A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece on how to set a workout on your Garmin Forerunner watch; today I will introduce you to another feature that many Garmin users are unaware of: the lap button, which is located in the lower right side of most Garmin watches. It’s that little loopy arrow down there.
When your watch is in GPS mode and you are running, the auto lap alert will go off every time you hit the distance that the alert is set for. If you have never changed it, the auto lap alert will go off every mile that you run, basically it’s just the beep you hear every time you hit a mile. You can change this setting inside the activity menu and make the alert go off every half mile or every two miles.
But! You can also change the lap alert as you are running. Every time you hit the lap button, the watch will give you a time since the last time you hit the button. It will then go off one mile from the moment you last hit the button. So what does this mean?
Let’s say I wanted to do a workout that was 2 miles warm up, 4 miles tempo, 2 miles cool down. I got to mile 2 and realized I wanted to add another half mile of warm up. I could hit the lap button at the 2.5 mile mark and the watch would reset the mile lap alert and I could go into my 4 tempo miles knowing my exact pace and distance for the tempo. The lap alert would then be at 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, and so on.
You can use the lap button for fartleks and strides; begin the interval by hitting the lap button and press it again once the interval is done or when it’s time to rest or recovery. You will be able to see the pace and time you ran in that interval on your Garmin Connect read out:
You can use the lap button to get your time and pace for track workouts. If you program an 8×800 (400 rest) workout into your watch and go run that workout on a track, your intervals will be slightly off, GPS is just like that when you are running around and around in an oval. But, if you are on a track, you can use the measurements on the track itself and simply hit the lap button to begin each 800 and press it once more when you cross the 800 finish line, giving you a more exact time and distance.
So get out there and start lapping!