Key health metrics…

Hi guys, I road cycle, not competitively but I’m trying to build my fitness and I’m now riding up to 100km. I did ride a lot more before an accident 5 years ago but I’m just trying to get back into it now. I’m using TR and I’ve seen some benefits with my FTP increasing from 200 to 216 in a few months. I’m also using my Garmin watch to monitor my key health metrics and I am definitely noticing benefits there too.
However, I have noticed after long rides when I’ve really pushed myself, my resting HR remains elevated (15 - 20 bpm above normal) during that night while I sleep. My respiration is also high from an ave of 10 to 20+, my SPO2 drops to mid 80s from mid 90s and my sleep is generally poor (mid 70s “Fair”from the usual mid 90s “Excellent”). All Garmin measures!
Question is, is this normal after a hard 3 to 4hr effort?
I return home shattered but after a short rest I’m able to do things around the house etc.
I’m 54, 72kgs and otherwise healthy. I’d be interested if you have noticed anything similar.

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Sounds OK, providing it’s temporary (note: no medical advice offered). Do you use caffeinated gels, bars etc?

O2 could be on the low side, but I don’t know how accurate the watches are.

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I generally don’t use a lot of gels, the odd one. I prefer bananas and bars etc.

just curious:
are those garmin metrics of sleep tracking, respiration rate, body battery or even wrist based HR really accurate and something to build a training plan on?
Just curious, not sceptical as such.

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I think it’s normal to feel a bit shattered after a ride where you stretched yourself. That’s why Monday is traditionally a rest day for lots of cyclists. It’s interesting that the tiredness shows up in your Garmin metrics. I think as long as you recover after a day or two, its just the normal training process and nothing to worry about. But I’m not a doctor!


I certainly don’t treat it as an exact science or base my training around it. However, all the metrics are fairly stable and consistent and they do reflect how I’m feeling or what training I’ve been doing, it’s a good guide I’d say.

I was just shocked at the numbers during the night after a big effort and wondered if it was normal.

Cheers! :+1:

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My RHR doesn’t go up as much but after a hard session/ ride it will remain elevated. I don’t know if I trust the watch though :joy:


I have tried a couple of Garmin watches and found the results even of the wrist HR off by a lot, all the other data like body battery, stress etc very limited in precision.

So I will stick to ny Edge and a chest HR strap. Seems to be the most reliable source for now.


I’m not a doctor, but something seems off here. Respiration doubling for a whole night seems huge to me. The same with RHR up 20 bpm. My RHR is 45, so seeing that go to 65 would be a red flag for me. I’m not super confident in the SPO2 on my Fenix, but again, a 10pt drop seems high. Hopefully one of the doctors will chime in.

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I wear a Venu 2, and overall I’m happy with it. Good for trends and plays well in the Garmin ecosystem.

Even Body Battery seems to reflect how I’m feeling (or maybe just makes me feel how it says I should). I use an Edge 830 and HR monitor when cycling, though, as the wrist HR is not so accurate when exerting, and I’m also tracking power info, cadence, etc.

That said - the sleep tracking is hilariously bad for me. I can get up, swipe and push buttons on the watch, register steps and floors descended/climbed, and it will still call that time “asleep.” I do go back and edit sleep/wake times manually, but put zero stock in the sleep stages info given its inability to even tell I’m up and about.


Not a doctor, and making no claims as to whether I’m “normal,” but I find my Garmin Venu 2-reported “stress level” (basically HRV) often remains high for quite a while after extremely taxing efforts, even if HR is only moderately elevated from my normal RHR. The “stress” will remain high for the first several hours of sleep but is usually fine by morning.

This corresponds pretty well to how I actually feel, and with or without the watch’s confirmation is a signal to me that I forgot I’m 50-something now and overdid it.


The SP02 levels and elevated respiratory rate are concerning if accurate. If you were me, I’d go to get a checkup and try and verify your Garmin readings and/or rule out some underlying lung issue like COPD, asthma etc…


Could it be your hydration (or lack thereof)? Try overeating and overhydrating next weekend and see if it helps.


My Garmin watch consistently shows an elevated RHR of up to 10 bpm after training sessions. The increase seems consistent with the effort. Lasts up to 24 hours for me. I also see this in Garmin’s stress level, although I suspect that this measure is mostly based on RHR anyway so perhaps not too surprising.

My watch does not measure SPO2 or breathing rate so I can’t comment on those, but you have piqued my interest.

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I did massive amounts of endurance rides after having some issues riding, and got to the point where my heart seemed really comfortable with exertion, and started ‘getting it’ more, and seemed to feel better. Not the wild swings, and higher longer heart rate. It took quite a few months to get there, but I felt better pushing. I’ve been off a month now due to surgery, so am not looking forward to ‘boring endurance rides’, but see their benefit. At one point my resting heart rate was in the low 50’s, and would dip into the 40’s sleeping, trending higher with caffeine usage obviously. Only on brutal rides would I pop into the higher range. Already, post-surgery, I find my heart rate spiking way high, and at night, staying a little higher. Getting more PAC’s too. Irritable heart. Have to get it back in shape. It gets harder as I get older, for sure…

Don’t skip building a solid base, seems to work for me. YMMV…

On one of the podcasts earlier this year they did a long discussion of the energy cost of recovery.

Ah, found it Energy Cost of Recovery, Training Camps and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 324 - TrainerRoad Blog

I don’t use do the watch thing, but I do know that training after noon affects my ability to fall asleep.

If I do a long ride in the morning, it usually isn’t as profound, but 3+ hours is something I’m likely to feel at night.

does anybody have experiences with the forerunner 245 and its wrist HR reliability and overall health data function?

I’m 55, similar age but body responds differently. My resting heart rate is sometimes elevated for a few hours after a very hard effort but I’ve often found my resting heart rate the following night is normal or even lower than normal (and I sleep better). An elevated night time resting heart rate (like +10 bpm or more) usually means I am am sick or about to get sick.

Any luck figuring things out?

So a little bit of an update.

I did a VO2 Max session on Tuesday and felt okay, tired but okay. I did a Threshold session on Thursday (Kaweah) and found that very tough, I was forced into several back peddling periods just to finish. I did a Sweet Spot session yesterday (Ecuador) and didn’t finish, that’s the first time I have failed a session, not even close. I was half way through the second block of four and I just didn’t have anything at all. Sweet Spot is probably my strongest session so that was a surprise and very disappointing.

I know none of this is directly linked to my initial post but I’m starting to think something isn’t quite right. Not sure if it’s nutrition, lack of sleep, the heat, fatigue or a combination of all four. I have lost 6kgs in 3 month, it’s very warm and humid here in Auckland and consequently I am not sleeping great. I should also mention this is my first concerted effort at getting back some cycling fitness back after 5 years away after a bad accident, 5 years with a few operations etc. My gut feel is I don’t have a medical issue but I’ll get checked out nonetheless.

Anyway, I’ve decided to take 3 days off, eat freely and rest up followed by a few easy Z2 rides and see how that goes.



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I’d expand your 3 rest days to a week…that sounds like a lot of stress.