by Katherine Roccasecca
Garmin devices capture and display a wealth of information. And the higher end the device, the more data there is. You may want to review all this after your workout (of course you do!), but during your workout, use Garmin's customizable screens to organize the data you need to see in that moment. This quick how-to should give you some ideas.
How We Use Garmin Customizable Screens
When Kyer began using his Garmin Forerunner 610 he was continuously scrolling through the different training pages to see the data he needed. "I wanted to see my pace and HR for certain intervals. Finally, I customized the pages and it completely changed my experience. I could run and leave my watch on the same screen for most of my workout."
Kyer uses the fēnix 3 now and uses mostly for biking, hiking, and running. For the bike he set up two screens. The first has cadence, speed, distance, and heart rate because those are the four parameters he likes to see while riding/training. He also set up a screen with total ascent, total descent, and grade because he finds them fun to look at. He can switch between the screens as he's riding.
For hiking, Kyer turned on total ascent, total descent, and current elevation because many hiking maps show the total elevation gain on a particular trail. This way he can judge what is ahead.
Sarah Cooper customized two screens on the Garmin Edge 800 she uses on her road bike. On the primary screen she put 3 second average power nice and large across the top. She also included distance, speed, time, time of day, Normalized Power, and kilojoules.
Her second screen is mainly her trainer screen and includes lap time and NP lap to help her keep track of intervals. She set up this screen with current lap time on top and the following fields below: 3 second average power, Normalized Power for the current lap, cadence, distance, heart rate, and time of day. In the summer, she'll switch out cadence and add in speed.
I (Katherine) want a new Garmin to get some of the newer features, but for now I'm still getting the most out of my Forerunner 310xt by using Garmin's customizable screens. The 310xt is a multisport watch that supports up to four data screens per sport. When biking, I just switch from screen to screen depending on the type of ride I'm doing.
For most outdoor rides, I use the screen I set up with speed, cadence, hr zone, and time. For workouts with intervals, I want to be able to see the seconds even after the workout goes past an hour, so I have only three fields: time, heart rate zone, and cadence. When I compete in a time trial, I use a screen that displays only average power, 30 second power, 3 second power, and cadence—just the fields I need to keep me on target. (I mostly train by heart rate, but have the opportunity to borrow a power meter for time trials and FTP tests.) For cross-training, I use the sport mode of "Other," and I created a screen with time, heart rate, and average heart rate.
What screens have you set up? Please share them in the comments!
Instructions for Setting up the Screens
Forerunner 610 lets you set up four screens. Select the menu icon, then Setup, and then Training Pages. Select a training page and select the wrench icon. Choose the number of data fields you want on the page and select Enabled. Select the return icon, select the data field you want to change, and then select a category and a data field.
The fēnix 3 lets you customize the data screens for each pre-loaded activity app. Begin by holding Up, and then select Settings, followed by Apps. Select the appropriate activity, select Data Screens, and then select a data screen to customize. Then select Status to turn the data screen on or off, select Layout to adjust the number of fields, and select a field to change the data that appears there.
With the Edge 800 you can customize data fields for five timer pages. Select Menu, then Bike Settings, then Training Pages, then Timer Pages, and then Workout Timer. Select Enabled. Use the + and - buttons to select the number of data fields you want to see on the page, and select the checkmark. Select each data field to change it.
Edge 510 lets you customize data pages for each activity profile. Starting at the home screen, select the tool icon and then Activity Profiles. Select a profile, select Training Pages, and select a data page. Select the number of data fields you want to see on this page and select the checkmark. Select a data field to change it and select the checkmark.
The 310xt data screens are specific to each sport mode: running, biking, and other. To customize the screens, first select the appropriate sport by pressing and holding the Mode button. After that, press Mode, select Settings, and select "[Sport] Settings." Then select Data Fields followed by the screen you wish to edit. The on screen instructions walk you through the rest.
Although there are similarities, the instructions setting up custom screens for each device are a little different. If you no longer have the manual for your Garmin, you can download it from Garmin's support site.
Any time a Garmin product has the feature for you to customize the screens, we include "Customizable screens" in the features list.