If Mr. Whipple were still around, he’d be frantically ordering the rabid Garmin Forerunner users complaining about all the Garmin Express/Garmin Connect/ANT issues to stop squeezing their Garmins. No matter how many cool new features they have, for goodness sake, don’t use them!
In January I switched from running with the Forerunner 10 to the souped-up Forerunner 620. There were a few software hiccups at the beginning, but then I had a couple good solid weeks of performance. Then Garmin Connect went haywire, and I couldn’t get any of my activities to upload. Then it fixed. Then my computer refused to recognize the device. Then that magically resolved itself (not after the 3 times I reset the watch, uninstalled Express, and reset my computer, but just randomly three days later after I opened my laptop). The latest issue I encountered is the refusal for some link in the chain to send my scheduled workouts from my calendar in Connect to the device. I was able to successfully do this previously and completed all of the activities from a 10K plan, so I was pretty certain it wasn’t a user error. Despite consulting the official Garmin forum, facebook page and a handful of Garmin gurus, none of their fixes worked.
So, for anyone plagued by the same issue, I thought I’d share how I worked around it for now. Note: I still could not send from the calendar so that the correct workouts just pop up on my watch each day. I just get an endless loading message when I try to do it with the one-click method in Connect (tried with Chrome, Firefox, and IE on PC). Instead, I sent the workouts I created to the device and will now just check my schedule online and then select the right workout on my watch when I’m ready to run.
To complete this “little” task, you’re going to take actions in both Garmin Connect and Garmin Express.
In Garmin Connect: From your dashboard or left-side menu, select Workouts. Presumably you’ve already created your own. If not, I’m happy to share mine for a sub-45 10K or you can snap up some good ones here and here. Start with the first workout and click the i/o arrows (first icon) next to it. This pops up the prompt telling you it will send that workout to your device.
Click Send Now and it prompts you to ensure your device is turned on (and either plugged in to your computer or has a viable wireless connection set up).
Here’s where you switch over to Garmin Express. Select your device (if you have the version that makes you do that first). Then click Check for Updates. After it thinks for a few seconds, it should tell you there is one item to install.
Click Install. Express will then inform you it is syncing. For each workout the time to complete this was different. I can’t say whether that related to the number of steps I had in each or just random variability in system processing times.
Once Express says Sync complete! and You’re up to date, you need to bounce back into Garmin Connect and repeat the process with your next workout.
After you’ve sent all the workouts you created to your device, take it from its precious (and ridiculously finicky) cradle and check whether they show up under My Workouts.
I hope this quick and dirty guide helps at least a few people hit the road with less headache and better coaching.
If you’ve worked out a fantastic hack to overcome some of the issues with the Garmin Forerunner Watches, PLEASE share in the comments!
If you’re running with another watch, tell me what you love about it.