Back in 2015, Garmin launched Connect IQ – effectively an ‘App Store’ for their Garmin devices, offering a wide range of additional data fields, applications and widgets created by third parties. But it seems very few people know about it’s existence, or which data fields are actually useful – I mean let’s be fair, having a live count of how many pints of beer you’ve earned during your ride is hardly a useful performance metric!
When I finally upgraded my trusty Edge 810 to an Edge 1030, I dived right in and tried out as many data fields as I could, settling on three favourites which I use for all of my activity presets. These specifically relate to visually displaying power data, and some combine multiple data fields into a single field, freeing up space for additional metrics.
Connect IQ data fields are compatible with all recent Garmin Edge devices, including the 520, 820, 820 Plus, 1000, and 1030. Unfortunately each field does require you to set your zones manually through the Connect Mobile app as the third party apps are currently unable to read your Garmin power zone settings. There are several things you can configure for each field though, so it’s worth diving into the settings for each app.
Power Slider by bjarnib
This data field sits at the top of most of my activity presets, and it pretty much does what it says on the tin; it displays your current 3s Power as a number in the middle, with a sliding colour-coded background depicting which power zone you are currently in. Anyone familiar with the Wahoo ELEMNT series will likely have seen the colour-coded LED strip at the top which changes based on your current power zone – with this data field you can replicate the feature on your Garmin too, except it’s much more useful, as you can see if you’re at the top or bottom end of the zone… and you can actually see it in sunlight!
Power Chart by bjarnib
This data field displays a rolling graph of your power output over the past few minutes, colour coded just like the Power Slider mentioned above. This field is great when you’re trying to perform a steady state effort, as you can see precisely when you’re getting a bit carried away and slipping out of the zone. It’s equally as useful when performing intervals, to visually compare efforts at a glance on a graph. As an avid TrainerRoad user, I feel right at home having a graph in front of me!
Power Zones Chart by ronnywinkler
This field doesn’t make it onto my front screen, but it’s useful to have somewhere as one of those ‘something to look at’ fields when you’re a bit bored on longer rides, or as an alternative field to the ones above to monitor your power zones. This one displays your current power as a percentage of your FTP in the centre, and the background consists of colour coded vertical bars depicting your power zones. The more time you spend in a particular zone, the taller that bar becomes, so it’s great to refer to to make sure that Zone 2 base ride really is spent mostly in Zone 2! As this one is from a different developer, the colours used for the higher zones vary slightly from those used by bjarnib above, but for the most part they’re the same.
Hopefully you’ll find these data fields useful – they’ve certainly improved the way I train with Power out on the road and trails!