For this weeks blog we have a set of tips to help you extend the battery life of your Garmin watch to last the full distance of an ironman.  This set of tips is not just those crushing a sub ten hour time but those creeping in ahead of cut-off too.  We hope this gives you one less thing to worry about with tips on how to set up your Garmin triathlon watch for an Ironman distance race. 

Garmin Triathlon Watch for Ironman

Garmin Triathlon Watch for Ironman

The tips below work for anyone with the Garmin 920XT, 935XT or the most recent addition the 945XT watch.  

Step by step tips to set up your Garmin watch

Setting up Garmin 920XT watch for Ironman

Setting up Garmin 920XT watch for ironman

  1. Make sure you fully charge it the night before first!  When approaching the start line you need the battery in your Garmin watch to be as close to 100% as possible.  
  2. Make sure you have the most up to date version of the software installed.  Garmin releases new firmware upgrades to their multi-sport watches frequently.  These updates are a combination of new features, bug fixes and battery optimisation routines.  You need to have the latest version running to benefit from this.  This does mean connecting up to your computer which is not without effort but worth it.  
  3. Use standard clockface.  On the Garmin app store you can select an updated clockface presenting a wealth of additional data.  These complex watch screen displays increase the drain on your battery and should be avoided. 
  4. Turn off bluetooth connectivity while you are racing.  This will mean that you cannot connect to any heart rate, cadence, speed or power meters during the race but is vital to help preserve battery life.  
  5. Turn off wi-fi connectivity.  The Garmin multi-sport watches can connect through wi-fi but with this left on it will be roaming looking for wi-fi connection points further leaking battery power while you race.  
  6. Make sure you aren’t connected to any power meter, cadence or speed sensors.  If you have turned off bluetooth you should have already taken care of this but it is always worth double checking the connectivity state of your device.
  7. Forget about the heart rate monitor unless you really need it for pacing.  Same again.  Switch off bluetooth and forget about the ancillary devices.  
  8. Switch glonass off.  Glonass is an alternative to GPS and if have GPS enabled it is providing plenty of accurate position data for racing and tracking speed.  Glonass is a secondary service that further uses battery power.  
  9. Select smart recording intervals.  You can determine the frequency of recording intervals and by selecting more of an infrequent interval you are allowing your watch to work in the background saving power.  
  10. Turn off the backlight.  Unless you are running in darkness the backlight is not a feature you will need and you will be able to see the details with native lighting.  
  11. Turn off vibration.  The motion of vibration is battery hungry so if you are getting split information updates with vibrate alerts you are frequently draining the battery.  
  12. Set each discipline for single screen only so not scrolling between stats.  With up to 5 screens available with rotating sequence you are better off with a single screen per discipline to minimise the complexity of information your Garmin watch is having to render.  
  13. Only switch it on for racing as you head for the start.  Leave your watch off until you are fully set up in transition and heading for the start giving your Garmin triathlon watch as much chance to last the full ironman distance.
Garmin Forerunner 920XT watch

Garmin Forerunner 920XT watch

Get your entries in for Ironman and use our blog for how to set up your Garmin watch for an Ironman distance race. Check out our full review of the Garmin Forerunner 920XT watch and read how it is the perfect aid for triathletes.

Setting up Garmin watch for Ironman Infographic


Billy Ferguson

Founder of Trivelo

7 Comments

submitbook · 10/06/2019 at 8:20 pm

I read this post completely regarding the comparison
of hottest and previous technologies, it’s remarkable article.

best triathlon watch · 19/06/2019 at 7:06 am

When I originally commented I clicked the
“Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each
time a comment is added I get three emails with the same
comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
Appreciate it!

    admin · 19/06/2019 at 10:15 am

    Will look into this for you and apologies for any inconvenience

Ara Robert · 15/09/2019 at 4:20 am

Howdy! This is my first visit to your triathlon blog! Thanks for sharing this with some simple to follow steps on setting up my Garmin watch. Been battling with this for some time and makes lots of sense.

Drema Marthaler · 05/11/2019 at 7:32 am

Thanks for sharing the details on this. Been battling with this on my watch for years.

Kerstin Torrez · 21/11/2019 at 10:11 am

If you switch off all connectivity you lose information though on the bike. Not sure makes sense to me as rely on the information when riding.

Garmin 920XT watch product review - Trivelo Triathlon Blog · 27/06/2019 at 12:37 pm

[…] distance events for the watch if your looking to run it for 12 hours plus solidly.  For tips on setting up your Garmin watch for an ironman check out our blog on […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *