Garmin: Recovery Time Update
Garmin’s Recovery Time metric is one of the most useful and one that seems to be the most simple. I suspect that many of us knew it wasn’t exactly correct, that said, in my experience, it was often indicative of reality and therefore useful.
Well, Garmin has just gone and improved it, here’s how.
Old Recovery Time
New Recovery Time
Life is much more complicated than a straightforward formula. A bad night’s sleep delays recovery. A stressful day delays recovery and super-active day, in a non-sporty way, delays recovery too. You’re already ahead of me here and have probably guessed that the new recovery time calculation takes these lifestyle factors into account.
Sleep is the most important of those factors and for Garmin to factor it into your recovery you need to sleep with your watch. When Garmin decides you have woken up it evaluated your sleep quality and updates any outstanding recovery time too. Interestingly, a bad night’s sleep could, in theory at least, lead to a significantly increased recovery time of several hours and conversely the most awesome of nights’ sleep could further reduce the recovery time by a couple of extra hours.
I guess that’s what we would intuitively expect. It’s different, however, with Daily Activity as that can only increase recovery times. It’s also worth mentioning on this point that any recovery benefit achieved during an inactive day will be reflected in your 247 stress data in any case and the stress data is more of a ‘heads up’ that you are behaving sub-optimally rather than a call to action…well, a call to INaction 😉
Also new is an ABNORMAL RECOVERY ALERT. I’ve never seen one of these, yet a note should pop up on your Garmin to inform you if anything untoward has caused your recovery time to significantly change.
More Reading: Secret Firstbeat Metric – Adaptive Triathlon Training.
You can see your recovery time behind the recently revamped Training Status Widget on the watch (Forerunner 945, Forerunner 45, Fenix, etc). I like how these interfaces to the Firstbeat features are progressively morphing, particularly I’d say that Connect is getting ‘Good’. The watches still need a little more interface-love in my opinion.
Note: Possible improvements to the Garmin sleep algorithm are on the way. These will probably also impact on the accuracy of recovery time.
Well, this was done simply to make it more correct and hence more actionable.
A deeper reason is that most of the Firstbeat Physiology metrics all mesh together at some point. You change one and it impacts another. For example, recovery time is a key input for the new Daily Workout Suggestions feature.
Moving forwards I suspect that Garmin sees their new Daily Workout Suggestions to be the kind of adaptive training/advice that most of us want, in the sense that most of us probably are not following a formal plan at any given time. Of course, the new Recovery Time directly inputs into this important new feature.
Read the following for MUCH more detail on ALL the other Firstbeat Metrics on your Forerunner
Take Out & Further Thoughts
I had not noticed any improvement to my recovery times but I’m sure the tweaks will be in there somewhere
I find Garmin’s approach here to be interesting as it is taking a simple training impulse/training load type approach (albeit EPOC) and moving it more towards an instantaneous measurement approach that some of us follow by using waking HRV as the key indicator on when and how to train.
Perversely I’ve recently been using my Apple Watch’s readiness-to-train feature (via an app) which is HRV-focussed and which takes periodic HRV readings through the day. I’m assuming it’s like Garmin’s body battery under the hood but I just get a prettier presentation with Apple. Also by using the Apple Watch in this way, I don’t have to wear the Apple Watch when I exercise, I can keep using it as my main ‘dress’ watch as the data for readiness-to-train is not dependent on the knowledge of my workout…unlike Garmin/Firstbeat. Which method is best? A: Both have their merits.