Tuesday, 29 April 2008

How to upload course files to your Garmin

I created a route using www.mapmyride.com, but Sanoodi and Mapitpronto all now seem to have functionality to allow you to create a Garmin course file based on the route you map. The only think I found on mapmyride that was better than the others was a new beta version that has proper terrain markings so you can pick out the hills so you can include the best climbs in your area. Most of these sites also have a “follow the road” option that makes plotting the route much easier.

Here is a guide to the process:

1. Follow the instructions on the web site to plot your chosen route. This involved setting up a user ID on the site to allow me to save the route once I had finished.

2. Once this is completed use the “Save ” option and select the “Save as a Garmin Course”. You can fill out an average pace or speed. Also select the File type “.crs” option, it seems to default to “.tcx” Save this file to your PC/Mac hard drive.

3. Open Garmin’s Training Centre software, which came with the Garmin 305.

4. From the File menu, select the Import option. This will open up a window that prompts you to open a file that could be a history, course or route file. Select the course option (a *.crs file). Find the rile you created using Mapmyride (which should have a .crs extension) and this will upload into Training centre.

5. Within Training Centre, you can examine the course under by clicking on the Course tab. This should show you the route plotted over the rather crude road maps that come with the Training Centre software. If you want, you can then add notes at particular points of the ride. As an example, I added the bottom and top of the climbs I had put on the route. When you finally use the route on the road, these messages pop up as you approach the point you had selected on the original map.

6. Once you have added whatever additional information you required (you don’t have to add anything). Plug your Garmin into the PC/Mac using the USB cable and hit the upload button (send to device), I think this is also under the file menu too.

7. This should then transfer the course to your Garmin. I noted that the Garmin couldn’t cope with very many long courses before running out of memory, so if you have a 100 mile course, I suggest you delete your older courses from your Garmin (and Training Centre) and just try having one only in the device. This is a bit of a pain, but if you should copies of older courses as .crs files that you can reload back into Training Centre if you want to reuse them and go back through the process from 4 above.

8. When you are ready to hit the road, once on the bike select the Training option from the Garmin main menu structure then select the Courses option. You should see the name of the file (truncated to 8 characters) in a list. Select the course you want to follow.

9. You will then be prompted with a few options, one of which will be “Do course”, select this.

10. Then use the Mode button to go to the map page and a large black line will appear that represents the route you need to follow. Your position on the line is represented by a triangle. Your job now is to make sure this triangle stays on the black line. If you go off course, the Garmin beeps and helpfully tells you that you are indeed off route (but not how to get back on the route)! The up and down arrows control how zoomed in you are on the map down to 20 ft I think. This was far too detailed as you could not see the route ahead and where the next turn or bend was until you were on top of it. Most of the time I had the it zoomed out to the 200ft option, which shows around 0.5-1 miles ahead.

11. If you want to record your heart and speed stats, you still need to hit the start button on the front too (after you have selected the start course option).


Anonymous said...

Great guide! Thanks alot!

Ged said...

Thanks a lot for this.. I've spent days trying to do the same for a Garmin Edge 605 and this works. In pt7 you suggest deleting olde/other courses on both the device and the Trng Cntr; I prsume this is because the download automatically takes all courses but if you Right Click on the Course and select 'Export...' you can then save the single course to the Garmin (device)Courses folder without deleting stuff on the GTC.
Thanks again though - I went out today and followed a 72 mile route perfectly, having read your blog last night.
Ged (gedslejog.blogpot.com just started and will give you a mention)

Brian said...

Great post. I just got this all set up on my 310XT by following your directions. Can't wait to try it out tomorrow morning. Thanks!