6 Additional Features Available With the Garmin 920XT


I train with the Garmin 920XT.  Along with the top-level features, options and benefits I thought I would highlight some of what I consider the second tier features and benefits. Here are six features you may not know about.

 1.    Track Steps – I wear my watch all day and track my steps.  It also sets a goal for you each day based on the number of steps you historically walk.  Your goal is updated daily. Kayak paddle strokes are even counted as steps if you paddle for exercise.

 2.   Metronome – Using a metronome can help increase your run cadence.  No need to get a separate app for this, this feature is built right in.

3.   Auto Pause – This feature automatically stops the watch when you stop or your speed drops below a certain level.  Now you don’t have to be that guy…. jogging in place at the stoplight.

4.   Sleep Tracking – Enable the sleep track mode and if you wear your watch to bed your key sleep metrics will be tracked.

5.   Action Camera controlled – You can control your Garmin VIRB camera from the watch.  Pair the device with your watch and you can control the camera through the watch timer or manual functions.

 6.   Phone Notifications – Pair the watch with your compatible Bluetooth phone and get notified when messages are received on your phone.  You can set when notifications are on and off.

I actually found these features by reading the manual.  I recommend downloading the PDF version of the manual from Garmin.  With this document the Table of Contents and Index are hyperlinked to the specific section.  I hope this helps you get the most out of your Garmin 920XT.

Using a Foam Roller

Foam Roller
Foam Roller

I recently included a foam roller routine into my workouts.  Using this inexpensive tool has really helped.  I use the foam roller as part of my warm up and cool down with my cycling,  strength and running workouts.  My foam roller routine focus on the lower body with my back and hips included.  I can get a good routine completed in about 5 minutes.  My foam roller routine is the first phase of my warm-up.  My warm up is structured with:

  1. Foam Roller
  2. Walking 
  3. Active stretching

Why I started Using the Foam Roller

I have been trying to ramp up my running as I get ready for next year's Raleigh 70.3 in June. Last week I think I went a little too hard /too long and now have a sore Achilles tendon. Unfortunately I tend to be that guy that goes out too fast and too far in the beginning.  My enthusiasm gets the best of me.  I have a hard time pacing myself. So Monday was my normal personal training day at the YMCA with my trainer Kristen. I asked her to develop a foam roller routine as part of my warm-up and  stretching routine.  

I can tell you that the foam roller routine, although painful for the first time, really loosened up my legs. I really felt good. Now I need to keep at it and get this into a habit that is part of my work-out system.  What I did was some basic roller activities, including rolling my IT band, my lower back, my hamstrings and my calfs. I have got to tell you that the IT band stretch was the most painful.  Which seems to be common as I researched other routines and information on foam roller routines. 

After using the firm black foam roller I went out and purchased a 6 inch 36 inch roller from Amazon.  This is the foam roller I selected (I have no affiliate program so the link is just for reference only). This will be a routine for me that will continue.

If you want to see some great routines check out these resources.

Let me know if you have any other thoughts to share on using a foam roller.

The Power of 30 Minutes to Change Your Life

30 Minutes
30 Minutes

A mindless TV sitcom, A bowl of ice cream, a cigar... Things you can do in 30 minutes. What if you spent 30 minutes a day to change your life by just moving?

On July 1, 2014 I had enough of how I felt, looked and I was seriously concern over where this was all taking me. 51 years old and over 230 pounds I decided I was going to do something about it.

Over the years I had crafted complex workout and exercise plans (typically around Jan 1) that I inevitably stopped or was unable to follow. And like many people, that led to the feeling of failure from which I never got back on the horse. Not anymore.

On July 1, 2014 I decided and committed to moving for 30 minutes a day; every day. No elaborate exercise plans with heart rate, distance, effort goals; just moving 30 minutes everyday; no matter what. I wasn't even concerned about changing my eating habits just moving for 30 minutes.

I was inspired by James Clear who wrote a post called How to Stop Procrastinating on Your Goals by Using the “Seinfeld Strategy”  where he mentioned Jerry Seinfeld's commitment strategy of writing every day. Jerry built a simple system that he focused on which had nothing to do with results, only the process.

The way I viewed it there are really very few failure points (only one) and a clear easy way to measure progress. I set up a quick Google Docs spreadsheet and tracked day, time moving, location, and description, and a counter for keeping track of the consecutive days moving. Nothing more.

This started out as walking for 30 minutes a day (which my two dogs are thoroughly loving). I just walked for 36 straight days and really enjoyed it. But what started to happen was remarkable. I started to feel better both physically but mentally as I had kept up with an exercise plan for 36 days and I wasn't overworked, sore, burned out. I felt great. It was not always easy, I can remember hustling down to the workout room in my Sydney AZ hotel at 11:00 at night to get in 30 minutes on the treadmill after an all day flight into town.

Now that I was having success with an easy workout plan I started to development a healthy mindset. I started to wonder how I could move in other ways. So after a year I have moved by:

Playing Ice HockeyWhite Water RaftingKayakingSwimmingWeight TrainingCyclingRunningJump RopingLateral X machineKettlebellsRoller BladingSplitting Wood

I have been lucky enough to do my 30 minute move in a lot of different placesDayton, OhioCharlotte, NCRaleigh, NCNew York, NYNashville, TNLondon, UKParis , FRSydney, AZDubai, UABManila, Philippines

In just the first year I have lost 23 pounds and dropped 4 inches off my pants size, and I feel much better. With the successful reinforcement of my success I naturally started looking at my eating process and have slowly started to change those processes a well.

TakeawaysWhat if I expanded this approach into other areas of my life? Would it work? I put a process in place to track reading and media consumption per day. Through print books and audible books I consume at least 20 minutes per day of great content. This can be fiction, non-fiction, whatever but I set up the system so that I get 20 minutes of great content daily. No TV doesn't count for me.

What could you do at work with this systematic approach? How about making sure you give 10 compliments or signs of gratitude for people a work a day?

What about spending quality time with your family or a significant other X times / minutes a day or week or month? I am a firm believer that what you focus on improves and if you put the system in place you will move forward. Make the barrier to success so low that you can miss it and you will quickly see the momentum these systems can generate.

How can you use this approach? Let us know in the comments below.