Free Power Workouts: Running on Garmin
There are several ways to use and create running power workouts in the Garmin environment. None of them is perfect as Garmin still has not implemented NATIVE running power, although it is overdue. A further issue is the cost of your current method; if your solution involves TrainingPeaks or TodaysPlan then you either face constraints on their respective platforms or have to stump up some cash in some way.
Final Surge (FS) is a training planning & analysis platform along a similar vein to TP. Their business model is to make money from providing coaches with a training platform and from you buying their plans…fair enough. However, you can open an account there for free and use their other services in full, for free.
FS also supports running power workouts including the ability to create and schedule your own running power workouts.
I’m going to talk about a Garmin CIQ app called DREW’s INTERVALS which downloads your workouts from Final Surge and executes them…yes, even the running power workouts!
EXPLAINER: A Garmin CIQ app is started like a Garmin sports profile. It is NOT a data file that you can incorporate into your regular running profile.
Drew’s Intervals – a fully free solution
Must Read: Detailed Stryd Review
The France-based Connect IQ developer, Drew Shardlow, has created several CIQ apps that tend to be well-respected and reviewed. They certainly deserve more downloads than received to date.
The app I’m testing out here is designed to link Final Surge with a wide number of Garmin devices, specifically including lower powered watches like the Forerunner 935. Drew has another app that similarly links to Today’s Plan and TrainingPeaks.
How to get it to work: Overview
You will need a Final Surge Account, Garmin Connect on your smartphone and Drew’s CIQ app on your running watch.
After creating your workouts on Final Surge (here) you manually sync them to the watch app, via the Garmin Connect smartphone app. On iOS phones, you are prompted to link Garmin Connect to Final Surge account then all is good, several day’s of workouts will then be on your watch.
When you start the workout, it waits until GPS and Stryd have been found and then you are off! Here are the main workout screens
You can check the details of the workout before you start it as well as before each step. There is clear feedback about your time and progress in each step and, interestingly, you can repeat and skip steps when unforeseen events happen. Lastly, the workout finishes and you are shown your compliance in a performance summary.
TrainingPeaks offers a restricted free service that is a valid, albeit inferior, alternative. There are two main restrictions that affect us here, namely
- Workouts can only be scheduled for today and tomorrow
- Only 5 custom workouts can be saved in your workout library
Thinking more widely than running power workouts you might even consider FinalSurge a better source of your structured bike workout planning for your Garmin Edge. This will be a more seamless solution than for running as cycling power is native to the Garmin environment and so we can use other native Garmin features and not have to rely on 3rd party apps.
This is an apparently simple and straightforward app. Yet I’m covering it here and giving a bit of PR because it’s plainly been designed by a runner for runners. Drew knows that things go wrong during these kinds of workouts and there are numerous nice touches that he knows we need based on his running experiences over the years.
The sync to Final Surge on iOS is a bit of a faff but Drew says there are security and authentication limitations that he has to work with.
The app also needs a low level of resources and so should work on many older devices.
And the great thing is that it’s free and that it can link to all the free structured workout creation and scheduling goodies on Final Surge. They might even tempt you to buy a plan there one day 😉