I’ve written elsewhere that I started using one of the Garmin coaches to help me train for my upcoming 10k race. After reviewing the two available coaches’ intro videos, I decided to work with Coach Greg as I liked the cut of his stride repeats, goal pace repeats, and progression runs. In the early weeks it got me into the discipline of training, which I’m pleased has so far stuck with me.
Coach Greg showed me how confident he was that I would hit my ambitious target by moving a dot on a coloured circle at the top of my phone screen. He was confident in me, so I became confident; with Greg in my corner, I couldn’t fail. Some days Greg took me out on ten minute runs. He always gave me the option to go on for another ten minute, but why would I? Greg didn’t mind I always skipped the extra bit, and he showed it through his little colourful circle of confidence.
Ultimately, I had to give up on Greg as I couldn’t commit to so many runs each week. Going out four times a week felt a lot as I wanted to balance my running with some different cross-training. I was worried about over-training and injury, and the amount of washing I was going through was getting ridiculous. A ten minute run might not seem much, but it is more than enough to turn a clean running top into a soggy mess.
But Greg had taught me the merit of setting goal paces on my runs. I found I could programme my own target pace ranges against individual steps in individual workouts, which I could monitor second by second on my watch. I could measure my stride sessions in twenty second bursts, followed by a 45 second cool-down; even having something counting off the number of reps for me was enormous progress (it turns out I can only be proficient at running or counting, never both at the same time). It works brilliantly, and I can create my own plans as I like, and importantly, amend them to reflect how I feel on any given day.
I’m not affiliated to Garmin in any way, so absolutely not plugging their products. I’m sure other devices offer similar features, and perhaps some have better features for runners, however there’s a massive difference between my Garmin Venu and, say, an Apple Watch that makes it infinitely better – it’s the word “my”: I don’t own an Apple Watch, so Garmin have a big headstart with me.
I love the Garmin Connect IQ marketplace and the apps that are available on there and have started writing my own. So if there is something missing that Garmin could offer, maybe there’s an opportunity to build it for the good of the community. And perhaps even teach Coach Greg a thing or two!