7 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know You Can Do With Your Garmin 920XT

By Alison Freeman, D3 Multisport

You’ve worn your Garmin for countless hours in the pool, on the road, and out on the trails. But you may not know that your Garmin can do a helluva lot more than just track your distance and pace. Here are seven of my favorite Garmin 920XT features, many of which I use week in and week out. Have a favorite that I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear about it.

Note: Many of these features require the Garmin Connect website, the Garmin Express desktop app, and/or the iPhone/Android/Windows phone Garmin Connect app.

Wireless / Bluetooth Sync

I’m really hoping that this is a super disappointing start to my list because you already know that you don’t have tophysically connect your Garmin to your computer in order to sync your workouts. You can sync wirelessly after setting up your home wireless network using Garmin Express, or you can sync to the Garmin Connect app on your phone using Bluetooth. Either way – no cords required.

More information about wireless setup can be found here

More information about pairing your phone with your Garmin can be found here

Phone Notifications

And just when you were thinking that my list was going to be a total bust … Did you know your Garmin can kinda be an iWatch? First you connect your Garmin to the iPhone/Android/Windows phone app on your phone. Then any time you open the app it will push phone notifications – like incoming texts and phone calls – to your Garmin. So, if you launch the app and head out on a ride with your phone in your jersey pocket (and, really, who doesn’t?), you can read your incoming texts and see who’s calling on your Garmin, while you’re riding, without ever touching your phone.

More information about pairing your phone with your Garmin can be found here

More information on phone notifications can be found here

Intervals

OK, so let’s say today’s workout is a bunch of repeats of the same interval – not hard to remember, but you reallydon’t want to have to stare at your watch and hit your Lap button at the start/end of every interval. Plus: precision. No problem! Just go to “Training,” select “Intervals,” and set up your 10x 1/4-mile intervals with 90 seconds rest. Hit “Do Workout” and your Garmin will tell you when to go fast and when to rest. Voila!

More information about intervals can be found here

Structured Workouts

Maybe today’s workout includes some horribly complex set of run or bike intervals, and – unlike with the single interval repeats – there’s simply no way that you’re going to be able to remember them. Again, no problem! Your Garmin can still tell you exactly what to do and when to do it. Just set up the workout on the Garmin Connect website and send it to your watch using that nifty wireless sync feature we already covered. Then, when you’re ready to do the workout, go to “Training,” select “My Workouts,” select your workout for today and hit “Do Workout.” Voila again!

More information about structured workouts can be found hereNOTE: If your workout intervals are set up in TrainingPeaks’ new structured workout builder, you can send the workout from TrainingPeaks right over to your Garmin. See the TrainingPeaks help article on this here

Routes

Here’s one that I don’t use a lot, but when I do it’s mission-critical: if you’re running/riding a new route and youdon’t want to get lost, you can set up the route on the Garmin Connect website, send it to your watch using that nifty wireless sync feature, and then follow the route on your watch. (It’ll be hidden under “Navigation,” in “Courses.”) It does take some paying attention to follow the route because it’s a line without a map underneath, and so it helps to play with the scale to make sure you see the turn before you miss it. But once you get the hang of it, the course map will keep you from inadvertently adding several errant miles onto your day.

More information about routes (which Garmin calls courses) can be found here

Live Track

A “LiveTrack” is a website with a live feed of your ride (or run), which can be made available for 24 hours after yourride/run ends. This is a feature that I use EVERY SINGLE TIME that I ride outdoors. Why? Because if I don’t come back, then someone knows where to start looking. Also, if I run into mechanical issues, then it’s really easy to let my ride know where to find me. I’ve even used the LiveTrack + Phone Notifications to receive texts from my husband with weather updates based on where I am and where I’m heading. (“Turn around and ride fast! Storm heading straight for you.”) Within the Garmin Connect app on your phone, you simply go to “More” and “LiveTrack,” enter one or more email addresses, then hit “Start LiveTrack” to send the web link to your support crew.

Custom Alerts

The last of my favorite features is great for long rides and runs where you want to stay on schedule for your nutrition: You can set up custom alerts at specified intervals, with specified messages. On bike rides, my watch reminds me every fifteen minutes to “Drink!”. If you want to take salt tabs every 40 minutes, you can set an alert for that. If you want to tell yourself to suck it up every 1.75 miles, you can set an alert for that – just go to “Activity Settings” and “Alerts” and you’re in business. The possibilities are endless. (Just remember that alerts are specific to the activity, so if you set up an alert for Bike, it’ll stop reminding you when it’s time to Run.)

More information about custom alerts can be found here

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