How I configure my watches (and bike computers)

It’s been a number of years since I last wrote about how I setup my different GPS devices when it comes to screens for training and racing.  Given it’s one of the most popular questions around these parts, I figured I’d revisit it and bring things a bit up to date.

I’ve gone ahead and put it together in three different sections, based on swim/bike/run.  Note that while I’m illustrating with various devices, for the most part I use the same data fields no matter the brand or model of device.  There are obviously some minor exceptions if a given device doesn’t have the data field I want (such as metronome functionality in running).

So let’s dive into it, starting with running.



When it comes to running my workouts fall into one of two camps: Driven by heart rate (HR), or driven by pace.  While that may sound obvious, it’s important because when it’s driven by HR it’s based on instant HR, while when it’s driven by pace I’m usually shooting for a target pace over a given interval length.

So that means for things like interval workouts I’m going to want a data page focused on lap-specific data.  Yet, I always use HR as instant, never as averages.  That’s because HR will always have lag in the first portion of the workout, so I don’t want that skewing things (whereas pace is near instant at the start of an interval).

In any case, here’s my running setup:

Page 1 (Lap Focused): Lap Time, Lap Distance, Lap Pace, Heart Rate (current)
Page 2 (Overall Run): Total Time, Total Distance, Average Pace, Heart Rate (current)
Page 3 (Drill focused): Running Cadence, Heart Rate (current)
Page 4: Just the HR Gauage
Metronome Page: Used for some drills I do around running cadence

Now I’m sure some of you are thinking – “You use 5 data pages?!?” – actually, no.  I’m just too lazy to reconfigure them for the different run workout types.  You’ll see that they are mostly repeats with slight tweaks.

So, to explain those a bit:

Page 1 (Lap Focused): I mostly use this exclusively for interval/tempo run workouts.  Anything that has set sections where I’m using the lap button to split the workout into individual pieces.  This is typically the ONLY page I’ll use during such a workout.

Page 2 (Overall Run): This is basically my ‘curiosity’ page.  I don’t really ever use it except on longer runs to just see how long/far I’ve been running.

Page 3 (Drill Focused): This is primarily for cadence related drills, and thus, I just have my HR and current running cadence.  This is basically used in conjunction with the metronome page as I’m using the beep/vibrate function there.  This simply allows me to see how close I am.  I don’t use this data page on anything except drills.

Page 4 (HR Gauge): I use this on long runs where I’m supposed to be in a specific HR zone.  Sometimes I just like to ignore how much time I have left, so I just have this so I can focus on the only thing that I need to know at that moment.

Metronome page: As noted in Page 3 notes, just used for drills.

Finally, a few random settings and whether or not I use them:

Auto Lap: Only used on long runs, set to every 1-mile.  No, I don’t run in kilometers, though can do mental math on both kilometer pace and distances instantly if required.  Given I’m born American, miles are the way my brain thinks first.  At mile 23 of a marathon, my mental math skills are zilch, so I’m going to go with what’s easiest.  Note that I turn off auto-lap for any other workouts other than long runs or races.  Instead I just use the lap button to break apart my workout by the various chunks.

Auto Scroll: Off – I don’t want something else controlling what I see when I look down.

Auto Pause: Off – I want to control what is or isn’t being recorded.

Backlight: Always on for night run (set to ‘Always on’).


Recording: Set to 1-second (not Smart Recording).

Map/track Page: Nope, don’t care to see it.

As for power and running (with the Stryd power), that’s super messy because I can’t have things in a running profile on a Garmin device, though can on a Suunto device.  So in that case, I’ve just added in the 10s and 30s power data fields, similar to how I use on cycling.

Ok, I think that about covers running.  As for all the other data fields you can add, I just don’t find value in my particular running with them.  So things like Running Dynamics aren’t valuable to me mid-run, nor is elevation.  If I lived/ran in the mountains, that’d likely be different.  But I don’t, and rarely run up major hills here (because they are few and far between).



Next up – cycling!  Lots of fun data fields to be had here.  In many ways, my cycling data fields mirror the concepts I’ve established on running.

Meaning that I’ve got lap-specific fields for workouts that have different segments in them with different targets, and then I have general fields around the ride itself.  Note that cycling for me is different in that I’m usually riding with 3-4 head units, and as of late I’m often doing power meter testing.  So while I do analysis post-ride, I have a data page I’ve setup to be able to glance at as a ‘power accuracy sanity check’ on where things stand.

That sanity check allows me to ensure all units are in the right ballpark, rather than finding out hours later after the ride and being unable to address it.

Note of course on most cycling head units you can have a boatload more data fields than on running.  Also note that I don’t have separate race/training/indoor/outdoor activity profiles.  I think this is mostly a DCR issue, rather than a normal issue.  That’s because I have so many head units, often being fully reset for various reasons – that I long ago got sick of setting things up too detailed.

Here’s my data fields:

Page 1 (Lap Focused): Heart Rate (current), Cadence, Lap Time, Power 3s, Power 30s, Lap Distance

Page 2 (General): Heart Rate (current), Cadence, Elapsed Time, Distance, Power 3s, Power 30s, Grade, Normalized Power

Page 3 (Power Meter Testing): Power 3s, Power 10s, Power 30s, Cadence (or Normalized Power)

Map Page: Enabled, usually with OSM maps (free)

Lap Summary Page: Usually enabled, only really used with lap-focused workouts. Setup to be power focused with lap time and power average per set.

Elevation Screen: Enabled on mountain rides, just shows defaults of Total Ascent and Elevation

I think these are pretty self-explanatory.  I use cadence often as a leading indicator of fatigue.  I tend to slowly reduce cadence when tired, though I often maintain power before I start to fade.  I tend to use the Lap Summary page indoors on a trainer, more than outdoors.

Sometimes in the summer I’ll add the temperature gauge, but less so living in France now than in DC (it’s simply not as hot in France as DC).  Note that I don’t tend to use speed, it honestly just doesn’t mean much to me in most cases.

Also, I often use Normalized Power as a bit better judge of overall ride effort than average power.

Finally, a few random settings and whether or not I use them:

Auto Lap: Off.

Auto Scroll: Off.

Auto Pause: Off.

Backlight: Always on for night ride (set to ‘Always on’).  During daytime riding I set the screen brightness fairly low to save battery.


Recording: Set to 1-second (not Smart Recording).

Include zeros in power: Yes (most apps don’t care these days, but it’s just a holdover for me).

Include zeros in cadence: Yes (same as with power).

Auto Sleep: Enabled

Strava Segments: Enabled, I have a few test segments favorited/sync’d, but otherwise I just let it automatically find segments in my area for me.

As seen in the settings, everything is pretty similar to what I’m doing in running.  No major differences there.



Last but not least – aquatics time.  Note that I have two sets of fields setup here, one for openwater swimming, and one for indoor swimming.  That’s fairly logical since they track different things and your use would be quite different.

Like most folks, I’m doing swim sets based usually on defined distances (i.e. 500m, 1000m, etc…).  I also have drill work tossed in as well.  In most cases I don’t have specific set times I’m trying to hit, but rather more around perceived efforts.  Partly because quite frankly my pool is too packed to try and hit any given time goal anyway.  15-20 people per LANE will do that.

In the context below, I’m using the term ‘Interval’ to mean in between me pressing the lap button (i.e. set).  I say that because some swimmers will use lap as a reference to a single length of the pool, others will use it as two lengths (down/back), and yet others will use it to define the time between two button presses.

Indoor swimming settings.

Page 1 (Interval focused): Interval Pace (average), Interval Distance, Interval Time

Page 2 (Overall workout): Pace (average), Distance (total), Time (elapsed)

Page 3 (HR): Heart Rate (current), Interval Pace (average), Interval Distance

Drill Log: Enabled

So what’s the purpose of the last one (Page 3)?  Well, that’s my ‘test’ page, to validate the HR strap is actually connected and working, if I am using an HRM-SWIM or Suunto HR strap (sometimes I them).  I use this page to simply ensure that if I’m above water that it’s connected and showing something.  That way I know the two devices are talking to each other and that later on post-workout it should be able to download the data.

The Drill Log enables me to record drill sections of the workout, if done.

Next, openwater swimming, this is even easier!

Page 1 (Interval focused): Interval Pace (average), Interval Distance, Interval Time

Page 2 (Overall workout): Pace (average), Distance (total), Time (elapsed)

Page 3 (HR): Just the HR screen, that’s all. Again, just for testing.

About the only time I mark intervals/laps outdoors is if swimming a route where I’ve got some sort of buoy and want to simply mark off sections of the swim (not a race, but just in general).  For example, this openwater swim I did in South Africa.

Otherwise, for the most part I don’t really mess with too many data fields in the water.  I’m just looking for basic time and (estimated) distance in the water.

Multisport mode:

Finally, one quick note for multisport events.  When doing a triathlon, such as this weekend’s upcoming race I have, I’ll use the watch in multisport mode.  As such, it’ll give me the elapsed time of all three sports.  I don’t much care about elapsed distance, I just want total time.  I figured I’d note that here.

Also note that if doing an indoor triathlon (such as mine), where one or more legs eventually end up outside, that I highly recommend you get GPS signal outside before the event starts.  That’ll ensure that it finds GPS almost immediately as you exit the building (such as to start the run leg).  For those doing indoor triathlons soon, check out my full post on indoor triathlon tips post.

Wrap up:

Ok – there ya have it – now you can be just like…me?  Nah – I’d recommend just going with whatever suits your workout best.  In my case, these are the settings that work best for me.  Obviously, there are always going to be rare cases where I add a field for something specific, but for the most part – these are what I use on 99% of my runs, rides, and swims.

With that – thanks for reading and have a great weekend ahead!


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  1. Marco

    Hi Ray, why do you use 1 second recording instead of Smart Recording on your Garmin Edge? Is it any better? I though to leave it at Smart recording to reduce battery use!?

    • It’s so I don’t ‘lose’ data. Smart recording only records every 3-7 seconds (typically), so I’d lose bit of heart rate data or running data (i.e. cadence). Now in cycling with a power meter, the unit actually always records in 1-second, regardless of what you set it as.

      As for battery, nope, zero impact there. The only thing it impacts is storage, but even that is a holdover from the old days. So much so that Garmin’s latest wearable (Vivoactive HR) goes to just 1-second recording, ditching smart recording. To put things in perspective. My 2ish hour ride yesterday with a power meter was 350K (.35MB). The Edge 520 has roughly 90MB of storage space, so enough for 540 hours of riding before I’d have to download (at 1-second recording).

    • Marco

      Thanks for making this clear and sharing your setup! Keep up the good work :)

    • Ibeti

      When using a power meter 1s is allways the better choice as you lose data with smart Recording. Most obviously won’t analyze the data enough for it to *really* make a difference, but … you know. For Ray who does Powermeter testing it is obviously essential.
      Besides the difference in battery life is quite small, so most who care about data tend to use 1s anyway (unless you are doing a really long event (24h-stuff and the like).

    • CS

      Something I have always wondered is how heart rate measurement works with smart recording or one second recording.

      Surely if you are only recording every second you can only measure 60 BPM or multiples thereof unless the data measures is being stored somewhere before recording? I always figured heart rate was measured continuously and it was only other matrices like speed/distance that were measured at adjustable intervals.

      Am I wrong in thinking this?

      Perhaps you could do a post on the finer points of data measurement and recording for the various matrices.

    • HR is measured (and shown) continously, all it changes though is the exact value recorded on teh watch. So, if it’s only recorded every 1s, you’d see this:

      etc… (or whatever your HR is)

      But that same sequence in Smart Recording might be:

      (missing time)


    • Milt MacFarlane

      G’day Ray happy Easter hope this doesn’t turn into a ramble, I have just gone back to HR training and have always used a 14 minute continuous countdown timer then a 1 minute drink/walk interval.
      I’ve just upgraded to a Fenix 2 is there an option to have it on a page?
      Back in the old days I had to wear a watch and a HRM hope that’s still not the case still.
      Thanks hope you can help

    • Malcolm Lewis

      Does this mean that my HR alerts are only evaluated every few seconds in Smart mode? Meaning HR alerts in Smart recording may lag by a few seconds the exact time when my HR would trigger an alert under Every Second recording?

    • Sam

      This is a bit long after your reply, but, I have a Fenix 5. Will 1-second intervals improve the accuracy of the GPS data? My data tends to weave from side to side on the road.

    • Yes, it’ll help a bit. It won’t fix wrong points in buildings, but it will fix cutting corners.

    • DaveQB

      Great info here (although old) on Smart recording.

      link to forums.garmin.com

  2. Luc Simoneau

    Hi Ray,
    Great post as always. Had used your previous post on data field setup when starting out a few years back.
    After switching from my faithful 305 to the 910XT last year, I couldn’t (or didn’t try) to figure out the backlight option on the device. Everytime I was out for a night run, like last night, I would press the power button to turn on the light and it would always show the dimmer scale which, while running, covers up what I wanted to look at.
    Last night, I decided enough was enough and read though (once again) your 910XT review knowing I would find an answer to my questions. Surprise!
    You didn’t mention that once the light settings were turned on, afterwards, during a run, you simply need to tap the screen twice to turn on the light!
    Thought I’d share this with you if you decide to update the trustful 910XT review!
    Keep up the good work, get those reviews out before The Kid arrives, after that, it’s diaper changing time :)
    Congrats to you and The Girl!

  3. Remco Verdoold

    Nice and simple write up. Ray do you know if it will ever be possible to configure the screens for a garmin (fenix 3 in my case) through an app or pc?

    • I think we’ll get there.

      We’ve seen Garmin over the last year add the ability for some of their wearables (primarily things like the Vivosmart HR and other more band-like items). We’ve also seen them add similiar configuration options to the phone too.

      My guess is that they are slowly moving there. Perhaps what Wahoo is doing with the ELEMNT will nudge them along.

  4. Topepe

    Hi Ray,

    thanks a lot for the impressive wrap up. Do you know by any chance if there will be a successor for the 920 XT in the nearer future?

  5. Pieter

    Interesting read, I have one question, can you configure a fenix to have backlight to always on when doing a workout and backlight to 8 seconds when not doing a workout? drilling down in the menu’s the change that every time is a bit annoying :-)

    • It depends a bit. Sometimes I leave it on, and then sometimes if I’m not planning to take off the watch (like the Fenix3 HR for 24×7 HR data), then I’ll turn it off.

      I’d agree some sort of dual-setting would be pretty cool.

    • Brent

      Not sure if available on Fenix, but on the 235 I have my backlight to show when I turn my wrist for viewing the screen. It’s under ‘Backlight’, then ‘Wrist Turn’. Works well on the night running, as you only need the screen lit when you turn your wrist to view it, then it turns off on whatever timeout you set.

      I leave the setting while not in activity, because I haven’t noticed any terrible drain on my battery.

    • Paul S.

      Thanks for this comment! I just found the “gesture” mode, and set it to be used only after sunset. Overall a little thing, but I think I’m going to like it!

      I do thing I’m going to have to swing my arm a bit hard for it to notice, but better than pushing a button for it in the middle of a run.

    • Paul S.

      Sorry, this is on a Fenix 3…

    • gingerneil

      I use this, but it’s a little clunky. It takes about a second to register the gesture and turn on. So I find myself turning my wrist, and then waiting to look down. It also turns off quickly when you turn your wrist back. Ideally, it would turn the light on and it would stay for the timeout set – in 8s for me. Also, I’d like a setting to enable the gesture only in an activity. I get the light turning on around the house at night, or when driving etc. It’s not the end of the world, but annoying!

    • Pieter

      I don’t see this option, but i’m using a fenix 3 HR on software version 2.20 so i hope it’s comming with a software update

  6. Crispin E.

    Ray, you mention no running Power on Garmin watches from a sensor such as Stryd, but have you had a chance to evaluate software solutions like the relatively recent Power4running CIQ datafield link to apps.garmin.com I’d be really interested to know if it even vaguely correlates to the Ambit with Stryd (accepting it will difficult to compare at present, as you’d have to do it ‘on the go’ as CIQ can’t write to the fit file yet).

  7. Mike H

    Awesome and very useful post – thanks Ray!

  8. Chris

    I have a Fenix 3 for a while now but had never seen the HR Graph screen. I activated it right after reading this post. Super handy, thanks for enlightening me :)

  9. Husain

    Thanks! that makes a lot of sense and I plan to sort my data fields in a similar way. Curious – can you set a metronome page on the 920xt? Will it make it easier to mute the metronome on recovery intervals?

  10. dr_lha

    Nice to see the Park’s best tool in with the Garmin, the bottle opener!

  11. MikeInEverwet

    What about cross training work outs (elliptical, body weight, weight room, Pilates, circuit, etc?) on off days?
    I think those rank about the same as root canal in your enjoyment index.

    • For any sort of gym/core workout, i’m typically just using a simple page: Time (Elapsed) & HR. I just do mental math for any period-specific sets (i.e. 30s of something).

  12. gingerneil

    Interesting.. your approach to long runs is very similar to mine. I try to switch off lap alerts (although leave autolap on), and just have HR on the screen. Otherwise I get distracted and continually reminded how far there is left to go! The aim of a long run tends to be to keep the HR down and forget the pace.
    Interval setup is the same too – avg lap pace is far more useful to me than instant pace.
    Do you ever use customer workouts on the watch, or just go manual using Lap ?

    • Almost always manual lap. About the only time I use custom workouts is when I’m testing the functionality for a watch review.

      For me, the typical structure of a workout tends to be pretty similar week after week. Just a case of increasing set count or intensity. So mostly easy to memorize.

  13. David R.

    When you say HR Graph are you talking about the HR Gauge screen or is the old HR Graph from fenix2 hidden somewhere in the menu?

    I have tried the Garmin Connect IQ data field for graphical heart rate but that didn’t seem to be the same.

  14. Jason

    Ray, some real great insight here!

    Out of interest, why don’t you use any of the efficiency stats for swimming (st/len, SWOLF etc…)

    Also, how do you generally feel about the use of Zone’s in swimming?

  15. Chris A

    Cycling: Include zeros in cadence: Yes

    Interesting choice. I found this screwed up my averages. And only using TP didn’t have a chance to removes zeroes to get the real data.
    Now if only TP had that function, and QA, and everything else we want…

  16. Phil S

    Thanks Ray
    I bought an Edge 520 for Live Segments but was annoyed to find that you can’t have other day fields on that page.
    I have to also have my 920xt sat next to it showing me HR, Cadence and Speed.
    Is there something I have missed.

  17. Popeye

    Hi Ray, nice post. Do yoy use the normal hr zones or You use the LTR ones?

  18. Phil A

    Have mine pretty close to that right now. I got annoyed at the backlight, so set it to Manual, because the backlight timer on the Fenix 3, just never appeared to work right. Sometime set to always on it would go off after a 5-10s always it would be always on. Also, when set to always on if I forgot to change it and something activated the backlight and I did not notice it just killed the battery.

    I guess I am pretty spoiled on my pool access. The triathlon group that I am a part of has permission to use the local college swimming pool 3 times a week, and it is just us, nobody else is allowed while we are there.

  19. JD

    So when will we be able to set up screens on the desktop and load it to the Fenix or Edge device!?

    Use one edge 1000 on multiple bikes (different activities for each) and it would be nice to have consistency for all of them but am to lazy to mess with the head unit for that long.

    Any ideas for making it quick and easy to set screens?

    • No good way today. I think we’re slowly getting closer and closer to that, but still a PITA today.

      Would love to have been able to just link to a ‘DCR Settings’ config file/post/something on Garmin Connect and folks could download those settings, or share them.

  20. Tim K

    “Note that I don’t tend to use speed, it honestly just doesn’t mean much to me in most cases.”

    What?!!??! A cyclist that doesn’t care about speed? What’s the point? That’s like leaving the wrapper on when you eat a Hershey’s kiss!!

  21. Chris S

    Hey Ray,

    Saw you were using the k-edge mount in your garmin virb post. Are you using the regular mount or the XL mount with an edge 520? Does the regular mount give you enough room to hit the lap button? I know you mentioned something about this back when you reviewed the 520, but I wasn’t sure if you were using the latest k-edge “aero” mount then.

    • XL mount in those pics, so no problems there. It was one I had from the Edge 1000.

    • John

      Chris S, I use the smaller version of their Garmin+GoPro mount (what K-Edge calls the 560 Aero Combo) with an Edge 520 and there is just enough room to reach those front two start/stop and lap buttons. It does fit, but you have to want to press them intentionally.

  22. You must have been reading my mind. I just went to your old page for Garmin 310 & 500 setups to config my new 520. Thanks Ray!!

  23. David

    I have a question that is tangentially related to this topic. Before you start any workout, do you pick a device and say “this is the training reference device”? And then make sure that is the one which provides the data to Training Peaks, and then on to your coach?

    • I try to. I’m usually picking whichever one I think is ‘most right’, if I see something askew. And for power data, I try and follow the same logic, but usually give him the one that has the most data (he’s a geek at heart too).

      I then ‘clean up’ Training Peaks with all the duplicate data sets.

  24. Mike S.

    Well done Ray! This is incredibly useful and answers a lot of questions.

  25. Happy Runner

    Could you discuss the use you make of Power 30s? Under what circumstances is that metric useful?

    • I use the 3/10s power like my instant power (since power fluctuates quite a bit otherwise), and then use my 30s power as sorta my ‘current trending’. Basically, my 30s power acts as a quick check to see what I’ve been up to recently.

  26. Halman

    Great post – “How to configure my watch”. I have a very similar set up, it is always nice to see what someone else is doing. Keep ups the great work. Any Suunto Ambit 4 news?

  27. Dr Matt

    Hey Ray,
    Surprised you don’t use strokes/length for swimming. That’s my main way of tracking my stroke efficiency. That way I know when to take a break and do some drills.

    • Stroke efficiency can be useful, but many times folks will focus too much on reducing strokes per length, and end up basically gliding more (rather than stroking). Said differently – they chase a number, instead of chasing actual efficiency. So ultimately, they slow down because they’re wasting time gliding (extra).

  28. steve

    Thanks for the sound advice,, I input Power 3s, Power 30s, and Normalized power. Once my ride started, only my NP had any reading and my other fields did not show any numbers,,
    Did I do something wrong?

    • Hmm, that’s odd. Never seen that before. Obviously the 30s field will take a full 30s to fulfill, but otherwise, never seen that before (especially if NP is working).

  29. Erik Rubin

    Very helpful. Thanks! On the Fenix 3, if ‘running dynamics’ is disabled under ‘data screens’ in the Run app, will the running dynamics still be recorded for later analysis?

  30. CMV

    Hi Ray,
    have you tried any of the custom fields on Connect IQ?
    For example I use Runnersfield by kpaumann… a lot of information on one page, but perfectly readable on a Fenix 3. I find it great for my casual runs, everything accessible at a glance, and no need for button pushing!

  31. PhilBoogie

    Not sports related, but I have created another ‘app’ for my photography hobby. I duplicated the running app, use 3 fields (elevation, distance, ToD) with 1 second recording. Aft I get home I download the .gpx file and import it into my photo application. Boom, all photos from my DSLR are now get-tagged. No need to buy special HW for my camera, which only works when the camera is on, so one would need to wait for a lock on before being able to take the picture. And that would suck.

  32. I use an alarm on my Fenix 3 for swimming to maintain my desired pace (I have the luxury of a generally empty pool, so typically target my CSS +/- x amount of seconds.

    What is SO frustrating is that the Fenix only allows alarms set on whole seconds. So with a CSS pace of 1:51s/100m I would ideally like an alarm to vibrate every 27.75 seconds for a 25m pool. I can’t do that on the Fenix 3 I can only set 28s or 27s.

    Do you know if Garmin will improve that small thing? Seems such as easy thing to fix.

    Or failing that is there *any* watch that can do that? I know the Finis Tempo Trainer Pro does (link to amazon.co.uk) – but I don’t like waring that in a cap

  33. Heiko

    Hi Ray,

    regarding the HR gauge screen: do you know if the gauge adapts to different HR zones for running and cycling automatically? As far as I know one is able to set different values for running and cycling in your Garmin user settings. But I don’t know if the gauge on the fenix 3 will adapt appropriately in running/cycling mode?!

  34. Captain Chris

    Thanks! just use this guide to setup a watch.

    I got a new 920XT, Garmin replaced mine when it failed to turn on at about 18 months of age.

    What about a favorite Connect IQ app? maybe a watch face?

    I had forgot how bad the stock watch face is. I had been using Big Time and went back to it when I configured this watch.

  35. Ron in OC

    I rode a popular event with some friends and my Garmin 520 recorded elevation gain at 3400 feet while 2 other friends recorded 4300 feet. They used Garmin 510. This route has been riden and recorded 1000’s of times and the known gain is 4300 feet. Why am I getting shorted? I know I didn’t skip any 900 foot hill!! That is a big difference. I wondering about that smart recording setting?


    • Smart recording would be unlikely to account for such a large gap. However, salt or dirt might.

      Plop your Garmin in a bowl of warm slightly soapy water for about 15 minutes. It sounds like your barometric altimeter is likely clogged up somehow. It’s the itty-bitty holes on the unit. If they are blocked, then it impacts the altimeter. Towards the end, just gently shake it underwater a bit to dislodge the salt/etc..

    • Ron

      Thanks for the comment but I think that is unlikely. It is a new device and there was another that got the same measurement. As I look at the many that rode the activity on strava a few have similar measurements. This leads me to more of a setting issue than a non function issue.

    • There isn’t a setting that says “Suck Mode: Underestimate elevation”. ;)

      You can however have the initial value offset (i.e. it thinks you started at 1,000ft, when you started at 200ft), but then in 99% of cases it’ll keep a relatively constant offset.

      Finally, do note that Strava DOES impact/tweak elevation values (and distance). It’s often worthwhile to look at the Garmin Connect elevation values since those are the original ones recorded on the device.

    • Ron

      Thanks. I’ll check the offset. I have seen strava with different calcs from the gps data but this time Garmin has the same measurements.

  36. Milt MacFarlane

    Great to hear you all are arguing the toss…meanwhile I’m waiting on an answer to find a 14 + 1 minute continuous countdown timer line in all my screens…no reply, why?

  37. Milt MacFarlane

    Thanks Ray ugh, I’ll pursue that, surely it’s a simple ask of them, yes run walk is what it mainly is, even though it’s needed on the bike for hydration as well

  38. Miquel

    Hi Ray,

    Do you use 3d speed and 3d distance on a regular basis? (When not trail running, downhill skiing, etc).
    Thanks for the post, very helpful

  39. Gergely

    Hi Ray,

    I have a question about fenix 3 workout data screens.

    If I do a custom workout always get a plus one data screen with “LAP race+remaining time+current HR rate” (My workout is: 5min warm up with HR zones – 50min running with HR zones – 5min cool down with HR zones).

    How can I configure this screen because I can’t find it in the menu ?

    Thank you in advance.



    • Alex

      Hi Gergely,

      I have the exact same problem. Looks like there are workout-specific data fields that do not show up in configuration menu.

      Would love to combine the interval countdown timer and current HR information as this is the data I need during HR driven intervals.

      I have emailed Garmin about this and will wait for their reply. Anyone with a solution?


    • David

      If your workout step includes HR target, you will get exactly what you are asking for. Plus a bonus field, I can’t remember what that field is. According to Gergely, it’s lap pace.

  40. Matt B

    Ordered from REI (online) on the morning of March 31, and just shipped yesterday (April 13). ETA is today.

    Thanks for your reviews! I follow along for availability and thought I’d share another data point for shipments.

  41. Janyne Kizer

    Is there a way to change these settings in the 920XT?

    Include zeros in power
    Include zeros in cadence

    If not, what are the defaults?

  42. Raul V

    Anybody knows of a data fields (and also screens, as there are pre cooked now) database per device?
    I want to be able to group things, compose sets etc. in the computer.
    Spreadsheet would be the best.

  43. carlos

    i wonder if it would make a difference for data gathering, if i kept my fenix 5 on my arm while using my edge 520 during rides.

  44. Patrick

    Live to know what’s changed – especially gps settings.