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Using your Garmin watch with Runna and getting the most out of it
Using your Garmin watch with Runna and getting the most out of it

Check out this handy guide to using your Garmin with your Runna plan and setting it up to get the most out of your workout

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Written by Dom
Updated this week

Benefits of training with a Garmin watch

By pairing your Runna plan with your Garmin watch, you’ll be coached through your workouts live as you run. For example, if you’re doing an intervals session, you no longer need to remember and track the specific distances, paces and rests. Instead, your watch will automatically tell you how much further is left to run, what your current pace is and how that compares to your target. It’ll notify you when you need to speed up/slow down and even count down your rests so you know when to start running again. Once you've completed your session, you can then compare your runs against what your Runna plan set you!

For general training, you can use your Garmin watch to track your runs, cycles and other activities (watch dependent) and view all of your fitness data post-workout such as paces, heart rate and progression.

If you're considering which Garmin watch to choose, check out our support article on Recommended Garmin watches for any runner. We've also included all of the watches that we support below.

Pairing your Garmin watch with your Runna plan

To pair your Garmin watch with your Runna plan, click on your Train tab followed by Connected Apps & Watches on the Runna App and turn on your Garmin connection! You’ll be prompted to log in with your Garmin Connect credentials and the workouts will be synced automatically to your Connect App. When you switch plan or edit your current plan, we’ll automatically update your workouts for you. And when you mark a workout as complete, we’ll remove it from your profile. Please note that your Garmin workout will appear in the same unit of measurement as your Runna plan so we recommend making sure your Garmin account is configured to use that same unit of measurement.

Our Garmin integration will automatically sync any future unlocked weeks to your Garmin Connect profile. For users on a free week, they'll get access to workouts from that week only. For Runna Premium users, we'll automatically sync the following two weeks of workouts to your profile.

Syncing your workouts

Your Garmin workouts should automatically sync to your watch based on the calendar schedule that they follow. To manually sync your workouts from your Garmin Connect app to your watch, please open your app and navigate to ‘Workouts’. This can typically be found under More > Training > Workouts. You will see all of the workouts from your plan here and can click on each one to see more details. To send it to your watch, click on the workout and select the below button to send it to your watch. You’ll then need to sync your watch to make sure the workout is copied across.

Garmin sync button

Syncing to Strava

We advise setting up your Garmin > Strava integration via the Garmin Connect app, alongside Runna. This will help your Garmin recorded Runna Workout push through automatically, with the minimum of fuss!

It's important to note here that, if you are used to recording on your Phone, or an Apple Watch with the Runna app, then you won't receive the 'with Runna ✅ ' title and workout description automatically. This is due to the limitations of the Garmin Workout file type, and we don't have anywhere to include this, whereas recordings from your Phone (or an Apple Watch) do allow us to include this when pushing to Strava!

Following workouts on your Garmin watch

To start the workout from your watch, the exact steps will depend on the model that you have. For most Garmin watches, the steps are:

  • From the watch face, press START

  • Select ‘running’ by pressing START

  • Press UP/DOWN and START to navigate to Workouts/Training > My Workouts

  • Select your workout and select Do Workout.

  • Press START to start the workout

Setting up your Garmin to get the most out of your workouts

There are some settings that we recommend configuring to make the most out of your Runna workouts when downloaded to your Garmin watch.

Turn off auto-lap

By default, your Garmin watch will automatically create a new ‘lap’ every 1km or 1mi. For the longer splits that we set you (e.g., 2km repeats) this means that the splits will automatically be lapped (split into a new step in your run) mid-way through which makes analysing your average pace afterwards difficult. We recommend turning off auto-lap when following your Runna workouts but also recommend turning it back on again if you’re going for a casual run, time trial or race so that your watch will keep you updated on your pace.

Turn off auto-pause

Auto-pause will automatically pause your workout when it detects that you’ve stopped moving (e.g., at traffic lights). However, this can be a problem when running interval workouts since while you’re resting, even if walking around, it can detect that you’ve stopped running and pause the workout including the timer to start running again. We recommend turning off auto-pause and getting into the habit of manually pausing and resuming the workout when you are forced to stop running temporarily (e.g., at traffic lights).

Turn on audio prompts

If you connect your Garmin to headphones to listen to music / podcasts then it can be helpful to receive pace and audio alerts through your headphones too. On your Garmin app head to your watch settings (image of your watch at the top of the home screen) and click Audio Prompts and enable Workout Alerts, Activity Alerts, Lap Alerts and Pace/Speed Alerts. See what you get on with and feel free to enable/disable as necessary.

You can check your device's compatibility with the audio cue feature here.

Tracking your progress

After you’ve completed your run, your completed workout will then be stored in your Runna app, Garmin Connect app and optionally synced to Strava if you have enabled the connection from within the Garmin app. You can then analyse your post-workout stats and compare them to the pace targets that you were set. If you’re consistently beating, or not making, your pace targets then we suggest editing them to make your targets challenging yet achievable.

Using the Garmin Calendar

If you've added a Race Date to your plan then we'll automatically add your workouts to the Garmin Calendar and it will suggest your workout automatically on your watch when it's time to go. If you don't have a Race Date added, we'll still add the workouts to your calendar each week and update them ahead of time so that they're suggested on the correct days, whenever you're ready to start.

Can you add Strength Workouts to Garmin?

At the moment, only 'Run' type workouts are supported for us to sync to your Garmin Training Calendar, and to your watch! You can use our new Calendar Sync Feature to track your training and schedule these though! We also cannot sync back any other activity types, such as strength sessions, weights or yoga, back to Runna from your Garmin Connect Account. We hope to add more functionality for this in the future, however!

Supported watches

All watches that support Garmin Coach will support your Runna plan. Please check Garmin’s website for the latest list of compatible watches but we’ve compiled a list via the below article, which was correct at the time of writing.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about using your Garmin watch with your Runna plan then please first check out our support article I'm having issues syncing my Garmin, what should I do? If you have any further questions or problems, don’t hesitate to contact us. If it’s a problem using your watch, including technical issues, we’ll try and help as much as we can, but you may be required to contact Garmin directly to get support.

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