Respiratory rate from Garmin HRM

Apparently the newer/more expensive Garmin devices can show your respiratory rate when you use a ‘run’ or ‘tri’ HRM. I have a run HRM that came bundled with my XT735. The XT735 cannot show this though, and neither can my edge 520. Does anyone know if there still is a way for me to get that data somehow?

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I just noticed this data set today, in Garmin Connect, once my ride was uploaded. I had never seen it before. Set up your device together with your phone to let the workout be uploaded to Garmin Connect when you complete it. Maybe you will find what you are asking about there. I see all kinds of data that I don’t see in my device, but then again, it is a lot of data that is uninteresting during training, so maybe I just haven’t activated those boxes.

Not sure it will help, but worth a try.

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Thanks! I’ve looked ar garmin connect, but it’s not there. What device do you use?

I’m now thinking that the calculation for the respiration rate is actually done on the device, and the HRM is only important because it needs to have a certain sensitivity or something like that. Which would mean, no way for me to get that data. Meh.

If it makes you feel any better, the interface in Garmin connect doesn’t really let you use the data. It basically gives you average, min and max respiration rates, plus a very awkward and imprecise ability to zoom in, kind of.

So like, an interesting use case would be, do a few ramp tests and extract an estimate of vt1. No way to do that in Connect that I’m aware of. Or, use total time during spent at or above a certain respiration rate, to be used as a proxy for time spent at Vo2max. Again, no way to do that in GC.

So you’re not really missing out

Those are exactly the things I was thinking of looking at. I was under the impression that you could add a data field for the respiratory rate to your garmin (from 530 upwards or fenix or xt945 I think)? Which would mean, it should be captured ‘live’, so you should get a full data track like for your HR afterwards. But I haven’t actually seen it, so maybe I’m wrong!

The other issue is, that they don’t capture your actually respiration, they calculate it from HRV as far as I know.

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Buy a 530 unfortunately… although it really isn’t worth the upgrade for this feature alone.


yeah it might be a full data track but i don’t think you can get it in a form that you can do much of anything with. Other than basically eyeball it.

And, interesting that it comes from HRV data. I wonder how accurate that is. My guess is it wouldnt’ have to be perfect in order to be good enough for what i’d like to see it used for, but who even knows

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Yeah, it’s a firstbeat feature, apparently your hart beats slightly faster when you invale and slightly slower when you exhale.

I wonder why this isn’t a more wanted feature. I also wonder if it couldn’t be measured directly, maybe with a strain gauge in your HRM belt?

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Yeah a 530 and compatible chest strap for HRV. Here is some info:

Several times when I found myself gasping for air in short gulps during a VO2Max workout, then consciously worked on taking longer deeper breaths, Respiration Rate has definitely picked that up.

I just recently updated from an 810 to a 1030. I don’t have to go so far back to find rides with the 810 and you are correct. The breathing data is not in them. It started with the 1030.

It is probably just a gimmick. I wouldn’t prioritize it. I usually just follow my pulse and when it starts rising, I try to remember: breath deep and force out that old air. That way I try to get my pulse stabilized. It works as well outside as inside.

I’ve never noticed any correlation between those attempts and the data that Garmin Connect shows me.

Keep in mind that the HR data should be recorded with a garmin device with the correct first beast license.
Recording your trainerroad workout with HR on TR (app/desktop/…) and uploading to garmin connect is not enough, the HR data need to be processed on your garmin to caculate the breathing rate. (same goes for vo2max calculations)

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The Garmin derived respiration rate is garbage, except for maybe at rest… I know from manually tracking mine on the bike that my zone 2 is 12-14 BPM, tempo is 15-18, threshold is 20-24, and VO2Max probably 27-30. Garmin measures are well above these. On a recent zone 2 ride Garmin had my avg BPM at 27! Reality was closer to 14

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'cause it’s not worth knowing?

Such devices have existed in labs for decades, e.g., Respitrace. There’s currently one under development for consumers, but personally I wouldn’t invest in the company (see above).

Never really looked at the graphs, but it doesn’t make any sense… breathing rate dropping when the interval starts and shooting up halfway in the interval

Newer Garmin units should be able to detect respiration rate from almost any connected HRM. Mine works with both a Wahoo Tickr X and Sosche Rhythm+. From what I’ve read, there are tiny changes in your heart beat that correspond to breaths, which is what Garmin uses to determine respiration rate. I haven’t really seen anything on the accuracy, though. While I find the data interesting, I’m not sure what to do with it, though.

Here are the Garmin Connect plots from The Owl +3 this morning (30-second hard start followed by 10 min just below threshold). Overall the respiration plot at the bottom follows what I recall. The 30-second hard starts weren’t long enough to cause me to hit VO2-type respiration rates, so the rate was steady for essentially the whole combined interval. The dips mid-interval were when I took drinks. Cool to see, but not sure that it informs anything about how to train.

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While I haven’t tried to methodically verify accuracy, there are some strange things in some of the breathing rate data.

More importantly, I can’t find a use for respiratory rate. That plus the perception of accuracy issues = I just ignore it.

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