Getting the most out of your Garmin

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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby MichaelB » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:13 pm

rogan wrote: ... How do I set my actual Max HR on the Garmin? Also, is there an option that displays the max HR reached during a ride? Even the crappy Polar would let me do that...


RTFI :mrgreen: , and yes, even a Lap Max HR (can either be displayed as zone, % max or actual value)
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby clack3rz » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:13 pm

I've had my Edge 305 for a few years now, and recently got my FR 305 as I've started including running in my schedule.

I know the FR has a Bike option, but I'll continue to use the Edge as it has a barometric sensor, so you get more accurate elevation results. Although I can get a more accurate elevation profile for my FR activities after I've uploaded my activity to Sporttracks (using the Elevation Correction Plugin).

I find that I use the Advanced Workouts and VP alot. I make up my Workouts using the Garmin Fitness plugin from Sporttracks and export them to the device (much like whats on Garmin Training Centre), and if I want to beat a time/avg speed on a previous course with the VP I can set up this up using the Courses plugin on Sporttacks and export it to the device.

As for the Q about VP on part of a ride - i.e. hill - you'd be best to use VP for the entire ride, and then split this section (using the auto-split function by GPS co-ordinates), or you can create splits/Filter the data for a section of the ride if you uploaded the activity to Sporttacks (not sure of Garmin Training Centre does this).

In relation to the Max HR, set your HR zones - and I think one of the displays is max HR - from memory.....
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby MichaelB » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:04 am

clack3rz wrote: .....As for the Q about VP on part of a ride - i.e. hill - you'd be best to use VP for the entire ride, and then split this section (using the auto-split function by GPS co-ordinates), or you can create splits/Filter the data for a section of the ride if you uploaded the activity to Sporttacks (not sure of Garmin Training Centre does this).

.....


Cheers clack3rz,

Sounds too hard :roll: Don't use Sporttracks or any of the other web based versions, just used GTC.

Will give it a go one day :D
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby clack3rz » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:48 am

MichaelB wrote:
clack3rz wrote: .....As for the Q about VP on part of a ride - i.e. hill - you'd be best to use VP for the entire ride, and then split this section (using the auto-split function by GPS co-ordinates), or you can create splits/Filter the data for a section of the ride if you uploaded the activity to Sporttacks (not sure of Garmin Training Centre does this).

.....


Cheers clack3rz,

Sounds too hard :roll: Don't use Sporttracks or any of the other web based versions, just used GTC.

Will give it a go one day :D


Nah not really mate.
It's quite simple. Record your data, split at the bottom (even if it's a manual split) and again at the top.
Keeping history of this is where it comes into play, you can see your progress over time.
Using Sporttracks is really quite simple - and better still it's not web based, so your logbook is kept locally (or can be also backed up to a specific location).
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby snark » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:37 am

clack3rz wrote:Using Sporttracks is really quite simple - and better still it's not web based, so your logbook is kept locally (or can be also backed up to a specific location).


Note that GTC is local too. That's a separate product to the web-based Garmin tool.

Cheers,
Simon.
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby MichaelB » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:58 am

snark wrote:
clack3rz wrote:Using Sporttracks is really quite simple - and better still it's not web based, so your logbook is kept locally (or can be also backed up to a specific location).


Note that GTC is local too. That's a separate product to the web-based Garmin tool.

Cheers,
Simon.


Wasn't sporttracks one that had to be logged onto the net for it to load up to ?

I set the 'lap' marker at the top and bottom of the climbs, so have no issues re keeping track of the times (done separately), but would love to have the graphic for the duration of the climb without a lot of faffing about at the bottom of the climb.

Otherwise, the leadup to the climb can be upset by all sorts of things like traffic, mates speed, wind etc.

Will try and use the VP for one of my flat loops just to try it, and see what happens.

Oh, is the VP the only thing that you get on the screen for the duration of the ride, or is it just another 'data page' display ?
Last edited by MichaelB on Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby Oxford » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:27 am

Be careful with GTC, once you have a big history file, it really slows down. I spent some time copying my history files to alternative folders and then removing other years data, so now each calendar year is a separate history file which I can copy over the current files if I ever need to refer to them (backup the current files first though :mrgreen: ). My history went back to 2008 with rides nearly every single day. Even with a very good computer GTC took a few minutes to start up as the history files were nearly 100Mb in size (I record every 1 second as well which probably doesn't help keep the files small).

When GTC starts up it backs up your files, this is why it slows down, if an error is encountered, next time you restart, it reverts to the backup files.
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby clack3rz » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:55 pm

MichaelB wrote:
snark wrote:
clack3rz wrote:Using Sporttracks is really quite simple - and better still it's not web based, so your logbook is kept locally (or can be also backed up to a specific location).


Note that GTC is local too. That's a separate product to the web-based Garmin tool.

Cheers,
Simon.


Wasn't sporttracks one that had to be logged onto the net for it to load up to ?

I set the 'lap' marker at the top and bottom of the climbs, so have no issues re keeping track of the times (done separately), but would love to have the graphic for the duration of the climb without a lot of faffing about at the bottom of the climb.

Otherwise, the leadup to the climb can be upset by all sorts of things like traffic, mates speed, wind etc.

Will try and use the VP for one of my flat loops just to try it, and see what happens.

Oh, is the VP the only thing that you get on the screen for the duration of the ride, or is it just another 'data page' display ?


No Sporttracks doesn't need an internet connection to import your activities. Other parts will - i.e. Routes (but even then once you have displayed the map the tiles are saved to your HDD so you can load them later w/o a connection).

See here for the website for more info.
I think there are several screens that you can scroll through when using VP.
If you've got a previously ridden course on the device still use it and have a play on the ride.

As for slowness as the history builds - I have 3+ years on one single logbook. It only slows a little, but I've got loads of data stored there, from cadence, hr, speed, elevation, detailed weather info, calculated power data, reports, activity documentation, gear usage calculations, training load data, dot racing, etc.
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby davidk » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:13 pm

Michael,

I was looking into exactly the same requirement from my 705.
I dont believe its possible to only have VP on for a mid portion of your ride, whilst recording the whole ride.

I wanted to ride against the VP just for specific climbs.

The only way I reckon I can do it, is to buy something like a 2nd hand Garmin ForeRunner 305 (wrist watch style - but mounted temp. on the bars) with just the climb section loaded, and use the VP on the 305, whilst recording the whole ride on the 705.

I use a utility called TCX converter which allows me to strip out part of a ride, and even to increase the speed of a recorded ride by a %. My idea was to load up a previous ride into the utlity, strip down the data so to only include the climb section, and then speed up the timing, by say 0.5% (IE 0.5% faster than my recorded ride), and then load that up into a 305.
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby im_no_pro » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:22 pm

Only other option I can think of is to record it as three rides - first one is getting there, second is climb (with VP), third is ride home. A bit of a pain, but doable in my opinion.
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby clack3rz » Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:12 pm

IMO I think it would be easier to load the whole course and use the VP.
Focus on the hill section by creating a lap on the device at the bottom and top (manual). Know your required speed, cadence etc - it's all live on the screen and the VP will be there with you.

You can then strip out that hill at the end once you're home either using the TCX converter as mentioned or Sporttracks and then analyze it and know what you need to do next time.
Same with creating the increase in speed, by using one of the above programs to modify the course accordingly.

Remember the VP is just a pic of a person on a bike - dictated by data on the device.
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby MichaelB » Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:16 pm

im_no_pro wrote:Only other option I can think of is to record it as three rides - first one is getting there, second is climb (with VP), third is ride home. A bit of a pain, but doable in my opinion.


Seesm to be a solution that is doable. Buying another unit is not an option (have a spare 305 though :lol: ), but will have a play.

Re slowing down with heaps of rises... each time I upgrade to the latest version (software) I forget that it deletes my history base, so I rarely get past 6 months data :roll:

Thanks for the info/advice guys
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby im_no_pro » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:30 pm

clack3rz wrote:IMO I think it would be easier to load the whole course and use the VP.
Focus on the hill section by creating a lap on the device at the bottom and top (manual). Know your required speed, cadence etc - it's all live on the screen and the VP will be there with you.

You can then strip out that hill at the end once you're home either using the TCX converter as mentioned or Sporttracks and then analyze it and know what you need to do next time.
Same with creating the increase in speed, by using one of the above programs to modify the course accordingly.

Remember the VP is just a pic of a person on a bike - dictated by data on the device.


Yes, but if you load it from the start of the ride, the VP wont necessarily be starting the climb at the same time. Which is what MichaelB wants from what I gather.
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby MichaelB » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:58 am

im_no_pro wrote: .....Yes, but if you load it from the start of the ride, the VP wont necessarily be starting the climb at the same time. Which is what MichaelB wants from what I gather.


100% correct.

Will give it a go and report back...
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby clack3rz » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:49 am

MichaelB wrote:
im_no_pro wrote: .....Yes, but if you load it from the start of the ride, the VP wont necessarily be starting the climb at the same time. Which is what MichaelB wants from what I gather.


100% correct.

Will give it a go and report back...


Fair 'nuff
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby ValleyForge » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:58 pm

clack3rz wrote:
MichaelB wrote:
im_no_pro wrote: .....Yes, but if you load it from the start of the ride, the VP wont necessarily be starting the climb at the same time. Which is what MichaelB wants from what I gather.


100% correct.

Will give it a go and report back...


Fair 'nuff


Trick is to record just the climb as a course and hit start course at beginning of the ride. When you reach the start of the climb, the GPS data will trigger the course start, and the VP will start with you.

In theory!
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby MichaelB » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:50 am

ValleyForge wrote: Trick is to record just the climb as a course and hit start course at beginning of the ride. When you reach the start of the climb, the GPS data will trigger the course start, and the VP will start with you.

In theory!


OK, will try that. Thanks.

Wish I would have seen this last night before I ledft work, as I did Belair Rd and set a good time, so would have been ideal ** !!!

** Must admit, have yet to even try and work out how to use VP though .....
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby davidk » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:02 am

ValleyForge wrote:Trick is to record just the climb as a course and hit start course at beginning of the ride. When you reach the start of the climb, the GPS data will trigger the course start, and the VP will start with you.

In theory!


Unfortunately, this wont work.

From the Garmin 500 Manual -

NOTE: As soon as you press START, your Virtual Partner starts the course and does not wait for you to warm up.


Ive gone through the manuals for both the 705 & 500 and there doesnt seem to be any way to record a long ride as a whole, and have the VP running for just a mid section of the ride.
As I suggested above, the only way it can be done is with a 2nd Garmin GPS, jsut for VP work on a sub-section of your ride.

Second hand Forerunner 205's & 305's on Ebay can be purchased at a good saving from original RRP. Both have the Virtual Partner training option. The 205 calculates its speed just from GPS coordinates, and the 305 can communicate with your existing GSC10 cadence/wheel sender, which will probably mean better, more accurate speed detection, and therefore, more accurate depiction of the Virtual Partner.
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby ValleyForge » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:49 pm

davidk wrote:
ValleyForge wrote:Trick is to record just the climb as a course and hit start course at beginning of the ride. When you reach the start of the climb, the GPS data will trigger the course start, and the VP will start with you.

In theory!


Unfortunately, this wont work.

From the Garmin 500 Manual -

NOTE: As soon as you press START, your Virtual Partner starts the course and does not wait for you to warm up.


Ive gone through the manuals for both the 705 & 500 and there doesnt seem to be any way to record a long ride as a whole, and have the VP running for just a mid section of the ride.
As I suggested above, the only way it can be done is with a 2nd Garmin GPS, jsut for VP work on a sub-section of your ride.

Second hand Forerunner 205's & 305's on Ebay can be purchased at a good saving from original RRP. Both have the Virtual Partner training option. The 205 calculates its speed just from GPS coordinates, and the 305 can communicate with your existing GSC10 cadence/wheel sender, which will probably mean better, more accurate speed detection, and therefore, more accurate depiction of the Virtual Partner.


Sorry - it works fine with the 705. We have a few regular rides that I do this on. I ride to the meeting point which is sort of the warm-up and as I get to about 10m of the starting point my 705 says "Course found" and it's away, VP and all.
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby MichaelB » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:53 pm

ValleyForge wrote: Sorry - it works fine with the 705. We have a few regular rides that I do this on. I ride to the meeting point which is sort of the warm-up and as I get to about 10m of the starting point my 705 says "Course found" and it's away, VP and all.



OK, one for and one against !!!

I'll read up about the 500 & VP, and give it a go. p14 & 15 of the Edge 500 pdf manual says it can be done as per Valley Forge mentions.

Edge 500 manual
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby davidk » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:11 pm

My copy page numbers are slightly different, howerver the fullness of the text on page15 (page 16 on my copy) says:

"Off Course Options
You can include a warmup before you begin your course. press START to begin the course and then warm up as normal."

This begs the question, is any part of the warmup, actually reccorded, or ignored. On the previous page, it says
"5. press START.
History is recorded even if you are not on the course. The 'Course Complete' message appears when you finish"

So that WOULD suggest that its recording your warmup data. HOWEVER, further on page 15, it says:

"NOTE: As soon as you press START, your Virtual partner starts the course and does not wait for you to warm up"


So in combination, this suggests that any 'warm-up' activity will be recorded in the history as soon as you press START , BUT at this point, the VP will begin the course section, regardless of how close you are to the actual course starting position. Therefore, most likely the VP will have finished 'riding' the course segment, before you actually get close to the course start position.
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby MichaelB » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:44 am

David, seems like the 705 and the 500 are a bit different then ?

Anyway, Part 1 of the exercise is now done, as I did the Belair Rd climb this morning as a separate "ride", so will do the trial of 'loading' it as per the above Edge 500 instructions, and then give it a go hopefully over the weekend, or on Thursday night.

Will let you know how it goes.
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby davidk » Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:20 am

Michael,

have a look at a utility called TCX Converter http://www.teambikeolympo.it/TCXConverter/TeamBikeOlympo_-_TCX_Converter/TCX_Converter_ENG.html
With this utility, you can load up a previous recorded ride, and chop bits out of the ride you wish to remove. This would enable you to trim say the start and end of a ride file, just leaving the climb portion.
You can then save this modified data, either as a HISTORY file, or more importantly, as a COURSE file.
You can also do things like adjust the average speed of your course file, by percentage, or by a flat speed.
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby ValleyForge » Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:29 am

davidk wrote:Michael,

have a look at a utility called TCX Converter http://www.teambikeolympo.it/TCXConverter/TeamBikeOlympo_-_TCX_Converter/TCX_Converter_ENG.html
With this utility, you can load up a previous recorded ride, and chop bits out of the ride you wish to remove. This would enable you to trim say the start and end of a ride file, just leaving the climb portion.
You can then save this modified data, either as a HISTORY file, or more importantly, as a COURSE file.
You can also do things like adjust the average speed of your course file, by percentage, or by a flat speed.


I find Bike Route Toaster works really well and has a direct plug-in to the Garmin. It seems to convert speed to an average rather than second to second for comparison with the VP. So during the Toaster course, you might find you are miles ahead then hit a hill and get thrashed by the VP which has been averaged out.
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Re: Getting the most out of your Garmin

Postby MichaelB » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:18 pm

Thanks for the detailed input David and VF. Typically, my plan is to use the VP for the 4 - 5 hills that I regularly ride (Mt Lofty via EoH, Belair Rd, Norton Summit & Greenhill Rd), so they are all uphill, so the flat & hill combo doesn't bother me.

My ideal thing would be to have these routes/courses ALL stored, and the VP auto turn on when I get to those climbs.

I'm a lazy sod for some of these things, but will have a look at the sites suggested guys. Cheers
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