I’ve been using my Garmin 810 for about 18 months now. I remember when I first got it, the settings seemed mind-blowing. The biggest thing I wanted to figure out was how best to set up the training page layout, which is the main screen you look at while you are out cycling.
Below is my favourite setting that I have refined over the past 18 months, and now use on 90% of my rides.
This guide runs down the photo top to bottom, left to right….
When I was a kid on the checkouts at the local supermarket I used to stick a piece of paper over the time so it would always be a surprise when I had my tea break. Whilst I’ve considered this often with my Garmin, I think hiding the distance might be a bit of a cop out! I prefer to keep distance on an entire row rather than adding a 10th field, as it means when you’re out on a longer ride it will still show a decimal point i.e. 110.2km rather than 110km. It’s the little things that keep me going!
If you need an explanation for what time is you’re in the wrong place. Hit start it starts. Hit stop it stops. Some days it works slower than others despite apparently being constant.
3. Time Of Day
This was an addition after about 5 months of cycling. I don’t wear a watch, and with the constant battle of the work/life/bike balance, it’s always helpful to know if you’re going to make it back for the time you promised!
Whilst this is quite often faulty on my rides, it’s handy to know. My Garmin seems to work like the opposite of a car’s speedometer, telling me I’m going a little slower than I really am just to keep me pushing on.
5. Average Speed
4 divided by 2. Always about 3 km/h out for me.
6. Heart Rate Zone
I’ve now dropped this in over pure heart rate because it makes more sense to me.
2 = get moving you loser
3 = life is good
4 = short time smile, long term pain
5 = ouchy
It’s a simple system, but makes more sense to me than heart rate!
‘Fight the wind until half way, and homeward the minutes will melt away’.
An ancient Chinese proverb written for cyclists.
Ok, I wrote it, but still pretty profound. No one likes a headwind, so plan your route to head out into the worst of it, and bring you home with it behind you. The heading part of my training pages layout, at the very least gives me an excuse for point 4!
8. Total Ascent
Always makes me feel a little better knowing that the pain in my legs isn’t just in my mind. If I’ve done more than a 1% climbing to distance travelled ratio I know it’s been a good day. I live in Bedfordshire not the Alps so this is good for me!
5% and below means your Garmin is playing up. 10% above makes you a real man. I’m not sure this really helps, other than relaying the story to my wife when I get home: “Yeah, pretty much all hills today, must’ve done at least 5 x 10%ers.” Important for the ego, though!