Garmin Vivoactive 3 How To Tutorials

You’ll find below a list of short video tutorials on the functions and features of the Garmin Vivoactive 3. This is a low cost GPS general activity watch which includes a wrist heart rate sensor. A nice upgrade for those who had the forerunner 35. This is a small basic device packed with enough features, including Garmin Pay.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 User Manual

Click here to download the Garmin Vivoactive 3 user manual in PDF format


Garmin Vivoactive 3 Tutorial Contents

  • Rebooting / Restart or Restore Default Settings
  • Manage Activity Profile Favorites
  • Change Data Fields When Running
  • Change Controls Menu Icons
  • How to Change Activity Tracking Settings
  • How to Customize Widgets
  • How to Start An Outdoor Activity
  • How to Save and Navigate Waypoints
  • How to Change Default Watch Face
  • How to Change Run Settings
  • How to Change System Settings
  • How to Change Heart Rate Settings


Rebooting / Restart or Restore Default Settings

What to do when your vivoactive 3 freezes up or unresponsive or when you want to wipe it clean.

Here we have a method for each. Note as of Jan 2018 hard reset key sequence was not known.

Note that your data could he affected when doing either method.

Simply press and hole the key for at least 15 seconds until the device shuts down or restarts.

Press and HOLD display to get to the menu and select SETTINGS | SYSTEM | RESTORE DEFAULTS


Manage Activity Profile Favorites

When you first use the Garmin Vivoactive 3 for the first time, you have the option to set activity favourites or a quick list of preferred activity profile.

Simple select your favorites from the list of activities, this screen only shows up on the firs time. Once done, you can press the Key and you will see your favorites at the top. To access the other activities simply tap on the four dots icon.

You can further manage your favorites by going to SETTINGS | ACTIVITIES & APPS and by choosing an activity and then ADD to FAVORTIES.

Activities like golf, yoga and other can be found by creating a new activity.

You can also remove favorites by going into the activity and selecting REMOVE FAVORITE.


Change Data Fields When Running

You can change data fields in the running profile on your Garmin Vivoactive 3.


Change Controls Menu Icons

When you press & hold the key button on your garmin vivoactive 3, you have access to shortcut app icons such as power off, music control, garmin pay, saving a waypoint, stopwach, etc…

You can customize, re-order, add and remove the icons based on your preference.

1. Press and hold the key button
2. Tap and hold the display, the device should vibrate and the icons will now have a circle around each of them
3. Tap on an icon

From here you can tap another location to move it, you can tap on the garbage can icon in themiddle to delete it.

When deleting an icon, it will be replaced by a + symbol. Tap the + and scroll through the list of app you have access it.

Swipe right to exit this menu and apply the changes.

How to Change Activity Tracking Settings

In this video we will go over the activity tracking settings on the garmin vivoactive 3.

You can view your daily activity by swiping up or down via the widgets and by default the move bar is turned on.

To access the settings, do thefollowing:

1. TAP and HOLD the screen and select SETTINGS | ACTIVTY TRACKING

From here you can do the following:
a. turn on or off activity tracking
b. turn on/off move alert
c. turn on/off goal settings
d. turn on/off auto activity start

SWIPE RIGHT to go back.

How to Customize Widgets

In this video we will look at how to customize the widgets on your garmin vivoactive 3. Widgets are the data screens or functions when you swipe up or down. There are a number of defaults widgets available and this video will show you how to customize, or re-order the loop of the widgets or screens.

I won’t go over how to download widgets from Connect IQ but you can refer to related videos on other Garmin devices, as the process is the same.

1. TAP and HOLD SCREEN to get the MENU
3. Scroll through the list and tap a widget to view its settings.

This is where you will be able to enable or disable the widget and adjust some of the settings.

You can also rearrange or re-order the position of the widget.

4. SWIPE RIGHT to go back to the widget list.
5. SCROLL all the way to the bottom of the list and SELECT ADD WIDGET.

From here you can add a widget or downloaded widgets from the garmin connect.

How to Start An Outdoor Activity

In this video, we will look at how to start outdoor GPS tracked activities with your Garmin vivoactive 3 like running, walking, golf, bike and rowing. There are more outdoor activities, but the process is the same.

Note that outdoor activity profiles will turn on the GPS, while indoor activities won’t turn on the GPS. It’s recommended that you do a few run or walks outside to calibrate the internal sensor next time you want to do a treadmill activity for example.

2. SELECT an outdoor activity profile like RUN WALK BIKE ETC…
3. Go outside and wait for a GPS signal. You can select a workout or adjust the setting for this profile like data screens, auto lap, auto pause, alerts and other settings you can customize.
4. Once you get the GREEN RING to indicate that the GPS is ready, you can PRESS the KEY to start tracking the activity.
5. PRESS the KEY to STOP.
6. You’ll get a summary page and you can select DONE.
7. You can choose to SAVE or DISCARD the activity.

These steps will be the same for the other outdoor profiles.

How to Save and Navigate Waypoints

In this video we will go over how you can save and navigate to a waypoint or coordinates on your garmin vivoactive 3.

This would come in handy to remember your start location when going on a run, or where you parked your car, find a trailhead, and other useful ways while doing outdoor activities.

1. press and hold key button to the controls menu and TAP on the waypoint icon. Tap Save. Note that you can see the coordinates.

2. Choose and icon and tap done.

Now to navigate to your saved locations or waypoints.

3. Press the key button to get to your activity profiles and if you have set it as a favorite, select from the main activity list NAVIGATE.

4. Go to SAVED location and select a location to navigate. Tap go to to start navigating.

5. Wait for the gps and once ready you will be able to use the navigation data screens to get to your location like any other activity.

How to Change Default Watch Face

You can change the watch face on your garmin vivoactive 3 with default options or download from the garmin connect IQ store.

To access these settings, tap and hold the display and select WATCH FACE

Notice the green ring, from here you can swipe up & down to choose any of the other watch faces installed. Note that once you since via garmin connect, any watch faces from connect IQ store will appear afterwards.

You can customize or remove watch faces. Selecting ADD NEW will bring back default watch settings if you want to start fresh after customizing.

But each watch face allows you to apply it or not, customize the look or remove it from the list.

Customize a watch face allows you to adjust these features of the watch face. Simply swipe and tap to apply a change.

– Dial
– Data fields
– Watch hands
– Color Accent

Swipe all the way to the right to apply the changes to the watch face.

Swipe all the way to the left will let you discard any changes you make to a watch face.

How to Change Run Settings

How to setup your vivoactive 3 for your running training plan is pretty easy.

First hit the key button and select your running profile, I’ll assume outdoor running. While it waits for a GPS signal, you can do 2 things: select a workout that you’ve downloaded from garmin connect or adjust the settings for the profile. Once you apply change, it won’t revert until you change it.

What can you change or adjust on the settings?
– customize the data fields and screens based on your preference

– add Alerts. This is where you will go to add run/walk interval training alerts like 10 min run and 1 min walk. You can have alerts for various targets like HR, distance, time, calories, etc…

– setup the lap button or lap distance

– turn on/off auto lap. you can set the distance

-turn on/off auto pause. a very handy feature when you have a lot of lights along your route.

-turn on/off the GPS or add GLOSNASS

– change background

-change accent color

How to Change System Settings

Where to go to change time, language, units on your garmin vivoactive 3? In this video I’ll show you how you can navigate to the system settings

1. Tap and hold the display and navigate to SETTINGS | SYSTEM

From here you can adjust the following settings

*Auto lock
*Change language
*Time format and manual set
*wrist orientation
*enable/disable side swipe
*backlight timeout and brightness
*enable/disable vibrations
*enable/disable do not disturb
*Change units to & from metric
*Data recording
*usb mode
*Restore defaults
*Software Update – when paired with smartphone, it will check everytime you sync for new software. But this is where you go if you happen to delay the update for later.


How to Change Heart Rate Settings

We will take a look how to access the heart rate montior settings on the garmin vivoactive 3 where you can turn on/off the wrist HR and add a strap HS monitor.

Depending where you live where winter running requires a jacket, you tend to put the garmin gps watch over the jacket, so wrist HR can’t go through the layers. In order to do winter running with the vivoactive 3, you can add an additional heart rate sensor. Any ANT+ garmin heart rate monitor will work.

1. tap on display to get to the menu, then SETTINGS | SENSORS & ACCESSORIES | HR SETTINGS. From here you can turn on the wrist HR on/off

1. tap on display to get to the menu, then SETTINGS | SENSORS & ACCESSORIES | ADD NEW

Select HEART RATE and pair the HR strap. It works best when you are wearing the strap.

Outdoors Running

Which GPS is Best for Running, Hiking, Hunting and Geocaching in 2017?


2017 Black Friday and Holiday season had some nice buys for those wanting to upgrade a dedicated GPS unit. I’ll mention low, medium and high price options to consider buying. I talk mostly about Garmin as this is what is dominating the sales charts, store availability at my local big box stores and general word of mouth.

If you are sure what you want, buy now. Otherwise wait until January when new models for spring are announced.


My predictions for 2018

I expect to see not much change in the wearable space for runners. Incremental updates, focusing on the round watch face will dominate. For handhelds, I think we are due for a number of updates as we have not seen any major updates in a few years. Hikers wanting the latest and greatest may want to wait, but there are several good models available and at attractive price drops.



Low cost choice – eTrex 30x or map 64s
The 20 used to be my recommendation but price drop on the 30x is worth a look due to additional sensors. Firmware appears to not have been updated in a while as compare to map 64s.

GPS map 64s has a handful more features and winning design for 10+ years. Think about your fingers if you are going to be outdoors in the winter.

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Medium Cost- fenix 3 HR
Fenix 3 is on the way out to being discontinued but still able to find a good buy. For those wanting a watch for hiking but other activities like trail running this is a good option. Firmware updated as of November 2017. May not use latest connect IQ watch faces or widgets.


High Cost – inReach Explorer+
inReach is in a category of it’s own. You have to decide about

  • Which GPS functions do you really use? waypoint / navigation / tracks
  • Garmin maps
  • Buying a Subscription


Low Cost – Forerunner 35
Small form factor, great for all day use. Contains basic running functions for 10k range casual running and offers daily tracking and smartphone notifications.

Medium Cost – Forerunner 235 or Vivoactive 3
FR235 – runner focused watch, very good at what it’s supposed to do.
Vivoactive 3 – multi activity types that want a stylish option with daily tracking and notifications.

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High Cost – Forerunner 935
Most features for running and biking & triathalons. Serious types that uses strava and considering doing iron man type training, this is what you want.


Low Cost – eTrex 20
Medium Cost – Oregon 650t
High Cost – Montana 680

Geocachers I’ve seen over the years like a different set of features for their GPS units. But these features are common with all devices in this section which ends being important.

  • SD card
  • Load Garmin or custom maps
  • Paperless Geocaching

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Garmin Forerunner 35 How To Tutorials

You’ll find below a list of short video tutorials on the functions and features of the Garmin Forerunner 35. This is a low cost GPS running watch which includes a wrist heart rate sensor. A nice upgrade for those who had the forerunner 10 or 20. This is a small basic device.


Garmin Forerunner 35 User Manual

Click here to download the Garmin Forerunner 35 user manual in PDF format

Tutorial Contents

  • Getting Started / Unboxing / Initial Setup
  • Run Mode
  • Training Indoors (Turn off GPS)
  • Run / Walk Interval Training
  • Virtual Pacer
  • Interval Workouts
  • How to Soft Reset or Restore Default
  • System Settings Overview
  • How to Change Watch Face
  • How to Change User Profile
  • How to turn Off HR Sensor – Winter Running
  • How to View Widget Screens
  • How to Enable Auto Lap
  • How to Enable Auto Pause
  • How to Setup Recurring Alerts


Getting Started / UnBoxing / Initial Setup

Here’s a quick video how you can get started quickly as you unbox your new garmin forerunner 35 running watch. Out of the box, or during unboxing, you will have only the device and USB charging plug.

I recommend you fully charge the device first, use this time to install on your smartphone garmin connect mobile or garmin express for your desktop.

Once fully charged, turn on the device and from here we have the setup wizard. This is where we can specify language, units, clock and basic user profile. I usually skip the user profile since it will get replaced by my profile on garmin connect.

Note that you can skip pairing to your smartphone for later. We will cover this in a later video.

Once you have completed the wizard, go outside and hit the RUN/ENTER button so that the GPS can get a signal (if you selected a activity profile) and update your clock time. If you have the device on your wrist you will be able to monitor your heart rate.

After a few minutes, the watch will beep & vibrate and you will be ready to start your activity.


Run Mode

In this video we will look at the Run mode on your garmin forerunner 35. This is where you can switch from a free or open run activity to a run/walk or interval workout. This is where you can also setup virtual racer when you want to run at a certain pace.

1. Hit the RUN button, then select a activity profile, like run outdoors.

2. Press DOWN button to get into the options, then select RUN MODE

You have a number of modes to choose from


FREE mode is the default option. Whatever you select will remain active until you choose another mode.

Once you’ve selected the run mode, you can hit BACK and start your activity.


Training Indoors

You can turn off the GPS on your Garmin forerunner 35 by selecting one of the activity profiles and going into the run options.

RUN INDOORS, CARDIO and WALK are the profiles where you can turn off the GPS. The speed/distance will be based on the accelerometer which is self calibrating. However you need to do some outdoor activities to calibrate it.

I recommend doing outdoor run/walk for 20-40 min in order to get a good measure.

1. Start by clicking on RUN button, choose RUN INDOOR, CARDIO or WALK

2. Press DOWN for OPTIONS then choose USE INDOORS

You will get confirmation that the GPS will be turned off. and once you start the activity you will see the GPS status icon will be int he off position.

Run/Walk Interval

You can setup interval workouts on the garmin forerunner 35 like speedwork or other type of interval workout while running or biking.

1. Start an activity by selecting an ACTIVITY PROFILE.
2. select RUN MODE then select INTERVALS
3. You can do the workout that was previously created or you can EDIT your own workout.

You have a number of steps to pick from.

If you select INTERVAL, you wil be able to choose either DISTANCE, TIME or OPEN for this step.

Once you have added you workout steps, simply go back and you will be able to start the activity with the intervals specified.


Virtual Pacer

You can setup virtual pacer on your garmin forerunner 35 so that you can help you keep pace on your run activity.

1. Start an ACTIVTY and Choose a Profile.
3. Specify the pace

Once done you can hit BACK and start your activity. You should get an alert whenever you are not on pace, ahead or behind.

1. Click on RUN and select an ACTIVITY PROFILE like RUN OUTDOORS
3. Select VIRTUAL PACER and select the pace you want to set.

Hit BACK and start your activity. You will get alerts when you are not on pace.

Interval Workouts

You can setup interval workouts on the garmin forerunner 35 like speedwork or other type of interval workout while running or biking.

1. Start an activity by selecting an ACTIVITY PROFILE.
2. select RUN MODE then select INTERVALS
3. You can do the workout that was previously created or you can EDIT your own workout.

You have a number of steps to pick from.

If you select INTERVAL, you wil be able to choose either DISTANCE, TIME or OPEN for this step.

Once you have added you workout steps, simply go back and you will be able to start the activity with the intervals specified.


How to Soft Reset or Restore Defaults

In this video we will look at how you can do a soft reset or restart on your garmin forerunner 35. We do this when the device is frozen or behaves badly. Note that doing this might or might not delete your history. So it’s a good idea to sync regularly.

1. simply press & hold the POWER/BACKLIGHT button for at least 15 seconds until the device restarts.

Pressing & holding the button for 1 second should bring up the shut down prompt.

You might want to wipe the device, when selling or letting someone else use your forerunner. This method should put your device back to “out of the box” mode.

2. Select YES

System Settings Overview

In this video, we will look at the System Setting options available on the garmin forerunner 35.

To access the system settings, do the following:

1. PRESS and HOLD BACK button to get to the menu

From here you can find the options to adjust the following items:

time – adjust the time of day

sounds – adjust the beeps and vibration

backlight during activity – sets the backlight settings during an activity

Units – switch between metric & imperial

Software update – if you are paired with your smartphone, every time you sync it will check and download any software updates, otherwise you can use this to check if there are any available.

restore defaults – this will allow you to wipe your device and give it that out of the box feel.

about – gives you information about firmware and other information

How to Change Watch Face

You can change the watch face on the garmin forerunner 35 from the default digital display to an analog watch face. You are not able to download or install any from the connect IQ store.

To switch between watch faces, simply do the following:

1. PRESS and HOLD the BACK button to access the MENU

from here you can choose between digital or analog.



How to Change User Profile

You can enter basic user profile information including your maximum heart rate (max hr) manually on the garmin forerunner 35 or transfer it from your garmin connect profile., including hear rate profile.

You can setup date of birth, gender, age, weight, height and max hr by navigating the following way on your garmin forerunner 35

1. PRESS and HOLD the BACK button to access the menu

from here you can scroll and select the item you want to change or confirm after a sync with garmin connect.

How to Turn off HR Sensor

Part of the heart rate features on the garmin forerunner 35 is the ability to turn the HR sensor on/off and even to broadcast to another garmin device like Virb or Edge.

How to view last 4 hours of HR data
1. Click DOWN button to the HR screen to view the current and resting HR values.
2. PRESS the RUN button to view the heart rate graph from the last 4 hours.

How to turn off the hr sensor
1. From the last screen above, press RUN button again to get to the options
2. Select TURN off. This will turn off the wrist hr sensor. you can still pair with a garmin ant+ HR strap for winter running for example.

How to broadcast your HR to a Virb or Edge
1. From the same screen as above, Select BROADCAST HR to send your HR data to the virb or edge garmin computer.
2. To stop, press RUN button and Select YES at the EXIT BROADCAST prompt.

How to View Widget Screens

When your are not doing a running activity with the garmin forerunner 35, you can scroll throught the various data screens to view information related to activity tracking, and information that is available when you are paired with your smartphone.

The default screen is the watch face, displaying the current time.

Simply press the DOWN button to scroll through the other screens.

Heartrate – view current & resting HR
Activity Tracking Step Count
Calories burned
Intensity exercise minutes
Last Activity summary

and if you were paired with your smartphone you would see these additional screens.

Weather – it will display the same weather info as with your default weather app

Notifications – any notifications that would come up on your smartphone, you would also see it.

How to Enable Auto Lap

You can setup either Auto lap or manual lap key on your garmin forerunner 35.

Laps are very useful for you to analyze your activity based on segments you determine like distance or manually.

To enable Auto lap
1. start an activity profile
2. go to OPTIONS, select LAPS
3. Select AUTO LAP – it will select 1km auto lap. I assume thisis based on units selection. If you want mile laps, you might need to use imperial / statute units.

How to use lap button key
you can use the BACK button as a LAP key.
From the same screen as above, select LAP KEY and TURN ON.

From here this will allow you to manually hit laps. great when you are going hill or speed training.

How to Enable Auto Pause

You can adjust the timer on your garmin forerunner 35 so that it will stop when you are at a red light or other stops along your run.

This is a good feature to have when you run in urban areas and want to figure out your run pace and time before a race. While not perfect, it does help to keep your run pace more accurate than standing at a light waiting to cross.

Simply do the following to enable auto pause.
1. Select a run profile and select OPTIONS, then AUTO PAUSE

Setup Recurring Alerts

When you head out for a long run with your garmin forerunner 35 and only get an alert when you cross a certain time or distance milestone; then recurring alerts is what you need.

This feature justs give you an alert after a time, distance, calories or hr alert.

To setup alerts, do the following:
1. Start a run activity and select OPTIONS, then select ALERTS
2. from here, choose the type of alerts you want to set.

Heart rate alert.

once you choose a an alert type, set the value that you want to see the alert.

for example, say you want to get an alert at 5km, or 30 minutes, or 300 calories, or once your heart rate goes above 160 bpm.




Garmin Connect – How To Create a 10&1 Interval Workout On Your iPhone

In this video I’ll show you how to create a custom workout using the garmin connect smartphone app for Iphone and Android. Make sure you have the September 2017 update for this to work.

Previously we had to create custom workouts for our forerunner via the desktop garmin connect but with the latest update, we can create them on the smartphone and transfer them to our compatible device no problem.

I am going to create a custom workout where I want to have a running activity where I want 10 minute run interval with 1 minute walk, repeated 5 times.



1. Tap on MORE then WORKOUTS

If you had desktop created workouts, you’ll see them listed, but tap on the + on the top right to create a new workout.

2. Select the Activity type, here I will choose RUN.

Garmin Connect will give us a few activity blocks, so I will setup the 10 minute run interval by modifying the pre-loaded block.

3. Change DURATION TYPE to TIME. Note that you can choose other data types, like heart rate training.

4. Change SET DURATION to 10 minutes

Optionally, you can set up an intensity target like speed, pace or heart rate. This is useful when you are doing some very targeted training intervals or programs.

5. Add WALK interval. Same process as step 4 but we will set up 1 min duration.

You can now play around and move the activity or step blocks around. But we need to place our 10 & 1 inside a repeat loop so that we can have a nice workout.

So, we will add a repeat and tap & drag the activities into it so that we can repeat our 10 & 1 up to 5 times. Perfect for a 5k training plan.

Finally, we can clean up any extra steps by tapping on the X icon to remove the step.

6. SAVE, give the workout a name.

From here you can view the workout. Tap on the three dots to edit, duplicate, rename or delete.

To transfer the workout to your garmin device, tap on the icon that looks like a phone with an arrow. From there you will be able to transfer the workout to any of your registered garmin devices.



Thanks to Logan over at WearableZone for the following infographic. Below are some additional notes that I discussed during a session at the Nova Scotia Fitness Instructor Association.

Fitness trackers are useful for knowing just how productive your hikes are. Every day, you can check your calories burned, steps counted, heart rate, and even how much sleep you get at night. But is that information accurate? You can’t cram sophisticated medical equipment into something that fits on your wrist, so fitness trackers use alternative methods. For example, fitness trackers use LED lights to take your pulse instead of an ECG, and they guess whether or not you’re sleeping based on movement.

So maybe they aren’t perfect, but how close do they get?

To answer that question, exercise scientists have researched the accuracy of fitness trackers over the last few years. The results are mixed. For example, almost all fitness trackers are very good at tracking steps. They’re a little less accurate at tracking heart rate, but they’re still pretty close. But when it comes to tracking calories burned, they’re usually far off the mark.

This infographic from WearableZone summarizes some of the most recent research on the subject. Keep it in mind the next time you strap on a Fitbit or Garmin watch to record your expeditions.

Additional Notes


Outdoors Running

Garmin fenix 3 HR Tutorials

You’ll find below your comprehensive guide on using the Garmin fenix 3 HR. You will find short tutorials videos, links to manuals and general impressions of the watch.

General Review – After a few days

I upgraded from the original fenix model and first off; it’s a bit thinner but same diameter. Just like the original fenix, you feel the construction build quality. The display, designed for outdoor usage looks nice and crisp. If you have a recent forerunner 230; imagine that but sharper.

Just like the original fenix, the fenix 3 is jammed packed with features, so after a few days of use, I’m slowly getting used to it. The elevated HR sensor was a concern, but has been tracking fairly well and not bothersome on my wrist.

Tutorials Available

  • How to Update Firmware using Garmin Express
  • How To Find the Main Menu or Lock The Buttons
  • How To Add / Remove Activity Profiles
  • How to Create & Transfer Training Plan
  • Waypoints
  • How to Calibrate Compass
  • Deep Dive – How to Customize the Hike app / Hiking Activity Profile
  • How To Track Back from Previous Activity
  • How To Setup Hotkey – Sync Clock with GPS

Garmin fenix 3 HR Manual

Download the PDF manual from


How To Update Firmware Using Garmin Express

Keeping your fenix 3 HR up to date is important so that bug fixes and improvements to the watch can be applied. Luckily you have two ways how software updates can be delivered: via your smartphone and Garmin Express.

If you have your fenix 3 HR paired with a smartphone and syncing using Garmin Connect, software updates are delivered wirelessly and you see an alert message on your watch to apply the update.

But in this video, we’ll show you how to use Garmin Express to do the same thing. It is a preferred method as other updates appear here such as language files and other chipset updates.

What you need:
1. Install Garmin Express on your computer
2. Plug your fenix 3 HR to your computer via the USB charging cable

Once ready you will need to add the fenix 3 HR to your device list, click ADD A DEVICE, Garmin Express will search for the fenix 3 HR and once discovered, you can log in to your Garmin Connect account or create one. Garmin Connect is where you store your activity data and user profile.

Garmin express will give you prompts that a new updates are available or have been delivered to the device.

UNPLUG the fenix 3 HR from the USB cable and allow it to do a little updating.

To check if your device has applied the software update or if there is one available, you will need to navigate to this menu setting; starting by HOLD UP BUTTON to get to the main menu then SETTINGS | SYSTEM | SOFTWARE UPDATE

PRESS START to install the update. Allow a 5-10 minutes for the update to apply and the device will restart. Allow another 2 min for the device to boot up.

You can verify the software version by navigatin to SETTINGS | SYSTEM | ABOUT


How To Find the Main Menu or Lock The Buttons

Here’s a quick guide on the button layout & functions found on your garmin fenix 3 or fenix 3 HR. Usually when you are excited to get your fenix 3 and forget to read the owners manual.

Top Left: Power Button / Backlight. Press and hold to reveal the menu to lock the buttons and turn off. Obviously press and hold to power on.

Top Right: Start/Enter Button.

Bottom Right: Back /Lap Button.

Bottom Left: Down Button. Press the scroll down a list or the page/widgets. Press and hold to return to the clock page.

Middle Left: Up / Main menu button. Press to scroll up the page / widget. Press and hold to get to the main menu where you can adjust settings and such.


How To Add/Remove Activity Profiles

By pressing the Start button on The fenix 3 and fenix 3 HR, it displays a number of activity profiles and configures the display with appropriate data fields such as run, bike, ski. This also classifies the activity on Garmin Connect. However it does not display walking profile.

In this video, I’ll show you how to add walking profile and how you can add/remove activities.

Press the UP button to get to your main menu and select SETTINGS | APPS

here you’ll see the list of activities. Press START to edit any activity. You can see that you can adjust data screens, alerts and other settings. But select STATUS and adjust that setting to either SHOW or HIDE.


How to Create & Transfer Training Plan

Garmin offers a number of training plans that you can use in your quest to reach that first 5k or half-marathon. You’ll need to access your desktop Garmin Connect account and Garmin Connect mobile smartphone app and your Garmin fenix 3 or fenix 3 HR.

First thing is to go to your Garmin Connect portal on the desktop and go to TRAINING PLANS. Filter the plan you want. Note that some plans have a time based workout or heart rate training workout. You can specify a start or finish date and schedule the plan into your CALENDAR.

Once the Training Plan is in your Garmin Connect Calendar, you can use your Garmin Connect smartphone app to send the workout easily to your device.

Finally, to access the custom workout, simply hold MENU, select TRAINING | MY WORKOUTS. From here you can view, delete or do the workout. The final step is to apply the workout to a running profile such as TRAIL RUN, RUN or RUN INDOORS.


How To Create, Navigate & Manage Waypoints

In this video, I’ll go over the steps in order for you to save a waypoint; navigate a saved waypoint, navigate a manual waypoint and finally how to delete or manage your waypoints on your garmin fenix 3 or fenix 3 hr.

You can do this during a hiking or running activity since you need to access the main menu. Note that if you hit BACK it will stop the navigation.

Note that once you select a waypoint, you need to wait for the device to get a gps signal to determine the distance. Make sure you calibrated the compass so that the direction arrow guides you in the correct direction.

1. PRESS and HOLD the UP button to get to the menu
3. Press DOWN to EDIT name, position, elevation or delete.

1. PRESS and HOLD the UP button to get to the menu
2. Select NAVIGATION | WAYPOINTS. Select a waypoint
3. Select GOTO and then an ACTIVITY PROFILE

1. PRESS and HOLD the UP button to get to the menu
2. Select NAVIGATION | COORDINATES. Enter a GPS position

1. PRESS and HOLD the UP button to get to the menu
3. Select DELETE ALL


How to Calibrate Compass

In this video, we will look at how to calibrate the electronic compass on your garmin fenix 3 or fenix 3 hr and other compass settings, including how to add the widget to your device for quick access.

1. PRESS and HOLD the UP button to get to the menu
3. CALIBRATE | START now rotate the watch in a figure 8 motion while rotating it. You will get either a RETRY or OK message.

Other features or settings for the compass are:
Display – charge formats
North Reference – true, grid or user
Mode – auto, off on

Finally how to add the compass widget to your quick access list where you can press UP or DOWN.
1. PRESS and HOLD the UP button to get to the menu

How to Customize Hike app / Hiking Activity Profile

We take a deep dive into the Hiking profile or app on your Garmin fenix 3 HR or 5. When you first start an activity, you have a number of profiles to choose form like running, biking or as in this video hiking.

Once you select the profile, you wait for the GPS to get a fix on your location and then you are ready to do some hiking.

Here I’ll go over the default screens that are available and show you how you can customize your data screen, pan/zoom the map and adjust the profile or app to your liking.

Some of the other features you can do while in a hike is to do things like saving waypoints, doing a trackback or back to start as part of your navigation options.

You can even rename the app, so for example you may want to customize the data fields specifically for geocaching and label the app as geocaching.

How To Track Back From Previous Activity

Let’s say that you are off for a multi-day hike and you want to use the same track that you came in. Or better yet, doing a snowshoe hike or paddle activity. in this video we will go over how to do this using the Garmin Fenix 3 HR or Fenix 5 using the trackback function.

Simply HOLD the UP button to get to NAVIGATION | ACTIVITIES and select a past activity to navigate. You can view the details and track of the activity, select TRACK BACK.

Now choose an activity profile and after a short delay you should be at the ready state to start the track. At this point, this is like a normal workout. Hit STOP once done and save/discard as necessary.


How To Setup Hotkey And Sync Clock With GPS

The easiest way to set the time on your garmin fenix 3 HR or 5 is to start an activity and allow the device to search for GPS and the time would be set.

With the december 2017 firmware, you now have access to the “sync with gps” function where you can navigate down to SETTINGS | SYSTEM | TIME However, you can assign a hotkey to this function (among others) to either the Start or back button.

This will essentially create a one click shortcut. Simply navigate to SETTINGS | SYSTEM | HOTKEY and select either the HOLD UP or HOLD DOWN action. Then select from the list of functions SYNC TIME WITH GPS.




What To Look For When Buying a Running GPS

What the look for when buying or upgrading a running GPS is getting more complicated than it used to be 5-7 years ago. There are so many options to choose from. I get asked for my thoughts on which specific models to look for, so I decided that this post should be about factors to consider.

Consideration 1 – Outdoors or Indoors?

This one is pretty straight forward; where will you be spending most of your time running? On a treadmill or pavement?

  • Outdoors: Display in sunlight; tone/alerts volume; weather/water resistance; GPS accuracy
  • Indoors: bluetooth capability; smartphone compatibility; calibration accuracy

Consideration 2 – Weather

Do you live in a location where you can wear a t-shirt all year? Snow? rain? If you will be wearing up to 3-4 clothing layers, then using a heart-rate wrist GPS running watch may not be the best choice.

Consideration 3 – Your Level

Are you currently in a Learn to run or Couch to 5k program? An entry level watch will probably be sufficient as you will most likely need an interval timer for 10&1’s.

Do you use tempo, fartlek, Vo2 max and other similar jargon on a daily basis? Then you are probably doing half, full marathons or even triathalons. In which case you probably will look for a higher-end watch to get those advanced features of display fields.

Consideration 4 – Journal & Sharing Habits

Big advantage of GPS watches is the ability to extract the workout into a portal and see your improvements over time. Certain portals like Under Armour, Nike are big on communities and sharing on your social media account.

Consideration 5 – Your Training Program

Are you doing heart-rate training? 10 & 1’s? Do you need to create complex programs based on your fitness program? Depending on the answer will help your steer between entry & high end models.

Putting it All Together

Now that we looked at the considerations, let me generalise and try to make some buckets to help you with some examples. What follows is mainly based on my experience using a handful of these products (that you can find the how-to’s)


These are getting really good at detecting when you are walking, running and sleeping. If you are looking for general activitiy tracking, there is a reason why this is on a lot of people’s wrist. The web & smartphone portal are super easy and helps you track your progress.

Consider the fitbit Charge, fitbit Alta or fitbit Blaze as top choices.



There are a lot to choose from, it boils down to how many checkboxes did you get from the above considerations? The more you got checked off, the high-end you are looking at. At that is because you are probably serious with your training.

Consider the Vivoactive, Forerunner 230, Forerunner 920 and fenix 3



You are serious with your training, probably spent money on a training program, was told to use Strava or doing a custom heart rate training program.

Consider the A360, M400


The GPS runner series is fairly adequate and contains some of the next level features you might move into as you progress.

Consider the TomTom Runner & TomTom Cardio.

Apple Watch

WatchOS 3 really improved the Workout app so that those of you looking at the series 1 Apple Watch will be able to get an experience similar to the above competitors. The Apple Watch series 2 improvements like built-in GPS really puts it on par with the rest of the GPS running watches. The choice is simple, choose Series 2 if you don’t want to carry your phone with you on a run. If you don’t mind and on a budget, get the series 1.

Consider the Apple Watch Series 1 & Apple Watch Series 2


Garmin Forerunner 230 and Forerunner 235 How To Tutorials

Garmin Forerunner 230 or Forerunner 235 Review

the Garmin Forerunner 230 or Forerunner 235 very similar to a Vivoactive but more focused on the runner instead of the general activity type. If you already have a Vivoactive, you probably won’t find the Forerunner 230 an upgrade. The display in sunlight while running is very visible and the five to seven days in between charges is what we’ve come to expect with a Forerunner.

I’m not covering the wrist heart rate monitor found only on the forerunner 235. I’ve focused on common features found on both models.


Garmin Forerunner 230 or Forerunner 235 Manual

Grab the manual in PDF format from Garmin.


You’ll find on this page a collection of short video tutorials on how to use your Garmin Forerunner 230/235 (minus wrist HR functions).

  • How to Restart or Reset
  • How to Pair with Smartphone (iPhone)
  • How to Start a Run
  • How To Turn on/off Activity Tracking or Move Alert
  • How to Turn GPS Off (Treadmill Run)
  • How to Setup 10 and 1 Interval Workouts
  • How To Setup Custom Workouts
  • How To Setup Heart Rate Strap
  • How To Use Music Controls
  • How To Change User Profile and Heart Rate Zones
  • How To Change Activity Profiles
  • How To Delete Activity History
  • How To Customize Data Screen
  • How To Setup Pace or Heart Rate Alerts
  • How To Update Software
  • How To Change System Settings Like Miles to Kilometers
  • Weather Forecast When Paired to Smartphone
  • How to Install a Watch Face
  • How to Install a Connect IQ app
  • How to setup a HIIT or Crossfit Custom Workout
  • How to lock the buttons


Fitbit Alta – How To Tutorials

The fitbit Alta is a more stylish option than the fitbit Charge, not only allowing you to change wrsit band but provides the usual amount of features you’d expect from a daily fitness tracker. In addition to the daily tracking, silent alarms & clock – you have the additional features such as: Reminder To Move; SmartTrack; Call, Text & Calendar Alert Notifications; Sleep Tracking & Tap Display. That’s right, there are no button with this unit.

I’ve been able to squeeze out 7 days of battery life under normal desk job, walking dog, going to the gym 3 times a week & chasing after a toddler lifestyle. You can use your smartphone and unleash the freedom of the fitbit Connect app to sync your data and view the information under it’s very effective dashboards.


On this page, you will find our usual assortment of short video how-to tutorials on how to get familiar with your fitbit Alta fitness tracker.

  • How to Setup to a Computer
  • How to Setup Using an iPhone or smartphone
  • How to Reboot or Restart
  • Sleep Tracking Features
  • How To Setup Silent Alarms
  • How To Adjust Activity Goal – Reminder To Move
  • How To Adjust Clock Face and Orientation


Download the fitbit Alta manual.

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