How I Use My Garmin To Stay Injury Free
By Jess M., Garmin Ambassador
Featured image: Lucie Wicker Photography
Unfortunately, my endurance efforts came to a haltering stop in 2012. I spread myself too thin while training for a half ironman and trying to accomplish way too much at work and with extracurriculars. I ended up with a hip overuse problem that prevented me from running for about 3 years.
In the beginning, I found myself in tears because I missed running so much. Eventually, I discovered yoga and other fitness classes. However, I knew in the long run, I’d want to get back to running some day. I went through a running gait retraining and learned how to run minimalist. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it worked for me. I dusted off my Garmin and ran my first half marathon back in 2015. I planned my marathon comeback at Philly 2016 and just qualified for Boston with a 3:34:24. My goal was to finish injury free and I exceeded expectations. With 2 more marathons after my comeback marathon, I’ve started to think about my dream goal…to get the men’s Boston Qualifying time of 3:05. I am far from it, but still, am aiming for it. I have been starting to use more features of my Garmin to help me work towards my goals.
- Training Peaks Integration
I’ve been training with Hall Higdon’s plans ever since my first marathon and they seem to work really well for me. I’ve been programming my plans into Training Peaks and my run data syncs from my Garmin directly so that I can compare my planned versus actually completed workouts. Having a training plan is important for me because it helps me prevent overtraining. All of the social sharing of workouts is inspiring but can be something I can easily get caught up trying to run more or faster because of fear that I’m not training “hard enough”. My plan keeps me on track and grounded.
- Training Status & Recovery Time
When I had my Forerunner 230 I wore my HR monitor strap. I didn’t really use my data but wanted to have historical data for that day that I wanted to use it. Now that I have been running with the Fenix 5S which has an integral wrist heart rate monitor, I’ve been starting to pay more attention to my HR with my training. I’ve been particularly intrigued by the “Training Status” and “Recovery Time”. I can more easily see if I am training too hard/too easy and if I need to take a break. I try to wear my watch as much as possible during the regular day so I can get more information on my daily heart rate and stress.
- Workouts Feature
I’ve been trying to incorporate more track workouts, tempos and pace run. I love having my workout programmed into my watch so that it just tells me what to do. I hate the track and do most of my track workouts on the regular road, so having my watch tell me when I hit my distance is so helpful. I have all of my workouts programmed into Training Peaks that can easily be accessed from the Garmin app!
Keep in mind…you don’t need to have all these bells and whistles to get to your running goals. My full-time job is as an engineer and I love geeking out on data. What are your favorite features of your Garmin that you use to keep you on track and motivated?