The TrainingPeaks app has been added as a preloaded or downloadable app for a selection of Garmin GPS sports devices, but the question is, what exactly does it do for you? Would it add substantial value to your training program and fitness goals? The bottom line is, this app allows your TrainingPeaks training program to be synced daily to your Garmin device, without you lifting a finger. You never need to check your TrainingPeaks website or mobile app to know what your training day looks like. When you get out of bed, just sync your watch or bike computer with your smartphone, and your session will be waiting for you on your Garmin device. Just press start, and go! Compatible devices are: Edge 520/820/1000
Edge Explore 820/1000, Forerunner 735XT/935, Fenix 5/5S/5X
Why would you want to use it?
It makes managing and executing your daily program very, very easy. Since your program will be loaded onto your watch as a structured workout, you never have to memorize any detail like sets, distances or heart rate zones. Any intricate swim, run or cycling session will be laid out in all its detail, step by step, as a workout. If you ever programmed a workout in Garmin Connect, you’ll know exactly what it looks like. You will only be prompted to select the type of sport, and once you press the start button, you will be guided through the entire workout. If you are in charge of your own program, the detail of each session will be less of a problem, but if you make use of a coach, the benefit of using this format cannot be overstated.
To stir your curiosity: when you start your session, the first screen will be a TrainingPeaks default screen indicating the pre-selected heart rate zone within which you have to stay for the session. You will even get an alert if you are under or over the required HR zone. Take note, it will be custom alerts as programmed for every workout, and not the zones you’ve set on your watch as per the Garmin manual. So it’s like your coach is running with you. The default 3-datafield screen also includes a timer counting down the distance of the session, plus your current speed or pace. This proprietary TrainingPeaks screen is there to guide you, but if you prefer the familiarity of your regular main screen, one down-cursor press will take you there.
How to get it going.
To activate this app, make sure you have a premium TrainingPeaks account, open the app on your device or watch, and you will be guided through the connecting steps. It is truly easier than making tea. Check out the shots below. Four steps and it’s done.
How do you build a workout?
If you are a coached athlete with a premium TrainingPeaks account , there is no need for you to understand anything about constructing your workouts. You will simply open up the app to find your program for the day, ready and waiting, courtesy of your coach. If you are in charge of your own program, there are a few things you need to know.
Your workouts have to build with the TrainingPeaks workout builder. If you construct a workout in the original style TrainingPeaks dialogue box, it won’t upload. If you have a mental resistance against another new learning curve, grin and bear it, because it is worth it. The workout builder is advantageous in ways you’ll come to understand once you get used to it. To make life easy for future planning, drag your workouts into your workout library. You won’t have to create new workouts all the time from scratch. Drag existing workouts onto your calendar and edit them to your liking.
You construct a training session by putting together a number of segments (1 to infinity). Each segment can be individually set in terms of duration or distance, and other attributes, such as warm up, work or recovery. For example, if a segment is meant for recovery, duration would be the favoured setting, as you won’t be under pressure to deliver pace.
All the regular variables of a training session can be addressed with the workout builder. For instance, the effort level can be determined in terms of 5 settings: FTP (Functional Threshold Power), maximum heart rate, threshold heart rate, threshold pace and rating of perceived level. If all of this confuses you, start off with maximum heart rate and set the zones you want to stick to in your workout. Just make sure your zones are configured correctly in settings, as the program will calculate the heart rate alerts accordingly. Your watch will reflect appropriate zones when you do the session, and guide you throughout the session. If all of this is still confusing, book a coach for some guidance. After all, knowledge is power, and once you understand it, you can control it yourself. Best is to dive in and play around with it.
As mentioned, the only other prerequisite is that you need a TrainingPeaks premium account to use this app. This comes at R150 per month, but at loss of one large pizza per month, it’s totally worth it. If you are a coached athlete, the fee can be for your coach’s account.
Other detail you need to know.
Your watch downloads the workouts for every day, per day. You cannot download them prior to the day of execution, or in advance for the week. If you have more than one workout for the day, it will download all of them, for that day.
Once your workout has been synced to your watch/device, you do not need the phone to be around when you do the workout.
If you interrupt a TrainingPeaks workout and save it incomplete or discard it, you cannot re-open it and start over. It will upload as incomplete and become unavailable on your watch. The workout has to be re-added to your TrainingPeaks calendar and synced again to your watch to be available again.
When you save a completed workout, it will upload to your Garmin Connect site and TrainingPeaks platform, ready to be analyzed and interpreted as usual.
The TrainingPeaks app is another huge technical step that optimizes training efficiency, while keeping it simple at the same time. Kudos to TrainingPeaks and Garmin.
Where to get a compatible Garmin device?
Get the Garmin device that suits your needs from Navworld. Their knowledge and service are unsurpassed. For their online store, follow this link: http://navworld.co.za/products/sports-and-fitness/