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January 31, 2011

Garmin Virtual Partner

Good mate Piface is the gear editor for Runners World in SA. Came across this clip where he mentions the Virtual Partner function. I love the function too and keeps me honest when I am feeling a little demotivated. So here from the Garmin blog, a quick description on the Virtual Partner:

So, your running or riding buddy bails on you and the motivation tank is running on E. Don’t skip your workout. Go toe to toe with the Virtual Partner™ on the Forerunner® or Edge™ and see who finishes first. Follow the jump to find out how.

Ideally, we’d all have a personal trainer to set up customized training plans and help us meet our goals. Works for the pros, but for us mere mortals, there’s a much more affordable personal trainer. Forerunner for those who like to run (or bike or both), Edge for those who bike. All models in these series have a Virtual Partner feature that allows you to set time, distance or speed goals and then compete against a runner/cyclist icon that appears on screen.

Vp_screen_shot As you run or ride, the screen will show your performance compared to the Virtual Partner, including how far ahead or behind you are. If you’re ahead of the VP, the bottom field on the screen is white. If you fall behind, it changes to black.

Here’s how to set up a “quick workout” with the Virtual Partner on the Edge. You can also use VP for quick workouts on Forerunner or when using the courses feature on Edge or Forerunner. From the main menu, go to trainingworkoutsquick. Now, choose whether you want to do a workout based on distance and time, time and speed or distance and speed. Let’s say you want to ride for an hour at an average speed of 18 mph. Select “time and speed” and then enter your values in the top two fields. Check the third field to make sure the calculation seems reasonable. If not, adjust your values. Press “done.”

The “workout” screen is now displayed. To see the Virtual Partner, press “enter” and it will be displayed in the bottom two data fields of the workout screen. Note: I read a recent post on the MotionBased forum where a user needed to know how to view VP on his Edge. Basically, the Enter key acts as a toggle on the workout screen, allowing you to switch from viewing your workout values to seeing the Virtual Partner. It’s different when you set up a workout on Forerunner 205/305. The Virtual Partner will show up as one of the timer screens when you press the up/down arrow keys. If VP doesn’t show up on your Forerunner, go to trainingtraining optionsVirtual Partner and select “on”.

When you’re ready to start your workout, press “start.” The faint cyclist icon on top is your Virtual Partner and you are represented by the bottom cyclist. During your workout, you can always switch from the workout screen to your main timer, map and elevation pages by simply pressing the mode key.

Word of advice for first-timers: plug in some achievable values for your first go-round with the VP unless you want a pixilated cyclist dude to blow your doors off! Another thing to note is that the Virtual Partner feature is a fun way to see if you can meet a certain goal, but it doesn’t really account for variances in pace and speed. Using Virtual Partner with the courses feature, however, will account for speed changes when going uphill, around turns, etc.

Fantastic. If you have a Garmin, give this feature a go this week…

One Comment on “Garmin Virtual Partner

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Raoul de Jongh, Fraser McHenry and Team Garmin adidas, Zoon Cronje. Zoon Cronje said: RT @raouldejongh: http://bit.ly/gl0ekQ Garmin Virtual Partner explained… […]

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