Garmin’s intensive vary is ever-present in our guides to the very best biking computer systems and the very best smartwatches for biking. However Garmin doesn’t solely excel in offering gadgets for recording your rides, the model additionally has its improbable free health software program which – if used successfully – is a useful coaching assist.
Garmin Join is the model’s free software program that each one Garmin customers get as normal and is considered one of biking’s finest free apps. Not solely is it straightforward to sync your gadget with Garmin Join and push your actions to coaching software program similar to Coaching Peaks and Strava, there’s a complete host of helpful options for monitoring and analysing your health progress on the app itself.
What’s extra, it’s free! And with the superior coaching options on Strava now hidden behind a paywall, it’s changing into an more and more engaging choice – assuming you may have a Garmin gadget, after all.
Resident coaching knowledgeable right here at Biking Weekly – in addition to founder and head coach of ATP Efficiency – Andy Turner has combed by the options, choosing out 5 of the very best, and runs us by methods to use them successfully.
The very best health options on Garmin Join
1. My Day
‘My Day’ allows you to enter a heap of knowledge to trace not solely what actions you do, but additionally your weight and hydration. Information from exercises will sync from any Garmin GPS pc or health monitoring watch, offering a abstract of what actions you may have carried out, be it biking, swimming, working or health club exercises.
With the ability to monitor your weight is beneficial for these aiming to reduce weight biking and are wanting to watch their weight over longer intervals of time to point out traits. Should you’re desirous to lose some physique fats, acquire some muscle, or simply keep your weight, this lets you hold a deal with on how issues are going.
Taking the longer view is, general, a greater means of monitoring weight extra typically, given that you could have fairly giant fluctuations on a everyday foundation, relying in your muscle glycogen ranges, hydration, or irritation.
Monitoring fluid consumption is one other nice characteristic and one thing we regularly neglect. With the ability to rapidly add 250, 500, or 750ml is beneficial for normal monitoring and you may also set a person purpose for the day. The share of your purpose that you simply’ve reached is proven, serving to you to hit the goal over the course of the day, moderately than reaching the night and realising you have to play catch-up.
2. Efficiency Stats
The Efficiency Stats web page on Garmin Join is damaged down into three predominant classes: VO2max, Energy Curve and Useful Threshold Energy (FTP).
The VO2max is predicted based mostly in your efficiency inside exercises, similar to coronary heart price, energy output or working velocity, in addition to your age, gender and weight. It then offers you a price and a rating based mostly on this. Having performed VO2max testing on myself with a gasoline alternate analyser, I can verify that I would not have a VO2max of 76 as Garmin gave me, however it may be a helpful option to monitor present health traits as, after I’ve educated much less the worth has dropped, and after I’ve educated extra and carried out higher, it has elevated.
The Energy Curve offers each an all-time document and a 4 week, 3 month, or 1 yr finest, providing you with a very good perception of the place you’re in your particular coaching section in addition to relative to the place you possible wish to be, come the competitors season. It’s a useful means of monitoring the place it’s possible you’ll be robust, and what it’s possible you’ll have to work on, relying in your targets and the place you’re at at present inside your coaching.
The FTP part is a generally used metric, making it straightforward to grasp for many athletes and it offers updates based mostly in your energy ranges throughout numerous coaching rides to provide you an estimated FTP. This may be helpful for setting totally different biking coaching zones as a way to make it easier to get the very best out of your periods.
3. Kcal In/Out through MyFitnessPal
You may join your Garmin Join account to MyFitnessPal, permitting you to maintain monitor of your calorie enter and monitor each kcal out and in, in addition to macro and micronutrients.
Added to your Garmin Join, you possibly can just be sure you are additionally consuming ample energy to make up for the power that you simply use throughout coaching periods and guarantee that you’re fuelled up and recovered for subsequent periods.
4. Menstrual cycle monitoring
It is a characteristic which is missing from plenty of health apps which aren’t focused instantly at feminine athletes. Provided that I can’t touch upon it from first hand use, I requested my accomplice for her ideas.
You might be initially requested whether or not your cycle is common, irregular, no interval, or pregnant. After that, you go onto when your final interval began, how lengthy it lasted, how lengthy your cycle is, after which which contraceptives you utilize. It then offers you a prediction of when your subsequent cycle will begin.
On the day of your interval, it additionally allows you to monitor signs and add notes. My accomplice was impressed that the signs web page was totally complete and coated all the things that may very well be skilled.
This is a vital a part of coaching for feminine athletes, as numerous research have proven that, relying on the section of your cycle that you’re in, it might have an effect on how you’ll be able to carry out sure varieties of coaching.
That is, after all, extremely particular person; you realize your physique higher than anybody else and should not expertise any opposed results on coaching throughout your interval. Nevertheless, if you realize that you simply wrestle with excessive depth or weight coaching round your interval, utilizing this facet of the app is beneficial for harnessing your hormones so as to tailor your coaching plan accordingly to go well with.
The app guarantees that solely you will note this info and that it’s going to not be revealed anyplace. However, as with all apps that monitor your information, it’s price going by the info safety insurance policies. For these within the US, there’s a fear that cycle monitoring apps may very well be used for nefarious functions, particularly with the overturning of Roe v Wade this yr. So, earlier than utilizing a monitoring app like this, at all times bear in mind that your information will not be as secure and guarded as you want to.
Challenges are a good way to provide you some added motivation, particularly over the winter when competitors could also be diminished.
There are working, biking, and normal exercise challenges. You may as well problem your connections both to considered one of Garmin’s challenges, or you possibly can create your individual and invite connections to participate in them. That is good for a little bit of pleasant competitors.
That mentioned, concentrating on a Strava KOM, or at the least bettering your time on a phase outside, and even indoors on one thing just like the Alpe du Zwift, will be extra motivating for some riders. Or getting into Zwift races.