Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Garmin Forerunner 910XT on Training Peaks

I've been diligently using both Garmin Training Center (TC) and the Garmin Connect (web based) to track my workouts and to make sense of the datas I've collected. Previously, I've struggled to import the workout from my Garmin 910XT to another web-based software known as Training Peaks. What i did wrong was that I've downloaded the specific TIMEX Device Agent, instead of the more "generic" Training Peaks (TP). A write up on the (software) review could be read here.
The "Timex" Device Agent. Works only with TIMEX specific gears.
This (very late) discovery happened when I was configuring an old laptop to be used at home. Being someone on budget and looking out for the best bargain (aka reviving old stuffs) or free stuff, i found out about this when i re-install Training Peaks software. All you need is to install this TP software into your PC. Login with your TP credential, choose your device and follow a few steps (which I am laying it out below) and you are done.
If Garmin Connects works perfectly fine, why bother?
I am a data-whore. Period.
OK. Show me how to Training Peaks my Garmin Workout
Training Peaks is actually a company that offer both free and premium (read : paid) services to analyse your workout. Their aim are mostly for coaches and performance athletes. While I am neither, but it is sure nice to aspire to do my workout like the professionals. I would assume you would already downloaded and installed the Training Peaks software by now. If you have not, get them for free here. So, now, i assume you have the software. Lets start.
The Training Peaks Device Agent
Noticed that the above interface is missing the "TIMEX" header? This will allow you greater freedom and possibilities to "sync" workout from other devices that is supported by TrainingPeaks.com. Once you get the correct software installed (which took me close to 6 months),  you will be able to sync all your workout directly.
Wooo...I lioke...
Once you identified the device you have from the drop down list, you move to the right side of the screen and click on "Open Files".
Magically, it will link to the default Garmin folder where all *.FIT are stored. This is of course, if you DO NOT change the original config when installing Garmin Training Center.
If this is your first time doing this, go ahead and select all files (click on one of the file name and press Ctrl-A). If you had done this before, or has sync-ed your workout via other mean (such as manual entry), perhaps, you would want to be careful which workout you want to add in. Reason for this is if you fail to selectively choose, you will end up with multiple data's of the same workout (scroll to the (close) bottom below).
Ctrl-A and click on Open.
If you have to ask me why Ctrl-A, you might want to consider signing up for computer basic 101 with me. I charge RM50/hours. ;-) I would assume you would know what to do and when you "Open" it, you will get all the workout "imported".
They are all In, alllllll IN!!!
Now, It is not done yet. Next, locate the "save" button on the lower right and click on it. Make sure all the workout you want to sync are ticked (it's by default, unless you have itchy fingers). Now, go on, click on "Save".
Depending on your internet speed and amount of workout, expect it to take anything from 10second to a few minutes.
If the workouts were successfully uploaded, a completion pop-out will show the amount of workout that was sync-ed.
188 and counting since April 27,2012
Congratulation. You have successfully uploaded all your workout into Training Peaks website. Now, where do you view all of them? Charts, maps and data's are exciting, you know?
The Magic Button
Assuming you already have a Training Peaks account (by now, if you still can't upload any workout, It is obvious you do not have any), clicking on it will open your web browser and take you to the website where all your workouts are stored.
Oh no! Multiple entries!
Now, you see, what happened if you upload and re-upload the same workout a few times? This is one flaw that Training Peaks has that could not manage duplicates like Garmin Connect could (aka marking incidences of multiple upload of the same workout). The only way to rectify this after you uploaded everything? Manually delete.
Apart from being a Data-whore, i have OCD too. Got to keep things...clean.
Now, you have successfully uploaded all your Garmin devices data's into Training Peaks. What is next is to make sense of them. All you need to do is to click on the workout and you will see a window open. Click on Maps & Graphs and you will see your workout data's. I've chosen to show my Hill Circuit that happened on Sunday Nov 25, 2012.
However, because this is a FREE account, i can't see much stuff other than the usual matrices such as average speed, elevation (you can't correct the elevation, because it's...well, Free), my heart rate, the lap speed/pace. To just understand the workout, this is sufficient.
But because...
I am so spoilt by Garmin's web-based training program, I get to see more stuff and understand my workout more in details. Here is a shrink ed (to 33% so i could fit into my 14inch laptop screen) print page of what I see on Garmin Connect of the same workout.
Don't squint to see the details, there are embed here.
Click on the "View Details" and you will see my whole workout in totallity. No way for me to brag more or over-declare the workout.
Hey, this is a Garmin Promo post!
Not really. But just want to offer other solutions to these software. While I have extensively laid them all out. I can now close this chapter knowing that I have more outlet and alternative to store and record my workout online. I love to keep redundancy, as I never know what will happen tomorrow to the data's I've stored online. So, having TWO sync-able options is good. Garmin Connect, however, will still be my main web-based program and the Garmin Training Center would still be my resident-in-computer program as the Training Peaks' software is only for data sync.

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