Today, I used two new features of my Garmin Forerunner. The first is the heart rate monitor which I haven’t used since I got the Garmin almost a year ago. The second is the ability to program a workout. My workout today was a bike ride with 7 power intervals of 20 seconds with 2 minutes of active recovery to total an hour and 10 minutes with the warm up and cool down. That equates to basically a 27 minute warm up, the intervals, and then a 27 minute warm down. I wasn’t quite sure how I would track time spent on each leg of the workout as it is more difficult to keep an eye on the clock while riding versus running. So, I figured I would give the Garmin Workouts feature a try. Basically, the workouts feature allows you to program a workout into the watch ahead of time.
As you should be able to see in the picture, this was a pretty easy workout to program. I basically just set it up to notify me of the times I needed to go at each leg of the workout, however, there is the ability to program it based on distance, intensity, heart rate, etc. Once programmed, I simply transferred the workout my watch. From the watch I selected the workout as I headed out.
On the ride, it started with the warm up leg, so it basically just counted down from 27 minutes for me. Five seconds before the warm up was done, the watch started beeping to let me know the next step was coming up. I was able to gear up and push hard for 20 seconds before it beeped at me again to let me know I was the recovery part of the interval. This continued for the next 6 intervals and was extremely helpful as I never had to actually look at my watch during the workout. The most difficult part of the workout was making sure that I didn’t get held up by traffic or stop lights during the 20 seconds of power intervals.
The best part of the workout feature is when you complete the last leg of the workout, the watch plays a chime to signify you have finished and displays “Congratulations, Workout Completed”! My only complaint is that it seems to stop tracking distance once you have completed the workout. Because the workout was based on time, it was difficult to estimate exactly where I would be when the 27 minute warm down was finished. It ended up that I was still about a mile away from home when I “completed” the workout, so I got short changed a mile on my total distance.
As for the heart rate monitor, I don’t know why it has taken me so long to use it. When I first put it on, I thought it would be uncomfortable during the ride, but I actually forgot about it until I got home. I am going to have to give it a try on my next long run. Although, I don’t think I would want to wear for too long of a time, as I am sure that it just adds another possible chafing spot.
Here is my heart rate during the workout. The vertical yellow lines represent the power intervals, which is why they the higher points on the chart. You can also see where the hills where during the warm up and warm as they crank up the heart rate.
Tomorrow is my 2nd swim workout of the week along with my first run workout since the marathon. My legs feel great today, but my hamstring could probably use one more day.