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  • Creating complex structured workouts

    I have a VA3 and I am in the middle of the new "GARMIN 5K COACH" training. For those not in the know, what it does is automagically download structured workouts. It supposedly customizes the workouts each week based on your running times, efforts, age, target race date, etc.

    I like having a pretty-involved workout created for me and downloaded. In the past, I've only handmade one or two very simple workouts.

    A "GARMIN 5K COACH" workout called "race paced intervals" had 16 components, some based on time, others were based on distance with range of pace times and warning beeps..

    There were also two times when the VA3 paused and had an on-screen "start the next section" button

    -------------------------------------------------
    T: 10 min warmup- no pace, recovery

    --Paused
    -- interval start onscreen button --
    D: 1000 m at (8:30/m to 8:40/m) pace
    D: 400 m - no pace, recovery
    D: 1000 m at (8:30/m to 8:40/m) pace
    D: 400 m - no pace, recovery
    D: 1000 m at (8:30/m to 8:40/m) pace
    D: 400 m - no pace, recovery
    D: 1000 m at (8:30/m to 8:40/m) pace
    D: 400 m - no pace, recovery

    --Paused
    -- strides start onscreen button--
    D: 400 m at (7:30/m to 7:40/m) pace
    D: 200 m - no pace, recovery
    D: 400 m at (7:30/m to 7:40/m) pace
    D: 200 m - no pace, recovery
    D: 400 m at (7:30/m to 7:40/m) pace
    D: 200 m - no pace, recovery

    T: 10 min cooldown - no pace, recovery
    -------------------------------------------------------


    Is is possible for a user by hand in Garmin Connect, to create such an involved workout for a VA3? Could I create this identical workout, or are these "GARMIN 5K COACH" workouts somehow more complex than what's available to VA3 users?

    Runner

  • #2
    I see this is all pretty standard stuff.
    Runner

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    • #3
      chris_in_cal just had a quick look in the Workout creator on the Garmin Connect website (I find it easier than the app) and I can replicate that workout no problems.
      When I was originally learning to create workouts I was unable to find any good help pages created by Garmin themselves (still seems to be the case) so I ended up just playing around creating workouts until I got the hang of it and I would recommend doing the same to get a feel for what the platform can do for you.

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      • #4
        Yes, it makes things easier on the website "garmin connect" page. I was curious how much control someone making a workout has, if there was scripting language. It looks like there are just the three or four qualities of measurement (time, distance, etc.) and whether to have it be a single block, or repeated. It is probably enough for nearly all runner, including me, though I am sure some high-end excessives look elsewhere to fine tune their workouts....like multi-sport.
        Runner

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        • #5
          chris_in_cal I think they pretty much cover it with the combination or 5 duration and 4 intensity targets, only other one for running that I could think of right now is some form of elevation gain target.
          You do bring up an interesting point there when mentioning multi-sport and I wonder if the higher end watches (Fenix, 935 etc) that officially support multi-sports like Triathlons get some additional options when creating workouts.
          On a final note the workouts are transferred to the VA3 as a .FIT file and I had a quick look and they can be converted to plain text with the FIT tools so it may even be possible to create and transfer workouts (perhaps with additional features) directly to the watch without the website at all.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by chris_in_cal View Post

            Is is possible for a user by hand in Garmin Connect, to create such an involved workout for a VA3? Could I create this identical workout, or are these "GARMIN 5K COACH" workouts somehow more complex than what's available to VA3 users?
            The workout in your example is just a combination of some simple steps, each consisting of three elements:
            • A duration (in your example time, distance or button press).
            • An optional intensity target (in your example pace).
            • An optional note to the user.
            The workout builder in Garmin Connect actually has plenty more functionality than what was used in your example. For example, the duration can also be "until my heart rate get above xxx BPM". And the intensity target has a lot more options than just pace (I wish there was an option of ramped intensity, but that is probably a quite obscure request).

            So the answer to your question is actually: You are able to create workouts which are even more complex than the workout from Garmin Coach.

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