Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Garmin PacePro Pacing Strategies Review

One of the function that is made available for Garmin users is the PacePro function that acts like your own personal pacer. If your device has this function, it is best to learn to maximise it during your training so you know what to expect when you are using it on race day. This is a step by step (almost) on how to get this onto your Garmin Connect, and then synced to your Garmin Device.

First, open your Garmin Connect and click on Training->PacePro Pacing Strategies. If you are new to this, chances are you won't have any "courses" on it, so you can either take one of your regular course, or just set the "distance". For me, as I train on regular route, i chose my 12km Loop that goes from DU to TTDI and back.

Next, is to set your "Goal Time" aka what time you aim to finish this distance. As I have a 75mins run scheduled as part of my Garmin Coach training, i decided to coincide the 75mins training with this 12km run. Killing two bird (and using two Garmin functions) at same time!

Once you click NEXT, the PacePro will permutate this on your Garmin Connect. This will also include a Heat Map where the color goes from Slow (blue) to cruising (green) to fast (yellow) to red (take my life now). Nifty as you can have a good overview of how your run/race/training will happen - winning the mental war is half the battle won!

Scroll down and you will see the slider option where you can work on a consistent from start to finish pace (middle) or slide to the right for a negative split run. Even the uphill effort can be adjusted and the PacePro will adjust it for you so your targeted timing will be achieved.

You can even edit your KM by KM split to fine tune it. Because you may felt you want to challenge yourself more in one of the identified KM (example, one section about 600m is downhill, so why run at 6:00 when you can do a 4:00?) I left it as it is, because I want to see how PacePro will adapt to my running, and really why change something that is already planned at best for you (by Garmin)?

Next is to sync it to your Device and you can see a list of compatible devices shows up. For me, only my current Fenix6 Pro Solar is compatible. For now, the Fenix 6 series, Marq, FR945 and FR245 has this feature available.

Once you sync it, the PacePro is ready and available for you to use in your Garmin device. I had to take so many screen shots of this as the window was open only momentary... so enjoy this photo longer, please.

Now let me show you how it works in real life.

As you know, I have a "long run" scheduled as part of my Garmin Coach program (it is also free and available in your compatible devices!), which is actually a 70mins easy run. I also have my Ironman Kona Endurance Block run, which is a 75mins run session. 

So since all of these coincide, I planned the run as my day workout, and then you press up button (on my Fenix 6 Pro Solar) and activate the PacePro Plan. Select the course (12km DU-TTDI Loop). You even have the option to get the Garmin Device to navigate for you (which I did, since, why not).


You will also have the opportunity to review your run elevation, which in my case, the total elevation is approximately 148m over 12km. Which is "flattish".
Once you are locked on to the satellite, you are ready to go!

You be guided KM by KM on your progress and pace - including how many minutes or seconds you are behind the pace target, which is a nice thing to see so you know whether you are hitting your target and possibly getting a PR if you get your game right. The PacePro will prompt you on each KM's "required" pace; which in my case i was running faster at KM2 (ahead by 2:19). 


While I was running, i continue to get my Garmin Coach feedback on my pace (i am to run between 5:20-5:40), and I adjust it accordingly. Also at every major turning, i get prompted (sound like whistle) to turn. It appear twice - first time with approximate distance to the turn, and second time, at the turn (and usually happened after I turned) - which can be confusing especially when you just turned... haha. Photo below showed the left turn after I turned, and you see a small triangle on the upper right next to my HR... that is the direction of run, so I am actually on the right "track". If you wonder what data page I am using, look for DozenRun on ConnectIQ.

Upon completion, you have the option to review your actual split vs your PacePro. This help you to improve and recognise your weak section. Or in this case, i must learn to take my run a bit easier in the "easy run".


Using this wisely, Garmin Coach with PacePro, coupled with the Metronome function, and even with navigation, you will only improveyour run, and always ready for any route and location. 

Stay tuned for more awesome features from Garmin devices as I share them in future! Meanwhile, these are all the sharing i have posted in the Garmin Malaysia Community group in Facebook - Covered Metronome, Garmin Coach, Heat Map and many others, which I should had made it into a blog entry just like this!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Garmin Coach - Guidance On Your Wrist

First introduced in 2018, Garmin Coach is an adaptive training plan made available to a list of (newer) devices that can be created (desktop or on Connect App), synced to your device and help you to work through the training plans. List of compatible devices is at the end of this blog entry. Before I go into the specific of Garmin Coach, you can find a list or training plan (free) you can use from Garmin. As of today, they covers Running, Cycling and even Triathlon. This is above the "Workout" training, which includes strength, movement and Yoga you can find in the Desktop Connect or on the Connect App. 

For today's sharing, I will focus on the run specific training plan - because Garmin has gotten the help of three world class coaches to guide you from the wrist. You have invested in an expensive device, it is time to learn to maximise the features and functions! As I am prime in my base training at the moment, I've made the small decision to incorporate speed into my training, and intend to utilise the 5k Garmin Coach Plan for this reason. 

Once you select the option (in this case the Garmin Coach 5K), you will have a to answer a few questions as the system customise, or in Garmin's term, "adapt" to your intent. First off, you get the disclaimer and also the overview of the plan.

Clicking Set Up Plan will start the process with you telling Garmin what is your weekly distance. I select 40km as that is my minimum I would run in a week. I also set my average pace to be at 5:30, as this is my MAF/Zone2 capability at the moment. If you feel you can run more and run faster, adjust as required.

Clicking on NEXT will bring up the next options that allow you to choose what you are trying to achieve. They are beginner friendly, and this include gauging your own ability at the end of the program. As I consider myself to be intermediate and want a bit more challenge, I chose for a "Run with a time goal", and I've selected the fastest possible time allowed - which is 22:00 to complete a 5km. So, if you can run a 5km in sub 22mins, this plan may not be well suited for you - BUT, this plan can be used to further strengthen your base ability and work on your speed. 
Next comes the decision that may be confusing for some, and makes you having to decide which could be best. The three coaches will be available for your choosing. Coach Greg, Coach Amy, or Coach Jeff? 


Having went through all three coaches plan, and their style, my summary would be this:

Coach Greg - Focus workout that is time-based. Suitable if you are targeting to achieve a certain time-based outcome or have limited time in a day to commit (example, you have only 40mins in a day, or if the plan calls for a 60mins session, you can plan ahead).

Coach Amy - Focus on workout that is distance based. She also throws in some strength exercises and cross training as part of the focus for injury prevention. If you are the type that can commit to a (example) 12km run with no time restriction, this can be for you. 

Coach Jeff - He is famous for the "Galloway Method" which involves a run-walk-run to improves performance. His program covers speed, hill, and tempo. You will learn "Glider" drill, and even forced to do a "Magic Mile". Great for both beginner and intermediate runners. Can be challenging for experienced runners too.

Personally, I've liked Coach Jeff's plan the most, followed by Coach Greg, and then Coach Amy. For the purpose of this 5K plan, I've decided to utilise the service of Coach Greg - as his plan can sits right into my regular miles i do everyday (being part of the plan).

The next screen will ask your on your availability. I've marked weekday and left Saturday for my virtual races with Ironman, and Sunday as my rest day. I've also marked Monday as a potential for my Longer distance run if required - simply because I would had been rested on Sunday, and there is no better way to start a long run on a Monday.

Next, as the intend of this running plan to to compliment my existing base/MAF/Zone2 training, I've set the "race day" to be as long as the system allows me to be. I've chosen November 28th - and called it the "5km TT". That is a comfortable 100 days away from today (August 18).

Then you confirm all your information, or edit as required. Simple steps so far yes?
Once you press "Create Plan", you will have this page, with option to set this on your Garmin Connect page to monitor, and it will show up automatically on your Connect App once you sync your device with the phone (via Bluetooth) or Desktop (vis Express).

From experience, all the training plans will start off with a "Benchmark Run", a short simple run that will serve as the benchmark as the plan adapts itself to you ability. Coach Greg's Benchmark is a 9:00 workout that includes 2mins each of warm up and cool down. 

Once you sync your device, and are ready for your training for the day, pressing "run" on your device will bring up the plan for today. You will have the chance to review the plan by pressing View, and it will reflect the same "steps" for completion.

Hope today's entry helps you to understand more on the Garmin Coach training plans, and how you can maximise on this functions included in your device! Don't wait up, as I'll be heading for a 75mins bike and a 9mins benchmark run now!

List of Compatible Garmin Devices able to use Garmin Coach is taken from link in Garmin website here:

  • Descent MK1
  • fenix 5 series
  • fenix 5 Plus series
  • fenix 6 series 
  • fenix Chronos
  • Forerunner 45 / 45S
  • Forerunner 245 series
  • Forerunner 645 series
  • Forerunner 935
  • Forerunner 945
  • Instinct series
  • Legacy Hero series (Captain Marvel, First Avenger)
  • Legacy Saga series (Darth Vader, Rey)
  • MARQ series
  • quatix 6
  • tactix Delta
  • Venu
  • vĂ­voactive 3 series
  • vivoactive 4 / 4S


Triathlete On Budget - Servicing Your ZIPP Hubs

I've gained confidence to do this process after an event last year during a ride when my ZIPP wheels refused to freewheel due to sticky ratchet and it was 1 month to my Ironman Malaysia 2019 race. Out of desperation and thinking what could be the worse case scenario (hub replacement), I thought there may not be anything to lose to try to fix it. The first attempt back then was a clear success - I've managed to strip it off, cleaned, greased it, and reassembled it back - and lost the chance to document it for future reference. Fast forward to last weekend, i had this chance again as the wheels appears to be rough, and has a bit more freeplay that it usually does. I decided to spend the day documenting it, and shared it on my Twitter account. If you are interested, and wants to know how I did it, click on this Threadroll at the bottom of today's sharing and hope it is helpful for you.

How to service a ZIPP Hub - A Thread on Twitter by Stupe

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