Using Training Peaks + Garmin devices


Accessing you training plan

Training Peaks (TP) is used for the planning, recording and analysis of all your workouts.

For any help with Training Peaks Premium version your starting point should be:
Your coach will input you training plan into TP. You can view this plan via the TP’s website or the mobile app.
You can also sync your training plan with your electronic calendar and/or receive a daily email from TP with your details of your workouts for the next two days.

Recording a workout

Your device can help you train in many ways with the key functionality available being:

  • changing the display screens to show different metrics; 
  • setting up workouts; and 
  • setting alerts to keep you in zones 
It is imperative though when you are recording workouts that different segments of the workout or intervals are recorded as separate laps which enable quick and easily analysis of your session. There are two ways to do this:

  • Create a workout with all the different intervals (recommended - see Workouts); or 
  • Press start and hit the lap button as you move between one interval and the next in the workout and pressing the stop button when you finished. 
When racing or doing test sessions it is better to create a separate file for the race or test session. Remember for race or test files ensure that the ‘Auto Pause’ feature is turned off.

For information on how to use your device refer to the instruction manual:

To download your device instruction manual or help with Garmin Connect go to:

Completed workouts

Once you have completed your workout you will need to update TP.

Uploading
Upload the device file to Garmin Connect (see note below)
The easiest way to get your device files into TP is to use Garmin Sync – once you have uploaded your device files to Garmin Connect they will automatically be transferred to TP
Alternatively you can manually upload your files to TP via Device Agent or directly through the web interface.

Post Activity Comments

These are your coach’s window into your world of training. More importantly it is your way of recording details that will help you improve as an athlete. It provides you with the information to help you understand: what does and doesn’t work; and ensure that each time you train or race you undertake those practices or processes that allow you to realise the maximum gain from the time and effort you put in.

I follow a standard process when analysing your workouts.  After looking at the summary data the first thing I do is read the comments – if there are any!  The next thing I tend to do is look at the workout graph and overlay the HR zones to understand how hard the engine was working.  Next step is to look at workout description and analyse the relevant metrics to ascertain if the objective was achieved.  It is the comments that provide the context to the data.  I would say the data provides 20% of the information I need and the comments 80%.

Please try and ensure comments for all workouts are completed by Sunday evening (including sessions you didn’t complete – explaining why).  This will mean reviewing your previous weeks training during your coaching call will become more efficient allowing us more time to discuss other areas of your training.

Comments to include in your Post Activity Comments are:
  • Self analysis – how well you think you achieved the objectives of the session
  • How you felt during the session – RPE vs. intensity factors
  • How your planning of the session impacted on your ability to achieve the objective e.g. choice of route, time of training, equipment/kit, choice of training partner etc.
  • What were the training conditions – e.g. 40°C no wonder your HR was high!
  • Record nutrition and hydration
  • Niggles or injuries – updates or highlighting new ones
  • Motivation for workout
  • Highlight any non training stress.  Total Stress is a combination of Emotional and Physical stress.  Keeping it simple let’s use four main sources of stress: training, family & friends, work, leisure including non-training exercise/activity.
  • Anything else you can think of!
Manual workouts
If a workout data has not been recorded using a Garmin device then you will need to manually enter the workout summary data along with the comments. If you have to enter data manually for swim, bike or run workouts please enter the time and distance for which you were active e.g. swim: time completed: 40mins – distance: 2400m and for more general session just the time e.g. pilates 45min or transition practice 30mins. 

Unplanned workouts

If you complete an unplanned workout please upload the device file or enter a manual workout – fill in the title, explain what you did in the description and provide session comments. 

Metrics

To complement your Post-Activity Comments and record additional information look into setting up some metrics
  • Weight – weigh yourself at the same time of day
  • Percent Fat
  • Sleep Hours
  • Sleep Quality
  • Times Woken

Workouts not completed

If you are unable to complete a planned workout please set the completed time to zero and add a comment as to why you were unable to complete the session.  This way I know that there is no missing data.

Changes to your training week

Use the calendar in TP to inform me of any upcoming changes to your week’s standard training structure e.g. future races, training sessions you have arranged with friends, personal events, work commitments, holiday etc.

When inputting these to your Calendar provide me with as much information as possible to restructure your week. e.g. working away from home – no access to pool or bike – could do run session. You do this by adding a workout and using the 'OTHER' category and providing this information in the workout title. and workout description.

If things change during a week then it will be your responsibility to manage your sessions, to do this you can move sessions between days but please don’t delete any sessions.

Attachments

If you have completed a test session and there is some post session analysis or the workout description is in pdf format then these will be attached to the relevant workout. There will be a paper clip in the right hand corner of the workout window which you click to access and download the files.

Appendix: Garmin Devices

When TP uploads a workout file from your device it extracts the relevant data and stores it on the TP database in its own format. This presents a couple of issues:

  • On very rare occasions this upload process doesn't work properly and the data gets corrupted meaning you will need to delete the uploaded data and reload the original Garmin file. 
  • You may wish to load the data file into another application for additional analysis e.g. Strava for looking at segments, Excel for additional analysis, Golden Cheetah for additional analysis of bike power meter data – this is only possible in some instances using the original Garmin data file. 
The best way to address these issues and provide you with a free way to backup your Garmin data files is to set up a Garmin Connect Account and always upload all your workouts first to Garmin Connect then load them to TP before deleting them from your device.

Once the file is uploaded to Garmin Connect a copy of the original workout data can easily be exported in TCX or FIT format which will provide all the original data.

Note if you have a device that syncs using ANT+ or via your mobile using Bluetooth it will automatically load to Garmin Connect and TP if you have Garmin Sync set up otherwise you only have to manually upload data to TP.

When the data is loaded to Garmin Connect it makes it easier to find a relevant workout if you name each workout rather than leaving them untitled.

To provide Coach Andy with access to these raw data files you need to make a Connection with Garmin Connect. To do this, please follow these steps (you will need to have an account and be logged into Garmin Connect):
  1. https://connect.garmin.com/modern/connections
  2. Select 'Find People' tab
  3. Search for 'Andy Thornton' my username is 'andyt25' and hit the '+ Connect' button 
Ensure that your Privacy Settings allow me to see your workouts in Garmin Connect.
  1. https://connect.garmin.com/modern/settings/privacy
  2. Set 'Who can see your profile?' to 'Your Connections'
  3. Set 'Who can see your new activuty?' to 'Your Connections'