If you’re looking for a way to make workouts more interesting, check out the games on your Performance Monitor. As well as providing variety, each game also has a more serious intention, such as helping to teach consistency at a given pace and stroke rate. The PM3 comes with the Fish Game and Biathlon, while the PM4 also includes the Darts Game and Target Training. Note: You may need to update to the latest firmware version in order to get these games.
The Fish Game teaches you how to modulate intensity. The object of this game is to rack up as many points as possible by eating the nutritious fish while avoiding the large, toothy beasts that will send your score plummeting to the ocean floor.
On the PM screen, you're the fish facing the onslaught of fellow ocean-dwellers, both good and not-so-good. Alter your intensity to move your fish up and down the left-hand side of the screen. When an edible “good” fish comes your way, try and gobble it up to get points (small fish are worth 30 points; striped fish are worth 60 points). Avoid the large predators, as they’ll take 45 points off your score if they catch you.
Each game lasts four minutes, with a play again option at the end. Your Fish Game workout information (time, distance, pace per 500 meters, and so on) is saved to your LogCard or PM Memory, just like a regular workout.
The Darts Game rewards consistency in tempo and power output. If you’re learning how to keep a steady pace and stroke rate, or if you’re working to get comfortable at a new pace, the Darts Game is a terrific tool for you.
Each game gives you 300 darts to "throw" at the target; the object is to earn as many points as possible. The number of points earned depends on where each dart hits:
- Bull’s-eyes are worth 50 points each.
- The next three rings out from the bull’s-eye are worth 25, 10, and 5 points respectively.
At the beginning of each game you will be asked to take five strokes. This sets your pace and stroke rate for the first few darts; after that, your target pace and stroke rate will be based on your most recent strokes. If you quicken your pace and stroke rate during the game, your dart will fly high of the target; if you slow your pace and stroke rate, your dart will fly low. Hit the bull’s-eye by maintaining a consistent pace and stroke rate. A perfect game is 15,000 points.
Target Training is similar to Darts in that the object of the game is to hit as many bull’s-eyes as possible by maintaining a consistent pace and tempo. Target Training differs by allowing you to set your targets for pace and tempo. Target Training offers two modes of play:
- Just Play: An open-ended target training session that allows you to row or ski for as long as you want. Like the Darts game, the target pace will be based on your recent strokes.
- Advanced: You set the constant target pace and tempo you want before the game starts.
- Coaches: You can set the workout for your athletes and see who gets the best score.
- Athletes: You can do your favorite steady state workout with the added incentive of achieving your best score!
- If weight loss is your target, your routine should include long steady workouts—exactly the type that this game promotes.
- If you are rehabbing from injury, you can use this game to help maintain the pace specified by your physical therapist.
Just Play: At the beginning of each game you will be asked to take five strokes. This sets your pace and stroke rate for the first few darts; after that, your target pace and stroke rate will be based on your most recent strokes. If you quicken your pace and stroke rate during the game, your dart will fly high of the target; if you slow your pace and stroke rate, your dart will fly low. Hit the bull’s-eye by maintaining a consistent pace and stroke rate.
Advanced: This is the same as Just Play except that you set the duration, pace per 500m and stroke rate before each game. Before scoring begins, you will be asked to pull five strokes. These allow you to get into the target pace and tempo specified during game setup.
In either mode of play, the number of points earned depends on where each dart hits the target:
- Bull’s-eyes are worth 5 points each.
- The next three rings out from the bull’s-eye are worth 3, 2, and 1 point, respectively.
Your score is given as a percentage of the best possible score obtainable. A perfect score is 100%.
Biathlon combines two sports: typically Nordic skiing and target shooting. Races generally consist of three or five laps, with a shooting stage (“range”) between each lap. A penalty is assessed for each missed shot. Most often, this is a penalty lap of 150 extra meters of skiing.
You can use the Biathlon Game to ski or row intervals alternating with target shooting or some other activity. You can choose from several penalty distances, or no penalty at all:
- With penalty: Penalty distances are calculated after each range interval and must be completed before the next interval begins.
- Without penalty: No penalty distances are calculated. You will simply have an undefined rest time of up to 10 minutes between your intervals.
The computer keeps track of your range time and your total elapsed time. Penalty laps show up on the logged workout detail as a separate interval with zero rest. You can Re-Ski or Re-Row the game workout, but penalty intervals and range time will be exactly as they were when you completed the workout originally.
During game set up, choose the number of intervals you want (from 2 to 15), the interval length, and whether you want a penalty (choose from none to 250m in 50m increments). Do your first interval. When you complete it, the rest or range time begins, and the PM will prompt you to stop skiing or rowing. Once you’ve stopped, the penalty screen will appear on the PM:
- Playing with penalty: After completing your range time, press the button that corresponds to the number of penalties you incurred (from 0 to 5). For example, if you were shooting, choose the number of shots missed. The PM calculates the penalty distance based on what you selected during game set up (selected penalty increment multiplied by the number of penalties/shots missed equals the penalty lap distance). Do the penalty lap. When you are done, your next interval begins.
- Playing without penalty: Simply press Continue when you are ready to begin your next interval.