Garmin Connect Mobile App and Achieving Goals with small data

Garmin Connect mobile app and small data can make a big difference in achieving goals. Focusing on a few pieces of data enables you to focus on goals.

I’m not a huge fan of installing apps on my phone. It seems that every event I go to has their own “cool app” to help me make the most of the event and connect with other attendees. Often it’s just app litter.

One app I’ve downloaded since the New Year and actually find useful is the Garmin Connect Mobile App. Often I find my self adding treadmill runs or gym workouts as manual activities in Garmin Connect when I get home.

Sometimes I forget to do this and I’m sure that a few workouts have gone missing. With the app I can add an activity at any time from anywhere.

Since I often run on a treadmill at work, this app has been handy.

Garmin Connect Mobile App and Small Data

Since The New Year my goal has been to run 3 miles per day on average. As such, I’ve been paying more attention to Garmin Connect at home and my Garmin Mobile App.

Garmin Connect Mobile AppThe opening screen gives you details of the past seven days. How many miles run, how many runs, how many calories burned and the last weight measure you added.

This screen shot shows how someone could use all of the features. But like most people I focus on what’s most important to me: running.

When you go to the Activities tab, you can look at your activities by the week, month or past twelve months. If you do different activities you can look how each activity is going for you.

My activity is running of course so that’s what I track.

This past week I’ve run four times for a total of 30.6 miles and achieved a daily average of 4.4 miles.

Over the part four weeks I’ve run 108.8 miles over 13 runs for a daily average of 3.9 miles.

I’m happy to be running ahead of my 3 miles per day goal.

For anyone who’s ever looked at their GPA as a Junior or Senior on high school or college, you understand how challenging it is to move the needle on a number tracked over a long period of time.

Last year my goal was recovery, running a few choice races and having some fun.

Since my daily miles were not a focus I didn’t really pay any attention to this number, My casual goal was to hit 1,000 miles but I only got to about 875 or so.

Small Data makes a big Difference

The Garmin Connect Mobile App gives you a 12 month view of your data also. Since it is a mobile app with limited screen real estate it drops the oldest month as a new one is added. So all numbers are a moving average.

My daily average has been stuck at two miles per day since January. I figured it would take months to get it to move.

After my 6.8 mile treadmill run Thursday night my number moved to 2.1 miles!Can you use small data to achieve your goals? Click To Tweet

While 0.1 miles isn’t that much it is a movement in the right direction. It’s exciting that I’ve been able to move that number at all. I didn’t expect to see it change until later in the year.

Moving a 365 day average over two months and a few weeks is very encouraging. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that as lower mileage months from 2018 fall off and the higher mileage months of 2019 take their place, this number will increase velocity toward my goal of 3 miles per day.

But at this time last year I was also training for Boston and my monthly mileage was about as high as it is now. So the movement that I have been able to make is mostly attributable to my actual running and not a change in the data set.

Later in the year as low mileage months from 2018 drop off, my daily average should really pop up.

It will be fun to see the 2019 average to date and my annual moving average improve.

Everyone is talking about Big Data these days and everyone has their own definition. I consider big data to be the process of combining data from different sources to find insightful relationships among the data points. Collecting petabytes of data that you can do nothing with is useless.

Sometimes focusing on a few key pieces of data is more insightful. In my case focusing on daily averages over both short and long periods of time gives me the insight into my progress that I need to achieve my goals.

Run well my Friends,


Fun Facts from Garmin, New Year’s Committments

I was poking around on the Garmin connect website a few days ago and found some cool stuff on the “Analyze” tab.

On the drop down menu there is a “reports” tab. You can look at your numbers for the past 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, this week etc. They also let you look at your numbers over the last 365 days, Last Year and This Year. I checked these options out and it was pretty amusing.

Fun Facts from Garmin over the past year

Logged 136 Activities

Run 1,716.37 miles

Run for 145 hours, 5 minutes and 6 seconds

I have burned 99,427 calories

That last one blew my mind – 99,427 calories! And I’m pretty sure I missed a few runs when I forgot my watch or it wasn’t working.

With 136 activities over the past 365 days I have only been running about 2.5 days each week. It seems like I have been running more often than that, but there were weeks when I was hurt, sick, traveling, or lazy!

As a goal for 2013 I will run 156 times or three times each week. This is my pre-New Year’s resolution. But, resolutions are for cupcakes. This is my COMMITMENT. I WILL do this.

Run well my friends


Sunday Long Run

Sunday Long Run recap

The Sunday long run today was 16.2 miles but I opted for the 8 mile course instead. I had planned on this course anyway, but some yard work from yesterday was haunting me this morning.

I copied and pasted my splits from Garmin Connect.

Avg Pace
Summary 1:19:15.0 8.00 9:50
1 10:03.8 1.00 10:04
2 10:22.5 1.00 10:23
3 9:55.5 1.00 9:56
4 9:48.9 1.00 9:49
5 9:37.7 1.00 9:38
6 9:38.1 1.00 9:38
7 9:52.5 1.00 9:53
8 9:54.1 1.00 9:54
9 :02.2 0.00 8:07

No spectacular times here, but I did get in 8 miles and I’m off to a good start to the week. Last week I managed to run 22.8 miles with 11.6 miles from the Sunday long run. I should be able to hit 20 this week and if I feel like adding 10% to last week’s total I could run 24 miles.

I spent three hours doing yard work yesterday. I dug up some grass next to the deck and replaced it with crushed stone. It’s part of my “get rid of the freaking lawn” program. Little by little I’m getting rid of grass in the nooks and crannies of the yard. Eventually, I’ll have so little lawn to mow that I will be able to use just the weed whacker. This will leave more time for running!

So three hours of digging and pushing a wheel barrow are not good for hamstring injuries. Pushing a wheel barrow involves a lot of exertion from the glutes and thighs. Not exactly a therapy session. I paid last night when I had to drive my daughter to a birthday party in Boston. The pain was as bad as the first time I drove home from work and realized I had a problem.

For this afternoon I plan a long stretching session that will involve all exercises on my sheet. Tomorrow at lunch instead of running I’ll do the stretchnig routine again. Then at 4:30pm I have another PT session. I’m sure they will be shacking their heads at me when I tell them about my weekend.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and thanks for dropping by.