Ask The Coach: Best Garmin display?

By LifeSport Coach Mark Shorter

Question: Dear Coach Shorter, What should I have display on my Garmin 920XT GPS?

Answer: Coach Mark Shorter:

There are a lot of choices in what to display on your Garmin. You have the 3 disciplines to cover and you can have up to 4 fields showing in 4 different data screens. Firstly have a discussion with your coach and find out what you need to be working on. You can then use the Garmin to help hold your focus in the area targeted for improvement. If you decide that your turnover is lacking you could display stroke rate or average stroke rate, and in addition you could display distance, heart rate and elapsed time. If you keep a close eye on your stroke rate or average stroke rate then you should be able to increase your stroke rate and improve your swim times. After discussion with your coach you might find that you are lacking in power when in the aero position. You could program your device to show lap power and whenever you get into the aero position hit your lap button and hit it again when you come out of the aero position. Heart rate and speed could be added to that data screen to see what speed and heart rate you are holding for a given number of watts output. If your coach has been trying to get you to reach a more even pace and decrease your stride length in your runs you could program your device to show average pace and stride length in addition to cadence and heart rate. You could then work on finding the cadence you need to run at to allow you to find that optimal stride length. There are an unlimited number of combinations of data screens and fields available to you with your device but don’t let that paralyze you when it comes to programming your GPS. Work closely with your coach to find out what will offer you the best chance for improvement in each discipline and set those fields up in your data screens. Great “go to” fields are heart rate, distance, speed, cadence and pace but remember that there are a lot of technical assistants available to you that can help you analyze and correct your style in each discipline, i.e. for swim: pace, stroke, SWOLF and rest times; for bike: power, gears and elevation, and for run: run dynamics, elevation, lap cadence, last lap pace.

LifeSport coach Mark Shorter is an NCCP certified triathlon coach who has completed over 88 marathons to date with a PR of 2:38. Mark has been coaching athletes in in running and triathlon for over 30 years.  A number of his athletes have succeeded in marathons at Ironman, 70.3, Triathlon Championships, Boston Marathon, and Race Across America, even going as far as Worlds in a number of distances.  Contact Coach Mark to share your goals, race faster, or master the Ironman distance. Find more great training tips by visiting us on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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