Adding Garmin Connect worth it?

Hi, i’ve searched the forum unsuccesfully about this general question:
Is adding Garmin Connect to my TR training workflow worth it?
I’ll expand a bit: i’ve been using TR for several years now and i’m quite happy with it; my outside MTB rides have been primarily longer weekend rides that i approximate in intensity with the prpogrammed workout or training phase. No PM, only HR, speed, cadence and GPS data, so i just add TSS.
I finally upgraded my bike and added a PM and a Garmin 530 that should both be fitted this week.
I don’t plan in buying or wearing a Garmin watch; would it be still worth it to learn how to use Connect? Also taking into consideration that every indoor workout will need to be done with both TR and the 530…
Sound like a hassle, but i’m open to go through it if it adds enough value for the training; same for the watch, but maybe later. I don’t run or swim; just MTB.

Moving forward with PM and 530 I’m assuming you will feed outside rides from Garmin Connect to TrainerRoad. That isn’t ‘adding GC to your TR workflow’ in my opinion, its feeding rides to TR.

What is your TR training workflow? There are a couple of things I like about integrating 530 into training workflow:

  • doing outside workouts with power targets
  • using 530’s FTP estimates to correlate with my power-to-HR FTP estimates during base training (and I don’t bother doing any FTP tests during this phase)
  • post-ride feedback on 530 of workout benefits and big picture balance of low aerobic vs high aerobic vs anaerobic workouts
  • quick scan of GC app after a ride to get feedback on any trends in left-right power balance

It pretty much ‘just works’ as I’m getting off the bike and no real overhead.

I’m probably an outlier, but I prefer using Garmin 530 on indoor trainer (and not phone or computer). Used the 520 in gym on Stages stationary bikes before TR, and switched to using with 530 and my Kickr over a year ago. One user experience for all workouts.


Garmin Connect makes it easy to track how much use you’re getting out of consumables like chains and brakes (or batteries in your sensors). Each workout, you can tick a box for the pieces of equipment you’ve used.

Even easier with a single bike, I make the consumables (like tires) the default for every workout and only change when it gets replaced.

Not used the GC implementation but the Strava gear tracker is pretty good - you just update a component associated with the bike when you replace it and it remembers the km/miles you did on the previous one.

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Indeed my planned use for the PM and 530 is to be able to ride more outside: i should be able to succesfully swap other kinds of workouts for outside rides; sweet spot, threshold and so on. Without a PM it’s just too unreliable to try to do so, at least for me.
So the basic plan is to push outside workouts to the 530, go out and do it, feed it back to TR.
But i do understand GC offers more functionality, so i was wondering if i should overhaul my current routines and add GC into the picture.
Are you saying you can just use the 530 to also do an indoor TR workout on the trainer without the need to open the app in the phone? That way i can get the right metrics in GC without running in parallel; what would i miss? I suppose instructions will not appear in the 530, for example.
And generally speaking, how’s the learning curve for using GC?

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EVerything I do gets recorded on my Garmin, to GC, then to TR, Strava, etc. I use the TR app for indoor workouts, but I still record it on my Garmin. Occasionally I will just do the workout on my Garmin even on the trainer instead of using the app.

Just some caution, but Strava deletes old data. I started recording stuff in an Excel for longer term use (if it matters).

I don’t use the GC app very often, except to quickly scan power balance and possibly Performance Condition if it was a struggle or super easy. Everything else I look at immediately after the ride on the 530.

The GC app has a lot of data. To be honest I prefer using WKO which is the most powerful analytics app in my opinion, and easy to search previous workouts for specific things (show all 3 hour rides with IF of 0.8 or higher). However WKO has a steep learning curve. I’d recommend something simple like TR’s performance analytics as its ok for the basics. Some like as it is easy but has more analytics than TR.

Yes, I’m doing indoor workouts on 530. With TR you need to select outside workout. I’m sending workouts from TrainingPeaks to 530, for several reasons. Those workouts get sent from GC to TR.

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Quick question about how that works… I`ll be using the 530 on trainer too. So u connect the trainer to 530, select the workout and it will read the power from the trainer, right? Adjusting all power targets as prescribed?


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FYI - if you’re asking from the “is it worth it to learn how to use GC” perspective, GC is super easy to learn. You might hate what it tells you and disagree with the recommendations, but it’s not like you’re learning some complicated piece of tech.


In my experience, GC works well to plot out routes (which they call courses). It is easier than Strava or RWGPS.

Also, Garmin cyclists (presumably) switch their head unit from ‘road’ to ‘commute’ or ‘mountain’ or ‘gravel’ when appropriate, giving Garmin’s data more granularity than strava or the mapping services like OSM or google.

As far as making GC part of your post-ride workflow, there is a lot of data included (such as respiration rate) which is fun to look at (if not actually useful).


I would like to chime in on this.
I recently bought a Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE and am now using it to track all my rides so Garmin Connect has a full picture of what I’m doing.

It will constantly tell me I’m above my targets and should tone down on the volume. I like looking at my “recovery timer” but I feel like my body recovers faster than my watch is telling me (I almost never get to a fully recovered state).

Anyone else has this? I think an athlete should almost never be fully recovered (you’re constantly straining your body if that makes sense) so I guess it’s normal to constantly have the recovery timer saying for instance 2 days of recovery needed?

Not sure if anyone already touched on this it is a very good idea to have your ride data going to more than one service/program. IMHO, everyone should set up a free TrainingPeaks account and also sync with whatever software comes with your head unit. That way, if you ever decide to drop a paid account (e.g. you quit TrainerRoad someday) or you decide to use a more sophisticated data analysis tool on top of TR (e.g. WKO) it can make the transfer easier. Even if your old service allows access to export your historic data after cancelation as TR does, syncing to a separate service can make it easier to get your historic data into a new service. In the case of TrainingPeaks, it is a common tool for services that TR users who leave tend to migrate to (e.g. Personal coach; most stock plan providers and it syncs directly with WKO) so you’d already be set up with your historic data. Setting up a free TrainigPeaks account today and ignoring it can save you tons of work a few years down the road.

Adding another account to your sync adds nothing to your workflow other than checking every so often to make sure the data is syncing.


How much data have you given Garmin? Does it have a significant history to compare to your current state?

Also, how many days a week do you take full days off? Your “an athlete should never be fully recovered” comment sounds like what people who are chronically overtrained tend to say.

Absolutely. One thing I’ve noticed is that the TR removes data from the original workout file, in other words TR doesn’t save the original workout file from your bike computer. TrainingPeaks also makes it easy to download things like all the workouts (hikes, walks, cycling, etc) from 2015 in a single compressed file.


I’ve used my 830 and Fenix 6 watch for all indoor riding and all the data goes to GC,TR and Strava. Recently Garmin started importing TR data, which is updated to your Training Status. Training Status gives you at a glance, an idea of where you are in your training. It’s a useful feature however accuracy is a bit suspect and I tend to use it as rough guide.
Outdoor workouts are great with my 830 especially now I’ve got a pm on my hard tail, and all the data goes to GC and TR.
The Fenix watch is useful for analysing recovery and sleep quality and various other things and I tend to use it indoors as it doesn’t interrupt the air flow on my fan.
But is it worth it? For me as a full time gardener it’s useful, especially tracking recovery. The accuracy of Training status isn’t up there yet, but it has improved recently. It’s definitely worth a try and GC is free to download.
Can you ever have too much data.?

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FYI - the TR uploads are missing the Aerobic and Anaerobic scores that Garmin uses to assess fitness and that makes the upload fairly useless. There’s a lot of discussion about this in another thread. Most of us went back to running the two in parallel and deleting the TR ride off Connect.


This isn’t a criticism of Trainingpeaks at all, but in general, I try to limit the number of services that I give the exact location of my house.

I wish you could set Garmin to have privacy zones such that it cropped the fit files before it’s sent to all the other places.

I’m not entirely sure what the question is here, but I’ll try to offer a reply anyway. The Garmin Connect app isn’t something you really “use”… It’s just an interface between you, your head unit, and TrainerRoad.

I always delete the TR data keep the Garmin,

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