Garmin watches are like onions: you want to peel down a number of layers of settings to get to the great things (after which cry from the onerous exercises).
Each time I swap from Garmin to a different watch model, I find yourself lacking simply how complete and thorough Garmin Join is, actually giving me an entire information to my health coaching.
I am going to even be the primary to confess that Garmin Join is a dense, convoluted app the place the data and settings you want are buried and poorly defined and not using a ton of Googling. To not point out the truth that you want a second app (Garmin Join IQ) so as to add new apps and customized watch faces, and that altering settings on a Garmin watch itself is simply as convoluted.
In his new weekly column, Android Central Health Editor Michael Hicks talks concerning the world of wearables, apps, and total health tech associated to working and well being.
If you first arrange your Garmin watch, the app fortunately walks you thru a number of key steps: including music, Wi-Fi, Garmin Pay, emergency contacts, syncing to Strava, and LiveTrack. However after that, you are mainly left to fend for your self.
For brand new Garmin watch homeowners — or potential patrons questioning what the fuss is about — here’s a set of Garmin ideas and tips with regards to taking full benefit of your new watch! Observe: some options are restricted to newer Garmin watches.
In case you’re something like me, you may most likely skip quite a lot of the sophisticated Garmin watch setup and plan to get again to it later. Then you definately’ll get bombarded with pop-ups asking, “Now do you wish to arrange Garmin Pay?” Spare your self the every day annoyance and end organising each core function.
Within the Garmin Join app, faucet the watch icon on the highest banner, then choose your present watch (or sync it if it is disconnected). Your first possibility will probably be End setup, which guides you thru the aforementioned options like including Wi-Fi and security options.
Or, should you’ve already accomplished setup however wish to change issues after the very fact, you may discover these options in the identical watch Settings menu; Garmin Pay and Music are apparent, whereas Wi-Fi is below Connectivity and Security & Monitoring helps you to change your Emergency Contacts or allow LiveTrack.
Change your objectives
If you first obtain Join or arrange a watch, it will immediate you to set objectives to your every day steps, weekly depth minutes, or every day flooring climbed. You may also discover these objectives by tapping the watch settings icon > Well being & Wellness.
For steps, you possibly can set it to make use of an “auto common” or set a selected aim like 10,000 steps. Auto common modifications based mostly on what number of steps you sometimes tackle a given day, subtly adjusting larger should you match or surpass the aim or decrease should you fail to hit it. An auto-updating aim will push you to enhance however could climb too excessive so that you can hit; at that time, you might wish to swap to a handbook aim as soon as you understand what you are actually able to.
For weekly depth minutes, the World Well being Group recommends adults aged 18–64 hit 150–300 minutes of reasonable exercise or 75–150 vigorous exercise to remain wholesome. So for instance you select 250 minutes as your goal: Garmin will mechanically use coronary heart price zones to find out if an exercise is reasonable (zone 3) or vigorous (zone 4+) and double the logged minutes in case your coronary heart price is excessive sufficient. You’ll be able to change these, akin to making zone 2 reasonable or making solely zone 5 “vigorous,” if you’d like.
I additionally suggest checking your precise coronary heart price zones. Go to your watch settings > Consumer Profile > Coronary heart Price & Energy Zones. Right here, you possibly can modify your max coronary heart price, lactate threshold, and 5 HR zones.
Garmin can solely estimate your max coronary heart price based mostly in your age and health, and your lactate threshold — the extent at which lactate builds up in your blood as a consequence of bodily exertion — will get larger the fitter you’re, in keeping with this UVA College of Drugs examine.
So you need to carry out a stress take a look at to find out your private well being values. I adopted this information by Coaching Peaks and located my common coronary heart price at max effort over the past 20 minutes of a 30-minute exercise to calculate my LTHR, then adjusted my zones accordingly. Finally, Garmin will collect sufficient knowledge out of your exercises to offer you extra correct post-run data.
Arrange a coaching plan
Most up-to-date Garmin watches have every day advised exercises that suggest how lengthy and onerous to coach, based mostly in your current coaching knowledge, VO2 Max, restoration time, and sleep knowledge. Whereas helpful, these exercises lack context if, for example, you are coaching to hit a sure distance or time; they usually do not account to your every day life and schedule.
Runners and cyclists could wish to arrange an precise, official coaching plan as an alternative of counting on the algorithm. In Garmin Join, go to Extra > Coaching & Planning > Coaching Plans.
Runners will select a 5K, 10K, or half marathon plan based mostly on what number of miles they run per week, their aim (whether or not to merely end a race or hit a sure time), and which fashion of Garmin Coach they need. Cyclists will intention for a selected mileage aim like Century or Gran Fondo, a time trial aim, or to enhance their mountain biking skills.
You may also obtain customized, self-guided Garmin Join coaching plans not out there by Garmin Coach, akin to a marathon coaching plan or triathlon coaching. On the net, go to this Garmin Join hyperlink, select a plan, and add it to your schedule.
As soon as you have arrange a Garmin Coach coaching plan, every day exercises will seem within the Calendar in your app and watch, so you possibly can see how rigorous at this time’s exercise will probably be forward of time. Some newer watches, just like the Garmin Forerunner 255, also have a Morning Report that provides you that data as quickly as you get up.
Create your individual exercises
Throughout a advised or scheduled exercise, your watch reveals how your present tempo or coronary heart price falls inside a goal vary, buzzing your wrist to let you know should you’re too excessive or low, or if it is time to shift to the subsequent a part of a exercise. It is a implausible self-training too, however as I discussed in my current Garmin function wishlist, you possibly can’t simply edit a exercise previous to beginning it, in case you feel too drained or wired for what the Garmin algorithm is suggesting.
I like to recommend making your individual customized exercises and saving them to your watch so you possibly can entry them at any time. Return to Extra > Coaching & Planning and choose Exercises > Create a exercise. You’ll be able to arrange a run or biking session, put it aside below a customized title, after which ship it to your Garmin watch by tapping the telephone icon.
When you’re on the exercise begin display screen, maintain the Menu button (left-middle) on 5-button watches or the Again button on 2- or 3-button watches. Choose Coaching > Exercises > Customized exercise title > Do exercise.
I’ve a number of generic exercises saved, like “Future,” that warns me if I fall beneath a sure tempo, or extra particular Observe Run coaching plans for intervals. That means, if I do not like what’s on the Calendar for the day, I can simply drag and drop it to a distinct day and do my very own exercise as an alternative.
You are in luck should you’re extra thinking about indoor power coaching, yoga, HIIT, or different actions than working. On the Exercises display screen within the app, you possibly can Discover a exercise and select between a ton of exercises centered on finishing reps, both at dwelling or within the gymnasium.
Garmin has over a thousand exercise varieties, they usually’re animated so you possibly can test on the shape earlier than you begin a rep your self. Watches with AMOLED shows just like the Venu 2 Plus provide the greatest expertise on that entrance.
Change your knowledge screens
Every sports activities exercise reveals important knowledge in your wrist throughout a run. For instance, the Run exercise reveals the timer, distance, tempo, and coronary heart price. However you possibly can see a lot extra throughout a run if you wish to: coronary heart price zone, stamina, working energy, your working dynamics (aka stride size, cadence), a map/compass, elevation modifications, and so forth.
You’ll be able to change an exercise’s default knowledge fields in your wrist or within the app; I like to recommend the latter. Go to your watch settings > Actions & Apps, select a selected exercise, then Knowledge Screens > Add Knowledge Display.
You’ll be able to add a default display screen themed on particular knowledge (like stamina or elevation), or you possibly can create your individual customized screens with as much as six fields of knowledge. The latter is particularly helpful since you’ll discover tons of choices that are not on the generic screens, like real-time charts of your tempo/pace/coronary heart price over time.
You’ll be able to combine and match knowledge that might usually seem on separate screens, so you may hopefully spend much less time scrolling by them when you ought to be staying within the zone. Or you possibly can prioritize much less mainstream knowledge fields; for instance, you might choose seeing your Common Tempo or Lap Tempo as an alternative of your real-time Tempo.
Make your GPS monitoring extra correct
The most recent and biggest Garmin watches help all-systems or multi-band GPS, making them the most correct GPS watches in my exams. A lot of them use SatIQ to modify to higher satellite tv for pc knowledge as soon as it detects a sign blockage or delay, however you possibly can select to at all times use the highest-level monitoring if you’d like the absolute best knowledge always.
Maintain down the Menu button and choose Actions & Apps > Run (or one other exercise) > Run Settings > GPS and select All + Multi-Band for the absolute best accuracy. In case you solely see GPS and UltraTrac, your Garmin does not help the newer choices.
You may most likely wish to do the identical to your Stroll or Hike exercise, which additionally auto-selects on some watches. Some will choose UltraTrac, which takes rare GPS readings to save lots of battery; others will choose one thing extra correct, particularly in the event that they’re utilizing a longer-lived Garmin watch just like the Intuition 2X Photo voltaic.
Battery life vs. options
You most likely selected a Garmin watch regardless of its lack of conventional smartwatch “smarts” due to its lengthy battery life, amongst different issues. However typically, you may wish to reduce into the battery capability for particular options — or in the reduction of to make it last more. The GPS setting above is only one instance.
In relation to blood oxygen monitoring, Garmin is likely one of the solely manufacturers to supply 24/7 checks as a means for athletes to test their altitude acclimation or normal well being, however you too can arrange during-sleep monitoring or carry out handbook spot checks In your watch, maintain down the Menu button, scroll all the way down to Well being & Wellness, choose Pulse Oximeter, and select both All Day or Throughout sleep should you suppose your battery can deal with it.
If in case you have a memory-in-pixel show, you might not like how dim the show is, particularly indoors; Garmin tends to make 20% the default exterior of actions, which is fairly onerous to learn. Maintain down the Menu button, then scroll all the way down to System > Show > Common Use. You’ll be able to change the default brightness, allow raise-to-wake so you do not have to press a button, alter the display screen timeout time to be slightly longer, and even make always-on the default.
I am assuming that your new Garmin watch has a robust battery life and may face up to extra demanding settings. However should you’re having the other downside and wish to lengthen your battery, I wrote a information on the way to repair Garmin watch battery issues that can assist you out. Lengthy story quick, you possibly can activate a Battery Saver mode that disables the commonest battery-draining options.
Customise your watch face
Your Garmin watch face is what you may spend most of your time looking at, so be certain that it is enjoyable (or informative) to have a look at! As soon as once more, maintain down that trusty Menu (or Again) button, relying in your watch’s variety of buttons, and Watch face needs to be your first possibility.
Choose it, then scroll by the generic watch faces out there in your watch by default. Choose a watch face you want, then select Customise. You’ll be able to change the general format, which knowledge is displayed, and/or the accent shade for the watch face.
The Garmin icon meanings are slightly obscure, particularly when you’re first beginning out and your knowledge is empty. Go to this Garmin help web page, change the watch title to your present mannequin, and see (A) which icons can be found in your watch and (B) what they imply.
If you would like recommendation, my private favorites are remaining restoration time (so you understand when your physique is able to work out once more), step depend (duh), earned depth minutes, weekly working distance, and climate. I am not a fan of displaying my coronary heart price or different well being knowledge, because the fixed replace burns by the battery and in addition offers me nervousness if my coronary heart price is just too excessive, however it’s as much as choice!
If you would like watch faces past what Garmin presents by default, you may must obtain a second app — Garmin Join IQ — on the Google Play Retailer or iOS App Retailer. You need to use Face it to create a customized watch face with your individual private pictures or go into the IQ Retailer and discover/obtain a watch face made by the Garmin neighborhood.
Arrange Sizzling Keys
Most Garmin buttons have set shortcuts if you maintain them down, like opening the music participant after squeezing the bottom-left button. However you most likely do not know (I did not till very just lately!) that there are six different shortcuts you possibly can arrange on a 5-button watch: Maintain START, Maintain BACK, START + Down, START + UP, BACK + LIGHT, and BACK + UP.
With any of those shortcuts, you possibly can pull up a favourite function instantly, as an alternative of getting to scroll by widgets or menus to seek out them. Go to Menu > System > Sizzling Keys so as to add your new shortcuts — I depend 24 choices on my Garmin Forerunner 965.
These are my private favourite Sizzling Keys that I might suggest including to your watch:
- Pockets: In case you arrange tap-to-pay, you wish to pull up that possibility instantly as an alternative of maintaining the folks behind you ready as you swipe by submenus.
- Flashlight: Most Garmins haven’t got a built-in flashlight just like the Intuition 2X Photo voltaic, however this setting will make the display screen 100% vivid, serving to you see your means at nighttime in a pinch.
- Timers/stopwatch: These useful instruments do not want any clarification.
- Navigation: It is good to have the ability to pull up your present environment throughout a GPS-tracked exercise; this solely applies for watches with correct mapping, like a Garmin Fenix or the Forerunner 955.
- Brightness: As I discussed earlier than, you might wish to hold your brightness low to save lots of battery, however have the choice to boost it shortly at any time.
As a aspect notice, in case your watch helps emergency help and also you set it up, then you could maintain the designated button for about seven seconds, after which, the watch will vibrate thrice and your real-time location will probably be despatched to your preloaded emergency contacts. You’ll be able to’t change which button triggers this.
Use Discover My Telephone / Discover My Watch
As long as your smartphone and Garmin watch are related by way of Bluetooth, you should utilize both machine to seek out the opposite. Garmin’s Discover My function is not almost as strong as a Put on OS or Apple Watch because it depends upon Bluetooth. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless fairly useful to have should you’re in a rush and your watch or telephone is buried within the sofa cushions.
In your watch, go to the Controls menu; maintain the Mild button on a 5-button watch or the Begin button on a 2-button watch. Discover My Telephone is the icon with a telephone and query mark; choose it. Your telephone ought to ring loudly, whereas your watch will show a colourful indicator displaying how shut you’re to it.
Within the Garmin Join app, choose the watch icon and scroll all the way down to Discover My Machine. Your related watch will vibrate till you dismiss the pop-up notification, serving to you to trace it down if it is close by.
Hopefully, these Garmin ideas and tips will assist you to get extra use out of your new Garmin watch! When you do the early work of getting all the pieces arrange, Garmin’s analytics and algorithms deal with the remainder, so you possibly can simply take a look at your wrist and see what sort of exercise you need to do subsequent.
Not all Garmin watches share each function. The extra you pay, the extra Garmin crams into the watch. So should you’re shopping for a top-end Forerunner watch or Fenix watch, you may wish to transcend what I listed above and actually dive into menus and settings your self, so that you’re getting your cash’s value.
Now that you simply’re all set in your Garmin settings, it is time to hit the monitor or path and get shifting! And even should you do not use each Garmin trick within the guide, it is okay; we just lately examined the Garmin Forerunner 265 in opposition to different manufacturers for step depend accuracy, and it outperformed the opposite manufacturers.