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Hey Garmin, Fenix 6 Virtual Run activity needs some work

I feel a little bad complaining about a “found feature”, as in I didn’t buy the Fenix 6 because of Virtual Run support, and until it was there, didn’t even know it was coming. With that out of the way, it’s a neat thing, but WOW does it need some work.

  1. Multi-sport activity: Yesterday was leg/back day, with a 10 minute run to warm up before hitting the heavy. So in preparation, I created a multi-sport activity with Virtual Run and Strength workouts. The watch lets me do it, so all good there, but when starting up it doesn’t show the “Start Zwift...” message or go into sensor broadcast mode. Which means it doesn’t work. Obviously multi-sport activities are a convenience, so easy to work around. Do a Virtual Run, then do a Strength. No problem… But…
  2. Pace: The Zero Runner calculated my ending pace ~8:40 (whoops, should have taken a photo). But according to Strava, the pace was 16:46, and either 17:41 (Zwift) or 17:42 (watch) when Garmin did the math. Hard to say which is correct, exactly, but I’ve been running long enough to know it was much closer to 8:40, than something in a drunken-stumble-walk range. It’s possible that if I was on a treadmill, the Fenix 6 would have handled the pace better, but that’s just a guess. I’m not sure how it detects pace, and it doesn’t need to be perfect, but it should be better.
  3. Duplicates: This is a tough one, but seeing as how you have to use the watch as a Run Speed sensor when using Zwift Running, and you trigger that by starting a Virtual Run, maybe the Fenix 6 shouldn’t also record that same activity? I guess it’s possible that someone with a Garmin device, and Zwift, wouldn’t sync the two, but that has to be an outlier. Strava does activity collision detection if both have the same (approximately) GPS/time data, so maybe Garmin could implement something like that here. In the meantime, it’s annoying that I have to delete one of the activities to keep everything accurate.

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Tom C
Tom C
4 months ago

Heh, I am one of the outliers who doesn’t sync Zwift and Garmin – Zwift is for distraction while working out, but Garmin Connect is for the serious data analysis. However, I have a couple of beefs with Virtual Run too: (1) can’t enable GPS – which is a shame, because I could use the FR 945 to replace my NPE CABLE otherwise (yes, I run outside while on Zwift, and would like to have the GPS track in Garmin Connect), and (2) it doesn’t use the run it records towards VO2 max calculations, even though it counts towards exercise… Read more »

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