Creating Workouts in Garmin Connect

I wrote up this brief tutorial on creating workouts on garminconnect.com and syncing them to Garmin devices. Your mileage may vary. Enjoy.

Creating workouts in Garmin Connect

I have rekindled my love with the stored workout feature on my GPS watch. I’ve used it in the past but sometimes just have enough mental capacity to find shoes, bra, shorts, hat and get out the door.

There are probably multiple ways to do this but this is what works for me. You can also create workouts directly on the watch but I find it to be an exercise in profanity.

Things you’ll need for this tutorial:

  • A Garmin device capable of storing workout
  • An account at Garmin Connect where all the data is stored. If you use a Garmin device, you probably have one of these. If not, it’s free. Go to http://garminconnect.com.
  • The USB ANT+ dongle that came with your Garmin, or if you have one of the fancy schmancy ones that doesn’t need the dongle, then lucky you! 🙂
  • Patience and more than a few minutes. Don’t try to do this five minutes before you’re leaving the house for your run or you’ll most likely get frustrated and curse my name.

Logging in, saving a workout

Garmin uses “workout” to refer to an activity that isn’t just strapping on the watch and hitting start at the beginning and stop at the end of your run. There are also some simple “workouts” programmed into your watch (interval, running for a particular distance or time, etc.). When I use my Forerunner 410 (one of the older models), I find my stored workout under the “Advanced” menu item (Settings > Workouts > Advanced). You’ll want to check the manual for your particular model to see where to find these.

  1. Log in at garminconnect.com.
    Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 1.52.52 PM
  2. Navigate to “Workouts” in the fancy slide out side menu (it’s at the bottom).
    Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 1.54.00 PM
  3. You’ll see any workouts you’ve already created. To create a new one, select the workout type (Run, Bike, Custom) and click “Create a Workout.”
    Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.04.41 PM
  4. Garmin has prepopulated a few things for you to make it easier – warm up, run, and cool down. You can use these or delete them and add your own (delete by clicking on the x at the right side of each “step.”
    Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 1.55.26 PM
  5. Clicking the pencil next to the Workout title lets you edit. I recommend this. Ten “Run Workouts” might get confusing after awhile.
    Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.06.11 PM
  6. Hovering over the vertical lines at the left side of each block and dragging with your mouse will let you move the workout steps and change the order.
    Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.06.52 PM
  7. Add a Step: Use this to add items to your workout. You can set them for time, distance, speed, etc.
    Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.07.40 PM
  8. Here’s where it can get tricky: adding the repeats. Click on “Add a Repeat” INSTEAD of adding the run step and recovery step as individual items.
    Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.08.01 PM
  9. Garmin will add that new block and you can see that the steps within that block will be repeated as many as you indicate.Your choices are as they are in step 7: Warm up, Run, Recover, Rest, etc. (see 7a)Duration: Do you want to run for time? Distance? Speed?
    Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.08.48 PM“Add more” lets you set an intensity level. You can indicate which training zone you’d like to aim for on a given step. For my workout this morning, I wanted my miles to land me within the 75-85% range of my max heart rate, so I added a custom zone.
    Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.09.08 PMSo for each repeat, I will run 1 mile in my target HR zone, follow with a .25 mile recovery, and then repeat for a total of four times before my cool down mile.
  10. When you’re finished adding your steps and repeats, rename your workout (if you haven’t already done so) and click on “Save Workout.”
    Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.10.07 PMThe green confirmation message will pop up so you know it worked.
  11. Now it’s time to sync this bad boy to your Garmin device. See the blue text under “Save Workout”? Click on “Send to Device.” A window will pop up.
    Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.10.37 PM
  12. Yes! Send Now! Click the button.
  13. You may get another message like the following, and if you’re like me you’ll just click through because it gets into a level of detail that you’re not too concerned with.
    Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.11.13 PMThe reason I don’t are is that I don’t use power durations and don’t care if only one workout is stored on my watch at any given time. Newer units might be able to hold more than one kind of workout.
  14. Herr Garmin (Adrienne Martini) will now do its thing, syncing the workout from the computer through the magic of Bluetooth.

I hope this works for you or at least gets you headed in the right direction. I don’t use workouts very often but when I have something on my calendar like a tempo run or interval session, I find it’s best to let the technology do its thing and take some of the mental load off me so I can just focus on one thing: getting it done.

Happy programmed running!