Following surgery, I knew the return to being ready to workout and race would be slow. After trying to do it on my own, I discovered the Garmin Coach option on my watch and in Garmin Connect. Game Changer! The free Garmin Coach allows you to train for a 5k, 10k, or Half-Marathon with specific coaches. The coaches that one can choose from include Jeff Galloway, Amy Parkerson-Mitchell, and Greg McMillan. The training plan even changes based on what you do the previous week. Following the plan allowed me the time to slowly rebuild endurance, distance, and speed. So, how does it work?
For rebuilding, I decided to start with a 5k training plan. So happy about that decision! After creating the plan on my Garmin App, I began with a Benchmark Plan on February 2 with a goal of completing a 5k on April 17. When setting up the plan, it will ask if there are specific days you don’t want to run and it asks if you prefer your long day on Saturday or Sunday. Know that you are not tied into these days! I didn’t know that when I first started and missed a couple of workouts. If it is storming outside or you are not feeling well, you can go into the calendar of the Garmin Coach and move your workout to a different day. That was a fantastic option, once I figured it out! Each week the coach will provide a workout only a week in advance and based on the prior week’s work. I chose the Jeff Galloway plan as I expected to do a mix of run and walk.
On each day, there was a warm-up , workout , and cool-down component and my plan called for running 3 times a week. Don’t worry about trying to memorize your workout plan for the day. If using a Garmin watch, it will beep at you and include what is next in your workout. I used wireless headphones and could hear the Garmin coach in my ears when switching from one component to the next. The difficulty for me was learning which buttons to use for different components. The pause button does work in the middle of a workout in case you get caught at a red light or train!
Progress and the calendar can be seen within the Garmin Coach option in the Garmin. In addition, the coach will add video clips to help in the training. Throughout the weeks, this chart below shows how I increased in time based on the plan. Weekends were longer runs, built gradually over time.
|Run Walk Run®||6-Feb-21||26:13|
|Run Walk Run®||13-Feb-21||26:29|
|Run Walk Run®||20-Feb-21||35:01|
|Run Walk Run®||27-Feb-21||34:51|
|Run Walk Run®||6-Mar-21||44:23|
|Run Walk Run®||21-Mar-21||50:03|
|Run Walk Run®||27-Mar-21||44:37|
|Run Walk Run®||4-Apr-21||57:57|
Regarding pace, I started out around 14-15 min/mi average and completed the 5k with a 12:29 mii/mi average pace. There was growth and improvement throughout the weeks with slow and steady progress. Still more work to do, but the plan worked for me. I definitely recommend this option. Have you used the Garmin Coach? What has been your experience? Next up for me…the 10k plan!
#LeagueofGarmin #GarminFitness! #BeatYesterday