Garmin Screen Set Up For Cycling

We’ve received more questions than expected about our Garmin or Wahoo Fields used on our devices, so we made a quick guide to our favorite fields.

Everyone is different, so do what you feel works for you. Some riders don’t want to see the power numbers during a race, as it can be counterproductive; if you see high numbers, you might think that you need to back off on the power.

Other riders use the numbers to know if they can push harder.

The one caveat to this is that you must remember that racing by the numbers can hold you back from pushing through to the next level. You might be on the way to creating a lifetime PR, but held back because you were worried about exploding, when really you may hit new highs! Don’t thwart your success because of the numbers on the screen.

Brendan has a very busy screen, or screens, but he really likes to have all the data at his fingertips. He’s not staring at the watt numbers and doesn’t use them to gauge his effort, he just goes all in when he needs to.

That being said, here are the fields that he likes to use to have a sense of how his training rides are progressing. In a race, he’ll usually just look at time elapsed and current power to pace efforts in the break.

Page 1:

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Power

What watts are you pedaling RIGHT NOW. While this number will change and go up and down a lot, once you become better at smoothing out your power, this instant number is very valuable.

When will you become smoother and able to pedal within one zone?

It just happens over time, but it’s something that you want to work on and develop. Smooth power is better than herky jerky power which takes you out of the zone that you are training and is less efficient.

Power Spikes also hurt average power when you dip back into zone 1 all the time.

Power Spikes also hurt average power when you dip back into zone 1 all the time.


Heart Rate

This is a new addition in 2019 because I’ve never trusted the readings from these; when they go bad, they slowly fade into incorrect readings. The accuracy can change if you’ve had an extra cup of coffee, if the temperature is warm out, or if you’ve had a different amount of sleep.


All that being said though, it is wise to collect this data so you can check your heart rate variability and see how your heart rate is affected by different blocks of training. Also, what happens to your heart rate on the third and fourth interval set?


Power 30s

Sometimes athletes also substitute Power 3s or Power 10s, but to me, the former is redundant to simply Power, and Power 10s isn’t long enough of a duration to draw much from mid-ride. I like having the 30s effort there because you can use it during 3-5m efforts to see if your 30s is similar to your current Power, and you can also use it as a quick look into the trees when doing longer efforts.


Current Lap

This one is extremely important for the person doing intervals, because you want to hit the LAP button to start your interval so that you know how much time has passed, and then you can also use Lap specified Power Fields to make sure you are hitting the right number. More on that in a second.


Also, hitting the Lap button for intervals makes it much easier for your coach to analyze the intervals. Otherwise, they have to create the intervals as timed durations and that just wastes time.


Cadence

Wouldn’t say this is necessary, I just like it. Spinning is winning, but don’t sacrifice what is natural to you. Just notice fluctuations and be weary of smashing TOO big of a gear. Sometimes I see 77 and think “damn I need to shift up!”


Lap Power (this is the average power for the current lap)

See above regarding Current Lap. This will give you the AVERAGE power for the Lap that you just started. This should be used to target your watts for specified intervals. No need to wonder “Am I close and doing this right?” by looking at Power or Power30s; use the Lap Power. It’s the average.

Normalized Power Lap

What does this lap actually feel like? Normalized Power is good to look back on, but I don’t use it for much except very few advanced level intervals (can you normalize your FTP for 2-3 hours)?

Heading

Which way are you going? Self explanatory. I don’t map routes beforehand 98% of the time, so this is useful.

Speed

I’m just curious

Lap Distance

When a race starts and I hit Lap, I want to know how far we’ve traveled before the end of the race.

Page 2

Lap Speed

How fast is the race? Or, if I’m in a time trial, am I going fast enough to get the winning time.

Average Speed

Just curious how fast I’m going. Please, don’t ruin your training plan for a fast average speed on Strava.

Time

This is the amount of time ridden. I’m old school and still think of rides in time instead of kj’s or TSS, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Grade %

This thing is steep!

Distance

I’m guilty of being a mileage junky, so I like to know if we’ve it 120 miles yet or not.

Max Power

When doing sprint intervals or racing for townlines, it’s nice to know when you’ve uncorked a big sprint. What did it feel like? What gear were you in? Was it slightly uphill? Were you with someone else or alone? Did you jump hard initially or ride into it? What makes you the fastest to the line when the race is short?

TSS

Training Stress Score. How many points have I racked up today?

Refresher: 250 = mega, 300 = Mega, 350 = MEGA

Elapsed Time

I strongly dislike when this number drifts farther away from the Time Field. It means we’re dilly dallying around and not riding, or we had to wait on someone. Just kidding, I never wait for people.

Kilojoules

How many are you burning an hour? How deep into the tank have you gone? Once you’ve hit 3,000, what kind of watts can you put out?

Intensity Factor

How hard is this ride?

0.7-0.75 = endurance

0.76-0.8 = tempo

0.81 - 0.89 = sweet spot or road race

0.90 - 1.05 = hard road race, time trial.

1.05 - 1.15 = Criterium, prologue / short time trial.

> 1.16 is a track race.

Page 3

This page is optional, and just extra information.

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Average Power and NP PWR

These are both averages for the entire ride. I only use these on Endurance rides to see if I’m able to keep my watts up to the high end of zone 2.

Page 4

I’ve also added a fourth page as of last year that has all the time spent in each zone.

PWR Zone 1 - PWR Zone 9

Take note of these:

Zone In Garmin = Traditional Zone, WKO4 Term

Zone 1 = Zone 1, Recovery

Zone 2 = Zone 2, Endurance

Zone 3 = Zone 3, Tempo

Zone 4 = Zone 4a, Sweet Spot

Zone 5 = Zone 4, Threshold or FTP

Zone 6 = Zone 5, VO2Max or FRC/FTP

Zone 7 = Zone 6, FRC

Zone 8 = Zone 7a, FRC/PMAX

Zone 9 = Zone 7, PMAX

You can use this to make sure you are obeying the 10% rule on endurance rides, or know how much of each zone you are hitting.

So let us know, what other Fields are you using on your garmin?

Lots of talk about the Wahoo Element...have you made the switch?

Thanks for your input. As always, reach out with questions!





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