Garmin MARQ ATHLETE Manual – Some interesting insights

There are some interesting insights behind some of the new headline functionality for the MARQ ATHLETE and MARQ DRIVER. I’ve not yet delved too deeply myself but here are the manuals for you to RTFM at leisure.


for example


Your device analyzes and distributes your training load into different categories based on the intensity and structure of each activity recorded.

Training load focus includes the total load accumulated per category and the focus of the training. Your device displays your load distribution over the last 4 weeks


In order to maximize performance and fitness gains, training should be distributed across three categories: low aerobic, high aerobic, and anaerobic.

Training load balance shows you how much of your training is currently in each category and provides training targets.

Training load balance requires at least 7 days of training to determine if your training load is low, optimal, or high.

After 4 weeks of training history, your training load estimate will have more detailed target information to help you balance your training activities.

  • Below targets: Your training load is lower than optimal in all intensity categories. Try increasing the duration or frequency of your workouts.
  • Low aerobic shortage: Try adding more low aerobic activities to provide recovery and balance for your higher intensity activities.
  • High aerobic shortage: Try adding more high aerobic activities to help improve your lactate threshold and VO2 max. over time.
  • Anaerobic shortage: Try adding a few more intense, anaerobic activities to improve your speed and anaerobic capacity over time.
  • Balanced: Your training load is balanced and provides all-around fitness benefits as you continue training.
  • Low aerobic: Your training load is mostly low aerobic activity. This provides a solid foundation and prepares you for adding more intense workouts.
  • High aerobic: Your training load is mostly high aerobic activity. These activities help to improve lactate threshold, VO2 max., and endurance.
  • Anaerobic: Your training load is mostly intense activity. This leads to rapid fitness gains but should be balanced with low aerobic activities.
  • Above targets: Your training load is higher than optimal, and you should consider scaling back the duration and frequency of your workouts.

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15 thoughts on “Garmin MARQ ATHLETE Manual – Some interesting insights

    1. Since this has to be FirstBeat related I somehow doubit it as Garmin likely licensed a specific subset of FB features and adding new ones would likely cost them money that cannot recoup…
      Besides Garmin very very rarely add new features to existing products, the SMS Reply of the 645 that was added to the F5/935 being a notable exception…and that was internal so “real” cost.

      1. RIght, what I meant is that they likely didn’t license these new features from FB for the F5/FR935 so they’d likely have to go back to FB to add it on these old watches and that would come at a cost to them normally. A cost they can’t recoup 😉

  1. Interesting, and potentially useful. The very broad training load metric of the current 935 doesn’t deal with marathon training and very long runs very well.
    It looks like garmin/first beat make a judgement on what type of training is ‘good’ tho. Approaches like those of Jason Koop would likely upset this – he suggests periods focused on one particular type. I wonder if the user will be able to tweak the training approach to make better use of these algorithms?
    Certainly hoping to see this filter down to the 935.

    1. I’m going to be probably writing on this in detail in a few weeks.
      if you have any specific questions (eg how a particualr training regime works with the fb algorithms) then please let me know and i will ask

      1. I’d be very keen to know how they’ll assess indoor rowing sessions and whether they intend on deeper Concept2 integration. I’d love to see all the monitor fields from the PM5 available on the watch, including stroke force/time curves. I was waiting for a Descent 2, but if rowing is addressed meaningfully then my initial Marq skepticism may fade.

      2. I actually think the algorithm with regard to marathon training is decent if properly understood. The problem is that marathon training means a lot of different things to different athletes. For most people, unless you have 5k times that are “equivalent” to your marathon times, then marathon training is primarily musculoskeletal. You just need more volume to survive the distance. It’s only at the very thin end of the bell curve, with very well trained runners, that aerobic fitness is a major limitation. But for those runners, long runs are done at a pretty high relative intensity, and the aerobic training load of those workouts ends up being very, very high. You’re still on your own for figuring out what your legs can handle, though.

  2. Do you think this is it for 2019 for Garmin? Or do you think they will also release new triathlon watches too?

      1. I’m doing my first tri in late august (a 70.3) and don’t know whether to just get a 935 or wait…?

        Amazing site by the way – love your posts!

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