Understanding Training Status on Your Garmin Device
The training status widget on compatible Garmin devices is where you can see how your training is going.
This longer-term perspective helps you look beyond normal day-to-day changes to reveal the big picture.
How Training Status Works
A unique multidimensional analysis connects the dots between how you train and the results you get.
At the core of this feature is an ability to interpret changes in your fitness relative to trends in your training volume and composition. Your fitness is measured in terms of VO2 max, which is automatically estimated during outdoor runs and cycling activities recorded with a power meter.
Garmin devices capable of tracking your HRV status also consider this perspective when calculating your training status. Your HRV status offers insight into how your body is navigating the recovery demands of your activities together with the challenges of life and environment. Adding this dimension to the mix creates a more complete, holistic picture of your personal situation. It also allows the analysis to provide insight even when you are not getting regular fitness updates by running outdoors or cycling with a power meter.
In specific scenarios, insight from your load focus is used to improve understanding of your situation. This means considering not only the total load of your activities but how that load was achieved through low- and high-intensity aerobic efforts together with anaerobic work.
As a result, you can train more productively with specific guidance based on your own personal situation.
Different Training States and Interpretations
When the analytics engine has enough information to assess your situation, your training status is shown. You can always pause your training status if you would prefer not to have your current situation evaluated for any reason.
|Peaking||You are achieving ideal competitive form. Your fitness is increasing despite a recent reduction in overall load. This can occur during the tapering phase of a training program, where earlier work has set the stage for success.|
|Productive||Your fitness is generally increasing because of effective training efforts. If you aren’t running or cycling regularly, your training may still be considered productive if your HRV status remains balanced during heavier training periods.|
|Maintaining||Your efforts are challenging enough to support your current fitness level without clear evidence of increasing it. Your load focus may supply clues on how to jumpstart progress towards better performance.|
|Strained||Your performance ability is currently limited with inadequate recovery as a probable cause. This can occur, for example, during periods of unusually high training load. Alternatively, health and lifestyle factors may be interfering with your ability to bounce back from strenuous activities. Consider taking it easy until your body catches up.|
|Unproductive||Your fitness appears to be declining but not necessarily because of excessive training loads. If your load focus is optimally balanced, it may be time to evaluate other factors like nutrition, daily stress, and sleep quality.|
|Overreaching||Your acute training load is significantly higher than normal and your body is struggling to keep up. This may be reflected in decreasing performance or a low/unbalanced HRV status.|
|Recovery||Your activities are less challenging than normal and your fitness level is either holding steady or slightly decreasing.|
|Detraining||Your fitness level is decreasing because of an extended break from regularly challenging activities.|
|No Status||Your device does not have enough information to understand your situation.|
|Paused||You have paused the training status in your device settings.|
Best Practices for Training Status Reliability
Feedback you get from the training status widget is only as good as the information available for analysis.
Your training status relies on three critical perspectives: fitness estimated in terms of VO2 max, load data from your activities and heart rate variability. Here is what you need to know about those three elements to get the most out of this feature.
Acute Training Load
Your compatible Garmin device calculates exercise load during any activity recorded with heart rate.
Exercise load represents the strenuousness of a specific activity. When you finish an activity the resulting exercise load is added to your acute training load, which reflects the combined strain your body is experiencing as a result of recently recorded activities. The contribution of an activity to your acute training load gradually expires over time, disappearing completely after ten days.
Record all your activities with heart rate, not just your primary sport, to create a complete picture of how much strain your activities generate and your personal recovery needs. Recording only some of your activities means your device will underestimate how hard you have been pushing yourself.
Your optimal training load range is based on a combination of your current fitness level and your activity history. Insight from your activity history is used to dial in your personal load tolerance.
Varying your efforts will help you get the most out of your training. High-intensity workouts can be very stimulating to improve fitness. They also generate a tremendous amount of strain in a brief period of time and require long recovery periods. Low-intensity activities allow you to increase training volume without over doing it. Your load focus keeps track of your distribution of efforts over the past 4 weeks.
VO2 max is the metric that measures your cardiorespiratory fitness. This number describes the maximum rate at which your body can import, transport, and use oxygen per kilogram of body weight during intense physical activity. Oxygen is the key to aerobic energy production and sustainable performance.
Your Garmin device automatically estimates your VO2 max based on how fast you run or how much power you are generating on your bike compared to how hard your body is working to produce that performance.
Training status is designed to interpret trends, so you need more than one VO2 max estimate in your recent activity history. Frequent fitness updates improve the quality of your analysis, so for better results try to record at least one running or cycling activity each week for a current VO2 max.
Running and cycling activities use different muscles so naturally your body’s maximum oxygen utilization rate varies between these two activities. Therefore, your Garmin device tracks VO2 max separately for running and cycling activities. Your training status is based on your most often recorded activity type.
Heart rate variability (HRV) is a measure of the constantly changing length of time between consecutive heart beats. Regulated by your autonomic nervous system, this physiological phenomenon can be a rich source of insight into the work your body does to support homeostasis.
Compatible Garmin devices measure HRV throughout the night while you are asleep. Measuring HRV while you are sleeping reduces the influence of physical activity and stimulating effects of everyday life. If you are just getting started with HRV status the first three weeks of measurements are used to set up your personal baseline. Wear your device to bed most nights and every night if you can.
Normal, healthy HRV levels vary significantly from one person to the next, which means that the best way to interpret HRV metrics is based on what is normal for you. A balanced HRV status means that your 7-day average overnight HRV is within your personal baseline range. A lower than normal overnight HRV may indicate your body is struggling to recover or for example that your body is working to fight off illness or infection. Recent research shows that overloading can sometimes contribute to an unusually high HRV.