Better interval workout tracking with Garmin Workouts and Strava

My Life as a Runner > training > Better interval workout tracking with Garmin Workouts and Strava
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Chances are you head out to your nearby track for good sets of interval running workout at some point of your training to gain speed. If you are a mid-distance track runner (full-time, or part-time like I am), it’s a no brainer that you do intervals on the track. But even if you only run marathons or half marathons, you might use track for high-intensity interval training every now and then. For the sake of this post, let’s assume we all partake in running some grueling or painful intervals on the track. Because, you may find this post useful.

spammy interval activity in Strava feed

So my problem was, I had not known how to use my GPS watch to track my, um, track interval workouts. You might have always known how to, but I didn’t. As a result, I was practically spamming Strava feed with my individual interval laps, like you see here to your right. Now, I don’t have a lot of followers like some of you might, so nobody really complained or kindly suggested I stop doing it. Some Strava users might actually purposefully do this to show their interval training individually, but I always wanted to figure out a way to combine my intervals into one activity. I knew there was a way or were ways. I had seen someone do it. And I finally figured out after I had moved onto Garmin Forerunner 630. Not sure if my previous Forerunner 610 was capable. So, I thought this might make a good post for those who have similar needs. So, below is a step-by-step guide how to record track interval workouts with Garmin watch and share the activity on Strava.

Create Garmin Workouts

I’ve read somewhere you can create Workouts on your Garmin watch, but it’s easier for me to create one on desktop.

  1. Log into your Garmin Connect page.
  2. From the navigation menu on the left, select “Workouts”.
  3. Select “Run” from the menu and click “Create a Workout”.
    Create a Garmin Workout
  4. As default, you have three steps: “Warm up”, “Run” and “Cool down”. Delete “Run” and add a Repeat by clicking on “Add a Repeat”.
    Set up a Garmin Workout
  5. Change the number of repeats as you wish. In the below screenshot, I have eight repeats. I created total of eight interval Workouts with three repeats up to 10 repeats, because most of the time I won’t know what the interval session is going to be until I get to the track. For the same reason, I use “Lap Button Press” as duration of interval. This way, I can use one of my interval Workouts depending on the interval session for the day. If you always do, for example, 400m intervals, then you might want to select “Distance” instead of “Lap Button Press” and enter 400m. After you finish all steps, save the Workout. The Workouts should be synched automatically with your mobile Garmin Connect.
    Add repeats to Garmin Workouts

 

 

 

 

 

Import Workouts into Garmin watch

With your Workouts ready, you can easily import them into your Garmin GPS watch.

    1. Go to your mobile Garmin Connect.
    2. Tap “More” in the menu at the bottom of the main page.
    3. Tap “Workouts”.
    4. Tap one of the Workouts you created.
      Export Workouts from Garmin Connect mobile to your Garmin GPS watch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    1. Tap export icon in the upper right corner of the page.
      Export Workouts from Garmin Connect mobile to Garmin GPS watch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use Garmin Workouts at the track

Now that you have your interval Workouts in your Garmin GPS watch, you can use it to record your track interval workouts.

  1. On your Garmin GPS watch, go to the menu and tap “Training”.
  2. Tap “My Workouts”
  3. Select the interval Workout you want to run.
  4. Press the start/finish button when you start your warm-up.
  5. Press the lap button when you start the first interval.
  6. Press the lap button when you start the following recovery.
  7. Press the lap button when you start the second interval.
  8. Repeat above until you start your cool-down.
  9. Press the start/finish button when you are finished with the cool-down.
  10. Save the Workout.

If you decide to stop the workout, you can use start/finish button at any time and save your workout.

See the interval workout on Strava

Single activity on your Strava feedNow that you recorded your interval workout on your Garmin GPS watch, the rest is easy. Synch your activity as you normally do. When you go to your Strava feed, you will only see one activity in your feed! You are no longer an activity spammer on Strava. Your followers should appreciate you doing this (I would). If you want to see your laps, you can go to the activity details page. Once there, you can click “Laps” to see everything you did in your track interval session. It includes warm-up, every interval, every recovery and cool-down. Now, I can only see this on the desktop version. “Laps” doesn’t seem available on the mobile version.

Strava Workout AnalysisThere is a slightly better way to view your interval session, if you want more simplified, more visual, or more intuitive representation of your interval session. Again, on the desktop version, click on Analysis -> Workout Analysis. Then select “Laps” below the bar graph. This way, your repeats are color-separated from warm-up/recovery/cool-down. Isn’t this better? One caveat is that this Analysis feature is for Premium subscriber only ($59.00/year).

I would love to know if there are better ways to record interval workouts. If you know, please share!

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