Garmin Training Effect

There is a new peice of data showing on my Garmin 610 when I upload the run. It's called training effect and is rated on a scale of 1-5. With 5 being over reaching, 4 being highly improving, 3 improving, 2 maintaining and 1 negligible.

How is this worked out? Is it any use. Am I really improving as it tells me I am or is it just leading me on?

Any one had any exxperience of this?



  • Anyone?


  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    No experience of this (I'm using an old 405, so unavailable to me).  The following link explains how it calculates it:

    The Suunto range have offered something similar for a while (probably why Garmin have introduced it).  

    It'll be based on your heart rate, where over-exertion causes your body to have to repair rather than build (i.e. zone 5) and lactate threshold training where you are pushing your "safe" limits (i.e. zone 4) and then you have your aerobic conditioning (aka base training) in Zone 3.  Zone 2 would be gentle running which means your heart is working a bit more than normal, whereas Zone 1 is equivalent to Gym Buddies walking on the treadmill whilst drinking Starbucks etc.

    If you read any training books (e.g. Advanced Marathoning by Pfitzinger & Douglas) they'll have similar  concepts - in P&D Zone 4 would be "Lactate Threshold" at77 to 88% of HRR, Zone 3 would be "Aerobic" at 62 to 75% of HRR, and Zone 2 would be "recovery" at under 70% [and starting at 55%?].

    The training effect just does the calculations automatically for you based on recorded information, and saves you having to have spreadsheets etc to convert the training zones from a book into your specific target figures.

  • I might be in a position to answer this but I'll need to have a good stat-check and get back to you.  I've been using the 610 solidly for the past 7 months but not paid any attention to this at all.  I've glanced at it every now and then, and more often than not seen a reading of "1.0" but I suppose that would make sense if it was just a short, easy run.  But I've got a whole set of long runs, intervals, tempo runs, hill sessions and races, nearly all with HR figures, so I'll see if I can make sense of it all and report back.


  • I'm quite disappointed.  When I saw the title I was hoping there was a training effect from simply owning a Garmin, or perhaps being near one.  I'll move my Garmin off my desk, onto my wrist and go for a training run if that's not the caseimage

    PS: it's only a 405, so can't answer OP's question.  Sorry!

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Same as you J.

    Getting a Garmin has transformed my running after more than two decades of running. 

    The driver must be increased curiosity. How far, how fast, how high?

  • I think it was developed by FirstBeat. Had a quick look and there is some info here

    I haven't paid much attention to it yet other than the TE is higher, the harder I run. Maybe its been telling me to train smarter and stop being a dumb ass. Most people do.

  • Explanation here

    Please can someone summarise into one short sentence.image

    Unfortunately, relying on heart rate data, my 610 heart rate strap is pretty useless at present, heart rate graphs look like some wierd porcupine with all its spikes.

  • Actually, scrap that.  I'll save myself the effort of a seven month analysis.

    I've just run 14 miles including 8 x 1 mile (30 seconds recovery) averaging 5:28, max HR 184bpm, and the Garmin TE score was 1.0. (Definition: easy recovery)

    My humble assessment is that this function is total bollocks and about as useful as a chocolate fireguard.

  • Uum - not trying hard enough then PP image

    I strolled through my workout today and scored a TE of 4.2 with a maxHR of 211, 13m steady. Not bad considering my max is about 178. Really is time to replace the HR strap.
  • PhilPub, likely the hr strap wasn't working properly.. Hasn't even registered if showing 1.0. Same on all you have recorded?

    I had a Suunto watch, 3-4 years ago, the feature works really well there since it gives you a diary/ program of what it recommends based on the sessions you've done, a mix of 1-5 sessions over the week.

    The garmin TE on 610/910 doesn't do this. It just gives you a number, can be shown on the screen changing as you exercise or just shown later in the stats. No advice offered.

    I've done races with my Garmin, they're usually a 5 if a race effort regardless of length.. Tempo run came out a low 4. shorter speed session a 3.8, 2 different gym circuits, one with longer cardio periods less recovery 4.1, the other 3.2.

    The feature does work. Just depends how you use it, or take its advice.
  • So I will catch Mo! image

  • Ah, just thought of a minor technicality.  Does the TE value only register once you've reset the session?  The figures I looked up last night were for a "session in progress".  imageimage

  • No,TE should work in progress, have something after 15-20 minutes, garmin even suggest setting it on one of the screens.

    TE is a mix of session toughness and length.. so a flat out 10k equal to ~5, a marathon even with HR sub 145bpm was still classed as a 5. Interval sessions, tempo runs not at your max vary 3-high 4s.

    After a hard 4 or 5, drop down to 1-3 range to recover, prevent over training. Its roughly equivalent to heart rate training.

    Blog here has more info relating to usage

  • Hi All,

    I've trained for eight months using the MAF or maximum aerobic function training method. I use a Garmin 610 with foot pod and heart rate monitor to log all the runs and tech stuff, firstly pair the hr monitor!

    You have to put your minimum and maximum rates into the Garmin to set the zones correctly which means you should run a test session on a reasonably flat road or better still a track to determine your maximum, minimum is 180 minus your age, add 5 if you are an experienced runner.

    The zones and training effect really do work and can help you to decide what type of run you want to do, its not all about speed.

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