Weekly Mailbag–June 5th, 2010

WeeklyMailbagIconHere’s this week’s edition of the weekly mailbag.  This is a weekly series where I feature a handful of the e-mailed questions I received from the previous week or so.  I try and pick a wide variety of questions. Some are technical in nature, some sport related, and sometimes all sorts of other randomness – as you’ll see below.

This week’s mailbag covers the following topics:

1) Cleaning HR and Quick release Strap
2) Multisport Mode
3) Splitting Data Files
4) Using Edge 500 with Sport Tracks

Question #1: Cleaning HR & Quick Release Strap
From Adam-

“I saw your post regarding the contacts, but noticed the straps also need to be cleaned.  What are your suggestions for cleaning the Forerunner 305 Velcro wrist strap that comes with quick mount kit and the heart rate monitor strap?  Thank you.”

I just toss mine in the washing machine…no issues there.  (Note: Just the fabric strap, not the whole watch…though I may or may not have done that too once…).  Same goes for the HR strap, just remove the fabric piece and toss the whole thing in (but don’t do it with the new fangled ‘Premium Soft Strap’ ones – that’ll kill it).

Note: This is the post regarding cleaning of the FR305 contacts if you’re having issues getting it to download/charge.  In short, just use an eraser (you know, like a pencil eraser).  Works.  Really.

Question #2: Multisport Mode
From Matt-

“The 305 is the only watch I have, which I am also using on the bike (just keeping it on my wrist)… how would you switch from the “Cycling” option to the “Running” option during a transition in a race. I didn’t know if there was a special setting or if the fastest way was to manually go into the settings to change the sport. Also, what setting would you use during the swim portion while the watch is under my cap? Thanks again for all your help… keep up the good work and try and avoid those cars… (or maybe they should avoid you).”

The best bet is to use multisport mode, check out this post for all the deets.  On the swim, I tend to just use ‘other’ sport, mostly because it’s easiest to find the activity later on in Garmin Connect or GTC.
I’ll work on the cars….sometimes they just come out of nowhere. 🙂

Question #3: Splitting Data Files
From Neil-

“I used my 310xt on Thursday for a run and didn’t upload the data before I ran again today. When I uploaded to Garmin Connect it just uploaded one large file instead of two smaller ones.
Is there anyway of splitting the two files? I can do it it in Sports Tracks, but wondered about in Garmin Connect.”

Nope, no way in Garmin Connect – Sport Tracks and WKO+ are the only options out there today that does it.  I outlined a few of these options back in April as part of a Weekly Mailbag, but forgot to mention Garmin Connect’s lack of capabilities.  It’s kinda funny, because this is a really cool feature that a lot of folks usually end up needing at some point (usually accidental button pressing).

Question #4: Using Edge 500 with Sport Tracks
From Stuart

“Ray, was wondering if I can get some help. I’m a new Garmin Edge user and would like to use Sport Tracks. I am currently using the Garmin software because I don’t know how to export my data into Sport Tracks from either unit or software, can you help me or point me in the right direction? Thanks”

In order to use the FIT files with Sport Tracks, you need to convert the files from FIT to TCX files, as Sport Tracks doesn’t yet support the .FIT files. You can do this using Garmin Training Center, or Garmin Connect. However, exports from Garmin Connect don’t correctly export out the power data information into the TCX file.  Thus, you should instead use Garmin Training Center to do the conversion.  It’s super quick and only takes a second.  Hopefully in the future with Sport Tracks 3.0 they’ll be native support for .FIT files, given that’s the new standard going forward for Garmin fitness devices.

Note: In the incredibly unlikely event you didn’t hear about the Withings Scale Giveaway I’m running – remember, you too can soon have you very own Withings WiFi Scale – just enter before the deadline to put your name in the hat!

Recent Mailbags:

Weekly Mailbag – May 29th, 2010

– Garmin 305 Mode During Swim
– Race Day Nutrition 
– Garmin 310XT Pin/Falling off issues
– Changing up things on race day

Weekly Mailbag – May 22nd, 2010

– Traveling and Training
– Garmin 310XT or FR60/Edge 500 Combo?
– Timex Ironman Global Trainer
– Mixing Linux and Garmin fitness devices
– Phone training applications

All past mailbags here.


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  1. Wes

    I split my Augusta 310XT data into 3 separate files by editing the XML file by hand. It really wasn’t that hard. Yea, I’m just a geek like that 😉

  2. I’m in the market for a new Garmin, so I think I need to go back and read a bunch of your posts. Sooo looong… But thorough and good, which is what I need before shelling out the dough…