How to use course map during trail race?

Good Afternoon,

I just got a new Fenix 5 plus last weekend, and using it for my first trail race tomorrow. I've managed to download the course to my watch, but wondering what mode to use for the race itself. Playing around, I'm guessing I'd go to Trail Running, Courses, select the course, and either Do Course or Race. Just wondering what the difference is between the two modes are (Race and Do Course). Or would it make more sense to just forget about the course file, and just hit go on Trail Run mode. Also, if my GPX file is a little bit off the actual course, is that going to screw anything up? ie make me cancel the activity and start over? It looks similar, but just not sure how accurate it is.

Any insight or tips would be greatly appreciated!

  • I would use Trial Run..and be sure Auto Pause is turned off for that activity. Nothing like climbing switchbacks only to have your watch pause! :mad:

    Regarding navigating, unless the course is poorly marked I would suggest not trying this out for the first time during a race...especially for a trail run. BUT, if you do decide to navigate the course and if it's not working like you expect, you can choose to stop the course during the activity with a long press of the "Up" button and then choosing "Stop Course". That way you don't have to stop the activity and start a new one. Then you can just keep plodding along! :)

    However, I have had good experiences overall with navigating courses on trail runs. I did see the occasional "Off Course" warning even though I was clearly on the correct trail, but this eventually resolved itself once the real world again matched the map and course. I just chose not to panic when it happened.

    As for "Do Course" vs "Race", I believe the "Race" option opens up a data screen that gives you remaining distance and estimated time to finish. The "Do Course" option opens up data screens that show the course elevation plot and a plot of your next climb. But I think all of this depends upon what options you choose in the settings and data screens for Trial Run. Hopefully someone else with more experience on these two options will chime in and we'll both learn something!

    Hope that helps!

  • I think with 'Race' you get detail on if you are ahead or behind the original times recorded for the course you are doing. I do use it for trail races, particularly self navigated, as it means you don't need to worry about missing turns/getting lost.