PDA

View Full Version : Seeking Best Practice Suggestions for Triathlon Race Usage



PEDALSLOW
09-05-2009, 03:58 PM
Hi,

I'm a new 310xt user...

I was wondering if anyone with experience with this unit for use specifically in triathlon races would be willing to share their observations on the best way to leverage this device.

I ride with a separate bike computer so I will have ride time/speed/etc on the bike.

Some questions I'm curious about from other triathlete users:

Do you keep it in the same mode for the whole race or switch from Other/Bike/Run?

Do you start the timer at the start of the swim or coming out of the water?(Does this throw off your totals if it registers sporatically?)

Are you hitting lap at the transition entrance and exits?

What fields do you have on the views? (for racing and training)

Do you have autolap turned or autostop turned on?

I race a variety of distances, do you expect to change your usage at various distance races?

Any other customizations or words of wisdom for using this tool in a race?



Thank you VERY much for any feedback!

-Alan

DW152
09-05-2009, 05:08 PM
I've worn my 310 during two triathlons this summer. Before that, I used my 305.

The auto multisport is a little tricky to set up and use, but once you set it up, it works well. I wrote a quick summary for duathlon here:

https://forums.garmin.com/showpost.php?p=7704&postcount=2

Instead of "run" for the first activity, you will use "other." Unfortunately, there is no activity called "swimming."

Turn your 310 on a good 15 minutes before the start of the race so that it can acquire satellites.

When you start the swim, press the start/stop button. Note that the GPS and HRM don't work while swimming, so all you'll be doing is timing your swim. Actually, the GPS will work, but it's poor and will inflate your distance significantly. Your HR during the swim will be zero.

When you finish the swim, press the lap/reset button. When you exit T1, press the lap/reset button. Press it again when you get off your bike, then again when you leave T2.

When you finish the run, press the start/stop button. Then press and hold the lap/reset button, and you will see the timer count down 3-2-1. This saves your race and resets the watch.

I highly recommend that you practice this before your race by doing a mock workout in your front yard. No, you don't have to do a full race, but walk around while pressing these buttons in sequence every 30 seconds or so. Then upload the data to see if it makes sense.

Another important thing: make sure you upgrade the firmware to 2.6 before your race. All my triathlons with the old firmware uploaded fine, but many people reported corrupt bike activities and lost triathlons with the old firmware.

Note that you can set different data fields for biking and running. For example, you might want speed while biking and pace while running.

I usually don't use autolap since Ascent (my primary post-processing software) will provide splits for me. Depending on the race, I have set alarms to remind me to eat during the race. For example, you could set a alarm to go off every 30 minutes during the run to remind you to eat a gel.

I still have my old traditional computer mounted on my TT bike. It's a lot easier to look at my speed and distance than turning my wrist. Many people use a quick-release mount for the 310 that's designed for multisport races, which solves the turning-the-wrist problem, but so far I haven't used it.

EKUTTER
09-06-2009, 10:51 PM
I have done two tri's with it including IM Canada and used it in the multisport mode. It worked surprisingly well. Perfectly, actually. Just don't forget to push the lap button when entering/exiting transition and don't accidentally press it other times. I set it to auto-lap every 1 mile for the run.
The HR doesn't work in the water but the GPS actually does work better than expected. The distance is way off and the swim track zig zags a lot within about a 50' circle around you but if you load it in Google Earth, you can actually tell where the corner buoy's are. With Ironman Canada, I used the measuring tool in GE to the corners and it showed exactly 2.4 miles.
I like using the 1mile auto lap on the run and then look at the lap pace rather than the instantaneous pace, which can be very inaccurate. This tells me what my average pace has been since the last mile marker. Also in Canada, the 1mile auto lap went off within 15' of the mile markers on the route every time. Note that you need to use the auto lap feature for this because if you push the lap button, it will think you are done while on the run.
I agree that it is nice to have a separate bike computer in addition to the watch as it is hard to read while biking when it is on the wrist.

IRONKEV
09-07-2009, 02:42 PM
I used it in a Tri this weekend and was paranoid about remembering to press lap in and out of transition, however in my hast coming out of t2 i pressed start instead of lap and ruined it.

Easily done in the heat of the moment so be carefull. It would be great if they "disabled the start button in autosport, or at least made it so that you had to hold it down for 3 seconds.

I cant be the only one to have pressed the wrong button.

Earlier setting alarms was mentioned, sounds like a good idea, can you clarify how to do it

DW152
09-07-2009, 04:10 PM
Earlier setting alarms was mentioned, sounds like a good idea, can you clarify how to do it

Alarms:

training > run alerts

You'll have four choices: time alert, distance alert, calorie alert, HR alert.

Choose the one you want and set it up. At this point it's pretty self-explanatory. Same thing for bike alerts.

As a suggestion, instead of calorie alert, I'd like to see a pace alert that you can set if you go faster or slower than a certain pace.

DAVIDJHARTMAN
09-10-2009, 08:03 PM
Great writeup of the process. I'm planning to use it in my first tri this weekend. I did a "dry run" here at home and one thing I noticed is that it seems to turn on the virtual partner function when you are in multisport mode. I don't want to use and would prefer not having the extra screen to deal with. I turned off virtual partner, but it still shows up in multisport.
One other note for others....the "Time" will not be the total time. You need multisport time for that. I noticed this in the run as I wanted to see my total race time.

KANSAIBEN
09-10-2009, 11:54 PM
Some things to bear in mind to supplement some of the suggestions here.

Many of the settings--data fields, alerts , auto-pause, auto-lap--are sport specific, so something to take advantage of when setting up your unit for mutli-sport (for example I want auto-lap every 5 miles for the bike, every 1 mile on the run, like to use alerts on the swim but not any where else).

I use auto-pause when training on the bike, but this gets shut off for races as there's no pausing the race clock.;)

In addition to the auto-multisport mode, you can also manually enable multisport/transition between sports by holding down the mode button while actively recording an activity and switching sports on the pop-up menu. You don't get the option of automatically including transitions this way, but then again, you don't have to rely on hitting the lap button at each point of transitioning and you gain the ability to manually create a lap whenever you want without messing up your multisport activity. This is actually quite useful for correcting discrepancies that sometimes arise between actual/course marked markers and the distance on the watch when you rely on lap pace/times on the run or elsewhere. If you want to note your transition times, just create a separate lap--one at the end of the swim before switching to/starting the bike, and one at the end of the bike before switching to/starting the run (keeps your current speed/pace relevant).

I'm one of the few who seem to champion the 310 on the swim. Swimming with the forerunner gets a bad rep in a lot of places/posts, and when worn on the wrist much of this rep is probably deserved as GPS and (under)water don't currently play very well together and time is the most accurate data point you'll get off the watch. The Garmin sales pitch on this isn't deceptive, but I can understand why many feel it is unclear. The knocks are pretty well documented. But for those that want to, just like with the 305, if 310 users really want to record more than just time, it is entirely possible, just give your unit a better view of the sky. For most this simply means putting the unit under your swim cap for the swim instead of on your wrist. By doing so, true you'll add to your dork factor, but you'll gain a really decent GPS tracking of your swim, not have to deal with the added bulk of the unit effecting your stroke, and can take advantage of some of the features associated with the GPS.

For example, I've got a system I use to get current pace info while swimming, sort of. I set my unit to alert me every 3 minutes and 10 seconds and every 100 meters, if I hear two distance alerts for every time alert I know I'm on the pace I want (say about an hour IM swim). Now I'd only bother with this for long distance events (for me half IM and above--events that have a little more importance and time involved for me), but when I do, it's been really nice to not only have the track to analyze after, but take advantage of the real time "pacing info" on longish swims.

As has been noted elsewhere, definitely make sure you are running the most recent firmware and practice whatever setup you choose to use.

KANSAIBEN
09-10-2009, 11:59 PM
Great writeup of the process. I'm planning to use it in my first tri this weekend. I did a "dry run" here at home and one thing I noticed is that it seems to turn on the virtual partner function when you are in multisport mode. I don't want to use and would prefer not having the extra screen to deal with. I turned off virtual partner, but it still shows up in multisport.

As some settings are sport specific, VP being one of them, if you are seeing the VP when you don't want to, make sure that option is turned off for each of the sports you are using for the multisport activity.

DCRAINMAKER
09-11-2009, 10:50 AM
I wrote up a pretty big post on how to use the 305 during a triathlon - and really, almost everything applies for the 310XT as well. May be of interest to you:

http://dcrainmaker.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-to-race-tris-with-garmin-forerunner.html

KANSAIBEN
09-11-2009, 11:20 AM
I wrote up a pretty big post on how to use the 305 during a triathlon - and really, almost everything applies for the 310XT as well. May be of interest to you:

http://dcrainmaker.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-to-race-tris-with-garmin-forerunner.html

That's a good example of useful blog post. Good instructions/pics. Thanks for sharing.