Garmin Recovery Metrics: Training Load, Body Battery, Recovery Time | 80/20 Endurance

Garmin Recovery Metrics: Training Load, Body Battery, Recovery Time

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    Any folks here train with a recent Garmin device (like the Forerunner 945) that supports Body Battery? Here is info on Body Battery for anyone curious and unfamiliar.

    Do you monitor your Body Battery, Recovery Time, and Training Load?

    I look at my Body Battery each morning, but then sometimes I am just disappointed when I don’t get above 65 (out of 100) after a night of sleep. Other times, I might see a high waking Body Batter score but feel sore from the workout the day before so a high score in the 90s doesn’t then reflect my freshness for a hard workout that day. But in general I find it helpful to see if I am getting the kind of recovery overnight that I need. Several nights back to back with waking Body Battery scores in the 60s or below is a bad sign.

    Recovery Time seems quite helpful to me. In fact, I found a watch face setting that displays the current recovery time count own all the time. I expect to see a recovery time of greater than 24h after a hard workout, and that makes sense. As it counts down, I am gearing up for my next hard workout.

    Training Load is interesting. I may not understand it fully, but it seems to have an idea of what the ideal intensity distribution is for optimal training, and that idea seems to be quite different than 80/20. Here and here are a couple of articles from Garmin. Here is a screen shot that shows what Garmin is advising in the optimal distribution between Low Aerobic, High Aerobic, and Anaerobic activity. I don’t fully understand EPOC but there seems to be some science to this.

    David Warden

    Ted, I’m not familiar with Body Battery, but I like the concept. With all my complaints auto Garmin’s auto-calculations, I’ve always found their recovery time to be pretty close to my actual recovery time. I think it’s useful. Even if it is not accurate, as long as it is consistent, it can be used to benchmark recovery.

    Training Load makes sense, it’s just a clone of the PMC from TrainingPeaks (see for some additional information here, everything I write on the PMC applies to Garmin Training Load)

    I don’t understand how to read the Load Focus tab, I need a training on that. I suspect the values are minutes, but the optimal range makes no sense. According to that chart, Garmin is recommending you spend the majority of your time at high aerobic, which can’t be true. Or, that the optimal upper range of anaerobic exceed the lower range of low aerobic, giving you permission to spend more time at anaerobic than aerobic.



    I have a 945 and look at the data, but I really don’t know what to do with the information. It seems a bit too mathematical to make decisions with. I just look at the running dynamics reports and dismiss the rest. Your Garmin link talks about the mind body connection and at least for now I’m in that camp.

    Years ago when I was into power lifting I would always go the the gym even on days I felt too tired to workout. Sitting on a bench, gathering up the sights, sounds, smells, and feeling the steel was enough to wake up and often led to the best training sessions. Today, as a runner, it’s the pre run mobility movements that revive those tired days when working out just doesn’t feel there. I think there is an emotional aspect to training and recovery that may not be captured in the math.

    I’ve always trained using periodization principles, so the metrics the watch provides are less likely to be of value to me. For anyone training more haphazardly, or on the wrong plan, the metrics might be much more valuable.

    But I have the watch so I’ll strap it on 24/7 and see what there is to learn.

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