Creating a Custom Workout with Garmin Connect

One of the most useful functions of a Garmin device is the ability to create custom workouts that the watch can guide you through. Not all Garmins have this capability so you should review the specs of your device to see if your device supports this. I have used this function with a 910, 920, and 230. You can create a workout on the device directly but I have found that using Garmin Connect online makes it MUCH easier.

In Garmin Connect, open the Workouts menu item.

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From there you will want to create a new workout. You can choose the type of workout. I mostly make run workouts but I have made a bike one.

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Once in the new workout, you can choose the type of interval, the duration of the interval (I often use Lap Button Press for my warm up and cool downs just so I can start and stop the workout when I am ready), you can add more steps, or add repeats (much easier than adding them over and over again)

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I have added a set of repeats that will be 6 X 0.25 miles with 2:00 min rest. If you select the “Add More…” function you can specify a goal pace or HR zone for the interval. Be sure to name your workout.

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When you are done you must SAVE the workout and then you can send it to a device.

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If you have more than one device you must choose which device to send it to.

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Next time your device syncs, it SHOULD pick up the new workout. This can be a bit clunky at times. You may have better luck sending it to your device through your phone if you use Garmin Connect Mobile. Give yourself some time to play with this step.

Once it has synced to your device you should be able to find it in a Training menu under Workouts. This will vary by device as well. Once you locate the workout you just have to start it! If your last interval called for pressing the lap button to end it, be sure to do that to hear your finishing music!

Happy training!


  1. Hi, thanks for the advice. I’m unable to send my workouts to my Garmin 230 though 😦

    On my Mac I get the following message when I click on send to my Garmin 230:

    —-There is no application set to open the URL connectagent://launch?deviceId=3915094214—-

    You mention that this might be a problem and suggest a workaround –> “You may have better luck sending it to your device through your phone if you use Garmin Connect Mobile”.

    How do we send it to our phone? I only have the option of sending to the device. Thank you!

    1. If you can successfully save it in your Garmin Connect account online then you should be able to find it on your Garmin Connect Mobile app on your phone. Under the “More” menu at the bottom you can find Workouts. From there you can send it to your device. Hope this helps!

  2. I love this feature of being able to create (complicated) custom workouts that include varying intervals, etc. What I can’t figure out is if there is a way to view my stats after the workout to see how I did in various portions (i.e. running 800m at RP, 400m recover – then 1000m RP, 400m recovery — I’d like to see my performance in the 800 and 1000m). But I only see it broken out in standard ways, not according to my custom workout. Possible?

    1. It should be in the splits/laps for he activity. You may need to turn off the auto lap feature while you are running a workout. On my newer watches the auto lap will override the laps/splits in a workout. Lastly, are you looking at Strava or Garmin Connect? Strava may not show you the individual splits.

      1. Just remember if your intervals are longer than your autolap setting it MAY capture that. I was doing 30 minute intervals for a progression run this weekend and it has 1 mile laps captured as well!

  3. I realize this is an old topic, but I have a question I can’t find an answer to: Can you create a workout that has a run/walk interval and instead of specifying a number of repeats, specify a distance? For example, warm up; run 1min/walk 1 min for 3 miles; cool down. Thanks for any insight you can give.

    1. The watch isn’t capable of that but I totally get what you are asking for. Here is a way you could kind of do it. In the Activity Settings on your watch set up a run/walk alert with the intervals you are looking for. Turn off your autolap function. Start your activity and press the lap button when you are done warming up. That will reset the lap so it can measure your 3 mile distance you are looking for. All the while the run walk alerts will be running. When you are done with three miles, press the lap button and start your cool down. You will need to be looking at a screen for lap distance for this to work. It isn’t perfect but it kind of gives you what you want. I have posts on this blog for both setting up screens and alerts. Hope this helps!

      1. This was really helpful, thanks so much! At the time of my comment I did not have a watch in hand, but I’ve now been testing the FR35 and FR630 for about a week. Your suggestion works great on both watches, and I don’t even have to turn off the autolap, which surprised me. Pressing the lap button at the end of my warm up resets the lap, and then the watch automatically counts my 1-mile laps starting at that point. For my timed workouts, I set a time alert for 33 minutes (3 min warm-up, 30 min run/walk) so I know when to stop running without having to watch elapsed time. This works great on the FR630 but on the FR35 it only allows time to be set in 5 min increments (so 30 or 35 min, no in-between). It’s a little trickier for my longer workout, which is measured in distance as in my original comment: warm up 3 min, run 4 (or 5, or 6) miles. I kind of guess at how far I will walk in my warm up based on my last workout, say .25 mile, and then set an alert for the watch to buzz me in 4.25 miles. Of course if I remember to press the lap button when I start running, I’d know the miles by the lap number (but sometimes it’s nice to turn off my brain).

        I’ve experimented with setting up custom workouts as you outlined, but since I’m not doing anything more complicated than what I already described (and the custom workout doesn’t address my issue), it doesn’t really add much for me. Maybe they’ll add that functionality (run for x-distance) in the future.

        I’ve also tried the onboard Interval Training feature. That works fine on both watches, but since I’m still pressing the lap button at the end of the warm-up, it’s not much different from just using the Run/Walk feature in the method described above. Also I find the short tone that signals the run/walk in Interval Training mode is not as distinguishable as the longer “musical” tone used to signal the run/walk in Run/Walk mode, so it’s easy to miss in a noisy environment. I wonder why they used a different tone in each of these modes?

        I’m going to search your blog for other notes/tips about the Garmin watches as I try to decide between these two units (or explore a different option if I find one). Thanks again!

  4. Hi thanks a lot, great post!
    I’ve been having issues with pausing / resuming a custom workout.
    After resuming, it seems the watch loses track of the current steps / remaining steps and resumes a a “normal run” mode.
    i.e: It shows for example elapsed time, instead of remaining time, and doesn’t alert me when workout gets finished etc..

    Did you notice any similar behavior ?
    It’s particularly bothering because at times pause button get inadvertently triggered and as a result I lose track of the custom workout.

    Thanks !

  5. Thanks for sharing!
    Does anyone know if it is possible to select Power zones instead of heart rate as intensity?

  6. Thanks for sharing! I’m thinking of using this to capture my duathlon, including transitions. It would be much easier to do this, and hit the lap button, then trying to reset the watch between events. It would also capture my transition times, which would be nice to have. I guess my overall pace will be messy. I wish I could change the category to run for the one segment.

    1. Depending on what watch you have you can set up activities like a duathlon to capture multi-sport activities. Otherwise you can totally just set up each step as press-lap step for sure!

  7. Hello, Thank you for your post but I am still trying to figure this out. Iwant to make a custom workout in garmin live. A real custom workout, thats the reason why I bought a 600€ watch…

    In Garmin Connect, I go to ‘Training’ and then ‘Workouts’. Then I have to select a workout type… I see different types of workout (Run, Swim, Bike, Custom,…) When II choose an excersise, “Run” of “Strength training” and create a workout I can then edit the workout. But if I edit the steps, if I chose Run I can choose “Warm-up”,”Run”,”Recover” and then I can “select a duration” “HR zone” and select an intensity target. But if I chose “Strength training” I can then edit the steps in “Workout” and then I have a list of excercises such as “biceps curls”, clean and jerks…
    In my training I would like to add steps for running for 400m and then a step workout clean and jerk and then maybe a step workout with aerobic conditioning. How can I do that? How can I customize the list of workouts? How can I customize the list of steps?….

    PLease help,
    Thank you so much.
    Kind regards.

    1. I have only used this for swim/bike/run, never the strength workout. From what I can tell when working with this you can’t combine the types. So no running with biceps curls. This looks like a limitation to the workout creator that is most likely limited by the activity type Garmin will use when it records the workout on the device. You could suggest it as a future feature in the Garmin Forums. Sorry for the delayed response!

  8. Thanks for the instructions – simple and quick.
    There is one annoying issue with Garmin Connect with editing existing workouts though – maybe you know if there is a work-around?
    Let say you have created a complicated workout (many steps, different times, hart zones, etc).
    Saved, uploaded, and… oops – wrong workout type (it is “custom” and should be “cardio”)
    Could find any way to change it..? Is there any? Except creating all the workout from scratch?

    1. Unfortunately I see no way to edit the type after you have saved it. I am guessing that the type of workout drives the options you get when creating it therefore you can’t change it. Bummer!

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