At last Garmin has solved one of the most requested demands by many users who train on a treadmill. As of a few hours ago, the Training Status of your Garmin will also take into account the workouts you do on one of the compatible platforms (i.e. those that allow you to synchronize activities with Garmin Connect).
So no more having to record a rolling session on your device when you were training with Zwift or The Sufferfest, now those workouts will be taken into account for load accumulation. There are a few things to keep in mind though, which I'll explain below.
First of all you have to take into account which applications are compatible with the uploading of workouts to the Garmin platform. This is the first fundamental aspect for the training load to be calculated, because if the file cannot reach the platform... there is no way to calculate it. At the moment only these applications have been approved by Garmin:
- The Sufferfest
- Tacx Applications
So applications such as Rouvy, Bkool, RGT Cycling, etc. are left out. Why these four yes and the others no? Well, in the case of the Tacx applications it is obvious (Garmin bought Tacx), but why these ones do and the others don't is something that only Garmin knows.
Once you have made sure that the application you are using is compatible, the first thing you will have to make sure is that it is synchronized with Garmin Connect. For example in the case of Zwift you will have to add the account from the options.
This only needs to be done once and it will be stored in memory. From then on, any training you do in Zwift will be immediately sent to Garmin Connect (seriously, it's a matter of seconds).
But let's go with the example I did this morning, where I had an hour and a half workout to do on the roller.
Before we start the workout, let's take a look at the data shown by the watch. This morning before training my load was 747.
And here is the breakdown and Friday is still empty. It should be noted that on Monday the data of a training session I did on a roller is missing, because this I'm telling you was not yet active.
So at 6 o'clock in the morning I start pedaling, recording it only with Zwift without using neither computer nor watch. The only sensor paired to the app is the smart roller, not even a pulse sensor (pay attention to this, we'll see why it's important later).
Hour and a half later I finish my smooth workout although with 15 somewhat painful intervals (especially the 40″ ones...).
Automatically the training is launched to Garmin Connect and appears in the application. But look closely, because here's the first thing to note. Even though the workout is already loaded on the platform, my training load is still 747 points, nothing has changed.
The reason is that it is not the platform that processes the data, it is the watch or cyclocomputer that does it. So we still have to wait for the watch/cyclocomputer to sync with the phone (or via WiFi) so that it can receive the training data and so it knows that there is something to calculate.
This will be done automatically over the next few minutes, unless you want to have the data instantly, and that podhis will be done by forcing the synchronization.
In my case it is already in the watch, and if I go to the history I find the training I have done with Zwift.
And since the training is already in the watch, it will automatically update the training load data and with it the other metrics (e.g. recovery time).
And here it is, now a small bar appears for Friday and the training load has gone from the initial 747 points to the current 763 points.
But wait a minute... I suppose more than a few of you must have thought to yourselves, "An hour and a half workout only adds up to 16 load points?"
Indeed, it is a very small amount. In fact, just look at the size of the bar on Friday compared to all the other workouts.
Here comes the second thing to note. Training load, like the vast majority of FirstBeat metrics, is calculated thanks to heart rate data. That's what tells the algorithm the intensity of your workout.
I deliberately performed the test without using any pulse sensor. I could have perfectly 1TP10I could have used an external pulse sensor or transmitted the heart rate from the watch, but I wanted to test with power-only data.
The result is that it doesn't take it into account when adding up training load, so if you want your training load to figure correctly you'll have to remember to include a pulse sensor in the equation, without it you'll be pretty much as before.
Little more to add. If you like to keep track of your training load and you ride, you will be grateful for this feature. Yes, at the moment it only updates the load and recovery time, but it won't show training effect and aerobic/anaerobic benefit. But it is what it is and better this than nothing.