Cheetah, but I could also buy a Garmin Foot Pod, designed for treadmill use.
Golden Cheetah has several options for viewing information. Below I’ve included the “everything” chart and the bare numbers where I look when I want to quickly find out how much time I’ve spent “in the zone.”
Golden Cheetah also gives the option to compare workouts and see all the data in one place. (And yes, it will always bother me that my “max speed” is from my car.)
LESSONS LEARNED TODAY
- Weight training legs the day before a long run is a bad idea
- Zip the pouch all the way back up or you might lose the lid to your lip balm
- Turn off GPS watch BEFORE entering car
What are your favorite fitness apps and accessories?