Peter’s (Race) Pacer 39



Summary

Peter’s (Race) Pacer is a Garmin Connect IQ Data Field which resolves 2 issues for me when I’m running a race:
  • Before the race starts I want to see the current time of the day (well actually I want to see, how long till the race starts?)
  • When I pace races it used to be doing mental math all the way, now this is no longer necessary as you can fully depend on the average pace/speed, because this data field allows to correct the distance at the kilometer / mile marker by simply pressing the LAP button
While the data field’s primary intent is to race races, you can also use it to run laps around the track, just set the lap distance to 400 meters and press the lap button as you cross the line!…

Installation / Configuration

  • Install the Data Field on your watch by clicking download in the Connect IQ store
  • Customize the data field in the Android App or Garmin Express 
    • Manage Apps
    • Select Peter’s (Race) Pacer
    • Click on the button “…”
    • Configure the settings and hit ok.
  • Configure your watch to use the data field:
    • On the clock face click “Start button”
    • Choose the Activity Profile for which you wish to install this data field for (eg Running)
    • Press the down button
    • Choose Activity Settings
    • Choose Data Screens
    • Choose “Screen 1” (or another screen)
    • Layout: click Start button and click the down button until the layout shows only 1 field 
    • When 1 field is selected press the back button
    • Choose field 1 (and click start button)
    • Choose “Connect IQ”
    • Select “Peter’s (Race) Pacer” from the list (hit start button)
    • All done, hit back, back, back, back…


Usage

(All functionality of this datafield uses about 22k, which is way too much for the older Connect IQ devices (only have 16k memory there). To be able to run the field on older devices I’ve stripped items marked with (*cIQ2) from those devices to be able to run it within the 16k memory limit.)


Before starting the race an initial data screen is shown (*cIQ2), this screen shows you the following data:
  • Time of the day
  • Current heart rate (+ zone indication)
  • Configured Settings Summary (Change these settings in Garmin Express or in the Garmin Connect Android App)
    • Target Pace / Target Speed / Target Finish Time 
    • Target Distance: 5k, 10k, 10 miles, half marathon, marathon or custom distance
    • Lap Size in meter
      • 1 k = 1000 meter
      • 1 mile = 1609.304 meter
      • typical length of track = 400 meter
  • Battery Percentage Remaining
  • Gps Signal Strength Indication



When pressing the START button the race timer will start and a new data screen will be shown, this data screen will show you the following information: 
  • top middle configurable field: current heart rate / average pace / average speed / perfect pace / perfect speed
  • left configurable field: average pace / average speed / current heart rate / perfect speed / perfect pace
  • middle configurable field: speed, smooth speed (5s average), smooth speed (10s average), pace, smooth pace (5s average), smooth pace (10s average)
  • time ahead / behind
  • race timer
  • (adjusted) distance covered (see adjusting distance explanation below)
  • estimated time of arrival
Perfect Pace / Perfect Speed
This field recalculates as you run and gives you the pace you need to run to arrive at the finish with 0 seconds behind / ahead (eg if you run a 10k race and want to arrive in 1 hour (avg pace=6:00min/km) and currently you’re at the 7k point in 41:30, which means you’re 30 seconds ahead, then the perfect pace will show the value 6:10 (min/km) as you can run the next 3k 10 seconds slower to still get in time at the finish line

Adjusting the race distance

In a race when you’re next to the race marker press the LAP button, the distance will now be corrected to the nearest lap position (eg 5.08 will correct to 5, 8.8 will correct to 9, …). After pressing the lap button the distance will be adjusted and all averages will be recalculated against this new distance figure.

When you miss a lap marker don’t worry: do not press LAP and go for the next lap marker. 

When you press the LAP marker by mistake you can undo the (last) correction by pressing the LAP button again (within a 30 second window)

Note: Adjusting the distance by pressing the LAP button has no influence on the recorded distance. (When you come home and look on Garmin Connect the distance will be the recorded GPS distance). If you turned off auto-lap you will see where you pressed the lap button and which mile/kilometer marker corresponded with which GPS distance.

Recommendations

  • Test the data field on a training session so you’re used to the layout.
  • Have a second screen with a native data field configuration as a precaution.

Donations

The data field is fully functional without donating. Donations are optional but encouraged from from within the data field with a small encouragement text. If you find Peter’s (Race) Pacer useful and/or Peter’s (Race) Pacer helps you to achieve your goal you can show your appreciation by donating an amount (suggested donation: 5 euro) on my PayPal account

After donation you will receive a donation key on your paypal email address which which will remove the “Like it? Donate!” message from the data field. (this is a manual process, but normally you should receive a key within 24 hours).

Feedback

Did you like this article?Questions?
  • Post in the comments section below!

39 thoughts on “Peter’s (Race) Pacer

  1. Reply Frank Vieren Mar 8,2017 12:34

    Great feature, but nevertheless due to GPS error I was mislead and almost missed my new PB on my latest marathon race.

  2. Reply Frank Vieren Mar 8,2017 12:36

    PS, it was not your implementation I used 🙁

  3. Reply Peter Mar 8,2017 12:53

    That’s why Peter’s (Race) Pacer is so great, it takes GPS errors completely out of the equation as you can sync your watch with the race distance at each mile/kilometer marker 🙂

  4. Reply John Maton May 30,2017 06:14

    Excellent. The synchronisation with KM markers is just what I had been looking for. Would love to donate, but PayPal requires that I set up an account with them – something that I will not do. Any other way to donate?

  5. Reply Peter May 30,2017 07:16

    hi John, glad you like my app!
    Alan had a while ago a similar question, I made this page for him http://starttorun.info/about/ If you use this donation button you don’t need to create an account and you can directly use your credit card or visa.

  6. Reply Espen Jun 14,2017 10:40

    Thank you! This is what ive been looking for! I will test it today and during 10K race this weekend and donate.
    I usually do it the “manual” way, Put datafield with LAPS, AVERAGE LAP and manual lap every KM. Then AVERAGE LAP will give me correct pace but I still need to calculate how far im behind etc.

    I have a idea for a NEW app, and it should be pretty easy to build based on Peters Race Pacer.

    Its a app for indoor track running (or running some other place you cant use GPS)

    Example: In Oslo, Norway, we have a indoor track which is 546meters one lap.

    Settings for the app should be like “How long is the track?”

    Every time you run a track and press LAP it should calculate distance. DISNTACE = DISTANCE + 546m, or just like 546m * LAPS.

    And one field for last pace. If you run a round in 2:11 it will be 4:00 pace (2:11 for 546meters = 4:00 pace). This is harder for people to calculate on the fly.

    This app would also be pretty usefull for outdoor track running, Since the watch always know that a LAP press = 400m.

    So the app is just like Petes Pacer WITHOUT GPS =)

    Just an idea for a new app! =)

    • Reply Peter Jun 14,2017 13:54

      added it to my todo list, no promises though as I can’t keep up: there’s more inflow than outflow 🙂

      good luck with your upcoming race. 😉

  7. Reply Tomas Jun 19,2017 10:04

    Peter’s (Race) Pacer totally saved me on the Copenhagen Marathon.

    During the last couple of training runs prior to the race, my Fenix 5x had an issue with the GPS and repeatedly got both pace and distance (and GPS trace) wrong. So on race day I didn’t trust the expensive watch. But with Peter’s (race) Pacer I knew that I could get a reliable lap time every official 1km, and that allowed me to pace myself successfully and beat my PR by over 10 minutes.

    Brilliant tool!

  8. Reply Harald Jul 25,2017 06:37

    Hi Peter, thanks for implementing the idea of readjusting the distance run by pressing a button at the distance markers. I suggested this idea to Garmin about 2 years ago, with no reaction whatsoever. I have no ConnectIQ capable watch yet (“only” a FR620) but if I ever will, this app will be mine!

    I also own a FR610 with a footpod, and followed fellrnr’s recommendation to calibrate the footpod, but still found it less accurate than the GPS distance measurement (pace round value).

    Honestly, I sometimes do not believe the accuracy of the mile markers… I’ve seen GPS vs. mile markers off by more than 300 meters during a marathon, and yet the overall distance was accurate by less than than in the finish. Hmmm…

    • Reply Peter Jul 25,2017 07:09

      hi Harald,
      I couldn’t miss the app anymore. 🙂
      I don’t know how I raced all those years before I wrote the app, well I do, it was doing a lot of math along the way… all way long. 🙂

      • Reply Harald Jul 26,2017 06:37

        By the way do you also adjust the pace reading according to the adjusted distance measurement? Say, if you hit the lap button after 950 meters (for a km), is the pace (average) corrected by -5%? If you do this again and again during a long run, the readjusted pace average should be quite precise, without having to calibrate a footpod or buying an expensive Stryd. Alternatively, since the app calculates the corrected distance anyway, the correction factor is a simple division. Both makes sense – for example if you run the NYCM, you change from Brooklyn which is quite open and GPS friendly, to downtown Manhattan, where GPS coverage isn’t so good and you tend to cut buildings 😉

        The screen could still display the GPS pace in one of the data fields if one so wishes.

        • Reply Peter Jul 26,2017 06:50

          all data (including pace, avg pace, eta, etc…) is recalculated on the fly based on the adjusted distance.

          • Reply Harald Jul 31,2017 09:57

            BTW any plans to integrate / display pace from footpod, like the “Foot Pod Pace” data field? Momentary pace from footpod plus distance correction by mile marker, that would be killer!

  9. Reply Peter Jul 31,2017 10:58

    For direct ant connections i don’t have enough memory left but if you pair the footpod with your watch it should already use that as the source for speed.

  10. Reply raz Aug 4,2017 14:05

    great app i just donated !!

    Thx

  11. Reply Harald Aug 12,2017 16:22

    Hi Peter, it’s me again. I just ran a 10k race (Straßenlauf Dachau, https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1911456331) and the data field helped me control my pace just fine – but.

    I had set auto lap to on, which may have confused the data field. I’ll switch it off next time. I must have missed this somewhere in the description. I used the Garmin footpod for instant pace, and the pace field was off by circa +10 sec all the time (between 3:55 and 4:10 min/km, where my overall average was 4:15). Instant pace was useless, but the “behind/ahead” field saved the race. Question: was the pace recalculation confused by auto lap? In some cases, auto lap counted a lap about 2 seconds before a km mark…

    Anyway: Great work, Peter, and I’ll donate in a minute. (y)

    • Reply Peter Aug 12,2017 18:34

      Hi harald,

      As long as the auto lapsize is equal to the lapsize set in the settings this should give no problem (on my own races I also set autolap on).
      I don’t influence the current pace, I just take over whatever value the connect iq framework passes on to me. But I’m sure you noticed that I offer other options for pace: avg pace, lap pace, smoothened pace, perhaps one of those will suit you better, the first two take the adjusted distance into account.
      Behind/Ahead field is also based on the adjusted distance, the behind/ahead field is the field I look at the most when I race and is one of the reasons I created the race pacer spinoff which I’ve named Peter’s Ahead Timer ( https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/5751dbc6-40ab-425a-8ca4-e3afdd10eddf ).
      … I know it’s a poorly chosen name (I couldn’t think of something better 🙂 )

  12. Reply John Evers Aug 30,2017 21:39

    Question: my aim is to run 150 km during a 24 hour run. Will this help me? Also my laps will be 934.8 meters. I guess that is not going to help?

    • Reply Peter Aug 31,2017 04:16

      Hi John,
      You can set the target distance to 150k (150000 meters) and target finish time to 24:00:00, then you should see at any point in the race in both ETA and ahead/behind time how you’re holding up against the schedule (of course during a long race like that you’ll have eating and hygiene breaks so you’ll need to build up a little bit of ahead time to cater for that)

      The lap size can not be a float value in Peter’s (Race) Pacer so instead of 934.8 you would have to set it to 935 meter, so that’ll give about 400 meter of difference at the end of the day, but the distance will be more correct than what GPS distance can give you. If you account this for in your target distance (set it a little bit higher) the ahead/behind time should be able to guide you to your goal.

      I would recommend to turn autolap off and to manual lap only when you start a new lap (you don’t have to do this each lap).

      Either way try the field out before race day to train with it and good luck with your race.

      Cheers,
      Peter

  13. Reply John Evers Aug 31,2017 14:39

    Great Instructions.

    Just some questions as I did a demo “run” (sitting behind my desk).
    1) I managed to install and used 09:35 min/km (there was no field for target finish time…).
    Right?

    2) Also, I faked a run and of course as I was just sitting behind my desk I was “behind” immediately. So I cheated and pressed the lap (935 m) button a few times. But I suppose your app did not take it as it was outside any reasonable margin since I had not moved?

    3) Last question: I will test it and so far it looks good, but what about 45+ runners with poor reading sight like me? Any chance to have an app with less fields, e.g. just “behind” or “a

  14. Reply John Evers Aug 31,2017 14:47

    3b) e.g. just “behind” or “ETA”. Extra beers in exchange…

    4) I know I should read the manual but I am lazy… Let’s say Garmin believes I ran 930 meters, but the lap really was 935 and I lapped manually. Does this mean the values of Garmin will be “corrected” or does you App distance then deviate from Garmin?

  15. Reply John Evers Aug 31,2017 18:10

    Did another run. So some questions answered I guess:
    1) I assume so.
    2) I tested this and when I was close to a lap it would the difference, if I was far off it would not. That is according to design I assume.
    3) ?
    4) I believe not as the test showed a discrepancy as per design I assume.

  16. Reply John Evers Aug 31,2017 18:17

    By the way…I have been looking for this functionality (i.e. combination of ETA, lap adjustment, behind/ahead) for years. Perfect if you run long distances that consist out of many laps.

  17. Reply Peter Aug 31,2017 19:00

    Hi John

    The lap button corrects to the nearest distance so if your lap size is 935 and you only did a few meters it will always correct downwards (since you’re not over halfway yet)

    An app for people with poor reading eye sight and the same pacer functionality? I already got you covered, I’m running way behind on documentation, but I already made such app, I’ve named it “Peter’s (Hi Vis) Pacer”. This app can be found here: https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/5751dbc6-40ab-425a-8ca4-e3afdd10eddf

    When you press the lap button the distance in Peter’s (Race) Pacer is corrected, but this will not affect the real gps distance you have covered. The distance reported after the fact will always be the gps distance, but during running you see the adjusted distance. (In your example the gps distance will remain 930m, while the data field will report 935m).

    Cheers,
    Peter.

  18. Reply Hans-Dieter Sep 9,2017 21:26

    Hi!

    Today I bought an FR935 and tried to install Peter´s (Race) Pacer – unfortunately unsuccessfully.
    On the FR935 it´s software/firmware version 5.4 and Garmin Express says that it´s the newest version & everything is up to date.
    However, when trying to install the data fields/app Peter´s (Race) Pacer (version 4.1) it get this message: This app requires an update of your Forerunner 935. Please use Garmin Express to update your Forerunner 935.
    -> Garmin Express states that all is updated.
    What shall I do?
    Hans-Dieter

    • Reply Peter Sep 9,2017 21:31

      hi Hans,
      This is a problem with Garmin Connect Mobile. Things that help to solve this issue (try them in this order):
      – shut down your fr935 (long press power button) and start it up again
      – unpair your mobile device and do the pairing again
      – if the above still didn’t help then the final option is to do a factory reset of your device (via the system menu) (this will wipe all user settings from the device so be sure to sync your activities to garmin connect first)
      Cheers,
      Peter.

  19. Reply Marty Oct 5,2017 03:47

    Hi Peter,

    Awesome app. Few quick questions;

    1) I have a Fenix 3 HR. I prefer to use the “data field” rather than the “app”, because it gives me access to other data fields. Am I correct in assuming the only things missing compared to the “app” (because the Fenix 3 HR has low memory) is the pre-race screen, and the ability to write the historical data to the FIT file?

    2) Any plans to implement negative splits in the future? Example is “Race Pacer”. Should be relatively straight forward to implement; just apply a linear factor to the pace target based on position through total race distance.

    3) What happens if my watch gets a massive spike and is effectively 600m out (with auto lap set to 1.0km). Let’s say true total distance is 1km, but Garmin recorded total distance is 1.6km. When I press “lap” button, will your app round up to 2km? If so, is there anyway to fix this? (hopefully such a large GPS spike never occurs).

    • Reply Peter Oct 5,2017 10:00

      Hi Marty,

      Thanks!

      1/ I understand, I prefer the data field version myself too. Because the data field on CIQ1.x only has 16k memory I can not include all features there, but I’ve included the most important ones: all essential features are in there. The features not available in the CIQ1.x data field version are: pre-race screen, record ahead time to the FIT file, the ability to specify the target finish time or target speed (you have to specify the target as target pace), less data field options: no cadence, power, lap speed, lap time.

      2/ Yes, but it will be a different app.

      3/ The lap button rounds off to the nearest lap size multiple, so 1.6 would round to 2k. I’ve never experienced such a situation as you describe but if such a situation would present itself the only way to fix it would be to fix it gradually in the coming kilometers, eg wait till 2.4k and push the button and then at the 3k point marker correct the distance again.

      Cheers,
      Peter.

  20. Reply Gareth Oct 7,2017 08:43

    Hi Peter

    I’ve just received a new 230 and am still quite unfamiliar with it.
    However, I realised to my disappointment that Garmin did not include the Virtual Trainer that I loved from my previous 620.
    Your appears to fix this.
    However, it appears the 230 lacks the initial screen (presumably due to lack of memory), however I cannot see a way of configuring the distance and desired race pace. Can you add some more detail?

    Regards
    Gareth

  21. Reply Julien Oct 10,2017 09:58

    Hi Peter,

    I relly like this app.
    Question: what is the difference between
    pace, smooth pace (5s average), smooth pace (10s average) as i would like to see the most realistic pace on the creen

    • Reply Peter Oct 10,2017 10:34

      hi Julien,

      Pace = current pace that the watch is reporting.
      Smooth Pace = averaged paced over the last x seconds

      So the smooth pace can be used to even out gps instabilities.

      Cheers,
      Peter.

  22. Reply Dirk Kietzmann Oct 17,2017 18:25

    Hi Peter,
    that should be a very good app for my first marathon.
    But i´ve a little Problem….
    I use the Forerunner 235.
    I get the display as on the first picture not to see
    (Display before starting the race).
    Is it possible to set the target time in hh:mm:ss or only in
    pace in min/km ?
    Why can I not sho on the top Middle the Lap-Pace ??
    I can´t choose that…….

    • Reply Peter Oct 17,2017 18:34

      Hi Dirk,

      the 235 is a connect iq 1 device, I’m quite limited in memory on those devices (only 16k) so I have to strip some functionality from these devices (such as the initial screen, removing lap pace, setting the target finish time,..) to allow the data field to actually run…

      There is a solution for all that though, you can use the “app version” of the field, downloadable here: https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/ea97af1f-1e5d-4541-820c-9bd994080d4c

      Cheers,
      Peter.

  23. Reply Another Peter Oct 18,2017 18:27

    Hi, i donated but forgot to mention that it was for the race pacer. Used the same mail as below.

    Peter

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