7 Ways Your Garmin Can Prevent Injuries

Natalie Cecconi
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What Causes Running Injuries

Overtraining

If you ever have a desire to achieve the peak of your training, the first thing you have to take into account is the periodization of your training.

The periodization of training refers to the structuring the design or organization of a training program so that you can achieve and maintain specific goals. The training should be in such a way that the stress is systematically increased over a period of time so that the body has an opportunity to adapt to that stress.

In the field science, there are four different phases of periodization of training. These are accumulation, intensification, competition/recovery, and transition. All of these phases are extremely important to sport scientists and are used in planning training programs for athletes.

Running Form

Running is one of the best forms of exercise and it can be as much fun for beginners as it is for advanced runners … that is, as long as running doesn’t become repetitive or monotonous.

But running can also be a major source of injury if you don’t practice the right form or, in other words, if you don’t start running the right way.

Just try to think of any common running injury that you’ve had in the past and I’m sure that your mind will have gone straight to your legs – knees, ankles, and feet.

So if you’ve been wondering why injuries happen to runners, let me ask you a question: When is the last time you ran barefoot? If you’ve never run barefoot and you’re a regular runner, my guess is that you’ve never had to learn the correct way to run.

Watch this 3-Minute Video of Me Talking About the Importance of the Hips for Injury Prevention When You Run:

How Do We Correct This?

Are you hoping to stay healthy this season by improving your exercise routine?

I used to suffer from injuries. It’s the main reason I ended up not exercising at all. I was completely frustrated, as I had no idea what to do and how to prevent the injuries.

Surely there is a better way?

My last injury was terrible.

So I went to the doctor and he told me, “Do the exercise!” It’s pretty simple, isn’t it?

I didn’t know what to do, so I looked around to find out more.

I found a device that monitored my activity, giving me a number of opportunities to improve my running. I also used it in the pool to swim. That’s when it all changed.

The device went through a series of tests, with special zones. If the zones were exceeded with activity, I received a warning message.

You can’t imagine how much encouragement that was to me, especially when I was trying to beat my limits.

Since that moment, I started to enjoy my exercises while avoiding injury. Here are some of the features that also helped me during my exercises.

Garmin Watches

How many times have you experienced pain in your ribs mid-run and discovered it was a side stitch brought on by swallowing the wrong way? Or how many times was it because your watch beeped?

The Garmin watch is useful for many reasons. Not only does it give you the basic information like pace, mileage, and time (and much, much more) but it also has the ability to beep when you are running too fast.

Any Garmin watch can track your heart rate during a run. However, some models can give you constant feedback regarding your heart rate.

The heart rate monitors that come with some models make it a little easier to control your heart rate during a run. Other features

Such as pace control and setting a target heart rate, can also help control your pace during a run. Distances can also give runners a better idea of how fast or slow they are going.

These important reminders can help a runner make better decisions about how to pace themselves in order to avoid an injury.

For many runners, hearing beeps from their watch can be annoying and even a distraction. A lot of runners opt to receive the constant feedback via smart phone and running apps instead.

Just remember when you are using the Garmin on your wrist, it can also tell you if you sweated during a run, so you can assess how much you sweat and how well your body regulates temperature.

Track Your Miles with Garmin Connect

Your Garmin is a great tracking device and what it does best is measure hours and miles and help you keep organized. The only problem is that even after tracking your miles, you still have to log the entries into Garmin Connect to look over your data. This can be a problem when you are on the move.

Luckily, Garmin Connect can be accessed via your smartphone apps. So if you are running, hiking, biking or doing anything outdoors, you can track your mileages and even access the data you need to analyze your activities while on the go. Make sure that your smartphone can share data with Garmin connect so you don’t have to stop in the middle of your activity to type in information to your device.

Training Plans

Having a training plan is a crucial element to your success. It is the structure in your day and each and every workout’s preparation. Without a plan, you will never know if the workout is effective. This is where training with a speed and cadence monitor and a heart rate monitor can help. Both are important training tools.

An ideal bike trainer will offer you bike data to ensure that you know you are pushing your physical condition. You can track heart rate, power, speed, torque, cadence, altitude, and gradient.

But if you are not working out with a bike trainer or you go on your real cycles, your Garmin can’t help you with the right data as your legs cannot be part of your bike trainer.

Instead, try a heart rate monitor and a speed and cadence monitor to track your heart rate data. The heart rate monitor will track your body’s reaction to training. It will tell you how much effort you have put into the workout. With the speed and cadence monitor, you can track your performance. The data recorded will help you to decide on whether you are going fast enough. You will be able to track your progress at the same time.

The Garmin collects data from your body and translates it into information that you can use to make gradual changes in your training regime for higher performance.

Recovery Time

—Anyone who has ever suffered an injury knows how much it can slow you down. And destroying your routine can be incredibly frustrating and leave you asking “What’s the point of continuing?”

The good news is that Garmin devices can make an injured athlete’s journey to recovery easier.

Below are 7 ways your Garmin can prevent injuries and improve your body’s recovery ability.

Training Load

Bike training load refers to an athlete’s training volume and intensity. Monitoring training load is crucial for effective training management.

For professional athletes, training load is structured and periodized to maintain performance throughout the season and avoid over training and injury.

But for everyday athletes, training load is not so straightforward. Each week is different and any training can be on- or off-bike. Plus, there’s always something more fun to do on the weekend than log another training session.

The lack of day-to-day structure leaves most of us to just wing it. If we were to do the same with our heart rate, we’d get into trouble pretty soon, but nobody is stopping us from logging any old heart rate measurement.

Researchers James and Mookerjea point out this lack of method or standardized system to measure training load in their paper on heart rate variability during cycling.

They also go on to describe the disadvantages of relying on heart rate as a sole measure of training load.

This is where Garmin comes in. With Garmin devices, you automatically collect and analyze data on all of your workouts, including heart rate.

But Garmin also suggests ways of using heart rate in a structured way to maximize training effect.

Cadence and Stride Length

What is cadence and why is it important to runners? And can knowing your average stride length help you improve your running form and technique?

Human stride rates vary from person to person, but they are typically between 90 and 180 strides per minute. Most people fall into the 125 to 140 stride rate range, and elite runners tend to have average stride rates of 145.

The average leg length for an adult is approximately equal to their stride length. This makes sense when you think about it. Your legs have to run as far as your torso so they have to be equal length.

However, studies have shown that there are slight differences between men and women. Men have a stride length of 1.2 to 1.3 times their leg length. Women typically do not.

After all, the female circulatory system is different than the male circulatory system, and women walk differently as well.

Knowing how long your stride is will be a huge help in preventing injuries and to know if you are running or walking. You can run with a stride length of about 150 percent of your leg length and walk with a stride length of 200 percent of your leg length.

The Garmin 735XT does have a stride counter feature that is labeled cadence. Fortunately you can measure your average stride rate as well.

Ground Contact Time & Balance

If you want to run faster or longer, there’s no way around increasing your running cadence (steps per minute).

The problem is that many runners have a challenge achieving this, particularly the older runners. Older runners tend to stick with the same cadence that they had in their 20s. Increasing cadence requires practice and experience to perfect.

An easy way to force yourself to increase your cadence is wear a cadence-capable Garmin.

Most Garmin running watches can be set to a display that counts steps. Instead of this display replacing your watch’s usual digital display, the watch will display this cadence-step display and your regular display at the same time.

On the 10th step of each minute, your step count and cadence will be displayed on the main display.

You can set the display so that it tells you to step faster or slower with a vibration.

Besides being a simple way to maintain a high cadence without thinking about it, this dual display should also help improve running balance.

We are all a little different when it comes to riding our bikes, running or walking. For some, a cadence of 90 or 100 steps per minute is the norm. For others, it’s 80 or 90.

Vertical Oscillation

This is an automatic setting on all Garmin GPS watches (and most other Garmins). It takes care of the difference between normal running cadence and walking cadence. Some watches refer to vertical oscillation settings as stride cadence settings.

However, nobody should be running with a stride that is so short that they are essentially walking. So instead of writing a tutorial for how to adjust vertical oscillation, which the vast majority of people should definitely not do, I’m going to explain why you never have to.

Vertical oscillation is set at 4 in the factory by default. That means the watch will automatically detect that you are running and correct for the shorter stride of a walk. A lot of people want to change this setting because they want their Garmin to tell them if they are running like a walker. That’s not going to happen, so the setting is completely useless to you.

In addition, changing vertical oscillation settings can actually have a negative effect on distance and pace. Vertical oscillation literally adjusts your stride by 1/100 of a second. Because it is constantly aware of your running cadence, if you change the Vertical Oscillation setting, you will change your ground contact time. Changing this setting is why people get upset with their new Garmin and say it doesn’t work right.

Summary

Today, the Garmin is among the most vital elements of sports equipment. These tools help athletes with peak performance and effective recovery.

The Garmin is a small device with simple applications. It helps you track your pace, heart rate, and distance.

The Garmin is vital for both professional and amateur athletes. Professionals use it to track performance and make necessary changes. Amateurs use it to enhance their athletic performances.

Here’s how to make the most of your Garmin.

For Recovery

If you have a performance in your future, but have not fully recovered from the previous one, your Garmin can tell you.

Using your device, you can check your heart rate and body temperature. During peak performance, these values are vital.

However, during recovery, they are indicative of a serious problem. A drop in body temperature of 2.2 degree Fahrenheit or a heart rate of more than 10 beats per minute can mean there is something wrong.

For example, a heart rate of 145 beats per minute when you are supposed to be resting, means there is something wrong.

Once you have noticed that your body is not alright, you can act accordingly. For example, if you are still fighting a flu, you can rest. That’s why alarms and warnings are very important. Your Garmin vibrates when you are doing something wrong.