Garmin Coach is an adaptive training plan introduced by Garmin in 2018. When introduced the Coach plan’s only had a 5K possibility, but in 2019 the 10K and half marathon distance were added as well. The key elements of Garmin Coach:
- Adaptive training plan. Your Garmin Coach training plan will adapt based on how well you perform during the workouts provided to you. If you skip an important workout, or don’t perform as expected, it will give you a chance to do better in the next week
- Running history. The experience you have as a runner is an important factor in the way your plan will be setup. Limited mileage will lead to a slower build-up and speed work might not be introduced until you are a few weeks in the plan.
- Running preferences. The plans take your regular running days into account as well as your preferred long run day. Depending on which coach you choose
- Running goals. Your goal might be the most important part of setting up the Garmin Coach plan. What goal should this plan help you achieve? Do you want to finish a certain distance or are you shooting for a PR on a well-known distance?
- Automatic synchronization to your Garmin watch. All your workouts will automatically synchronize to your compatible Garmin watch. All you need to do is start your run and select the Garmin Coach workout.
- Feedback and accountability. After each workout you’ll be given a (very) short feedback giving you an indication on how well you performed. Besides that you’ll see a confidence level decreasing and/or increasing after each (skipped) workout.
Before you get started, make sure you have a Garmin watch compatible with Garmin Coach. Garmin currently lists the following watches/series as compatible: Captain Marvel, Darth Vader, Descent MK1, Fenix 5 Series, Fenix 5 Plus series, Fenix 6 Series, Fenix Chronos, Forerunner 45/45S, Forerunner 245 series, Forerunner 645 series, Forerunner 935, Forerunner 945, Instinct series, MARQ Series, Rey, Venu, Vivoactive 3, Vivoactive 3 series, Vivoactive 4/4S.
One of the most important parts of setting your Garmin Coach plan is deciding which coach to pick. This will determine the type of workouts you’ll get, the build-up of the plan, etc. Garmin provides some information on each coach and they all introduce themselves to you in a short video, meant to help you in your decision. If you’re still unsure, read my article on which coach do you choose.
Garmin Coach plans
At the beginning of 2019 I started my own Garmin Coach journey with the 5K plan to improve my time. The Garmin Coach 5K plan helped me beat my best 5K time by 7 minutes and I loved following the plan. The structure, the ease and especially the results. Since then I’ve done several Garmin Coach plans, including a finished (but failed) Garmin Coach half marathon plan and then another one, which I’m still in the process of completing.
I’ve gathered all my experiences, and those of the Garmin Coach Runners Community on Facebook, in a Garmin Coach FAQ overview. Here you’ll find all the obvious and less obvious questions, and more importantly: answers!
My Garmin Coach Review will tell you exactly what it is that made me stick around for more and why (or why not) it might be just what you need as well.