TrainerRoad and FirstBeat metrics on Garmin

Hello magnificent forum,

I recently purchased a Garmin FR 935, and it comes with a whole slew of FirstBeat metrics (recovery status and such). I never used these kinds of metrics on my old Polar V800, but I thought that I want to give it a go. But how do I best synchronize this with TR? On my workout yesterday I had my PM connected both to TR and the watch, but then I ended up with two activities in Garmin connect, as TR apparently syncs both ways. Any workaround out there? Other than manually deleting one of the workouts in connect each time.

(BTW, @Nate_Pearson, if you prioritize auto sync of swim and run into the calendar, this would solve my problem in the best way possible, as I wouldn’t need to ever look at connect then :wink:)

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Are the metrics actually useful??

Also they don’t appear to be reliant on previous data from what I’ve seen with my edge 820.

It does a ‘performance condition’ calculation based on my first few minutes of riding (usually within the first 2km) and gives me a recovery time afterwards. Neither number has a tendency to be especially useful to me.

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I don’t know.

They certainly were not useful on my V800. But I figured that there might be some more validity to these, as they seem to be developed by a company who focus only on that. So I just want to give it a try.

Usually they telle stupid things like 50+ hours to recover :smiley: (our group rides are so hard!!)

I found those metrics to be somewhat useful while only using my FR935 as a running watch. After getting used to my usual training, the recovery time and training load estimates on the watch seemed to track fairly close to my perception (and also to TP ATL&TSB, so no additional value there).

Since adding cycling and especially TR workouts to the mix, I stopped using them and have kept those fields hidden on my watch. In addition to the question of value provided by those metrics, there seems to be no way to get TR workouts to the watch from garmin connect (GC and Garmin TrueUp are not designed to work that way).

I’ve wear a Fenix all day and record my exercise either on there or my rides usually on a 520+, until Garmin can successfully integrate information from various sources and platforms I don’t think their metrics will be all that useful.

I don’t understand the performance condition thing where I’ve got to go ride my bike for it to tell me anything.

Even on a basic level the devices don’t recognize stuff I’ve done elsewhere. My watch thinks I’m a couch potato right now because I’ve mostly been using the 520+ or TR lately. Even on my phone in the Garmin app on my daily dashboad it will display ridiculous things, right now let’s see it says both that I’ve ridden a little over 100 miles the last few days, but that my calorie expenditure is my BMR because it isn’t capable of adding in those rides for some reason, even though the information is there and I can see it on the app.

Do some form of multiple workouts in a day with a Garmin(s) devices, I’m not sure exactly what the software tries to do, maybe it is only capable of viewing the one workout but it produces stuff that doesn’t make sense.

I like both my devices in general but they’ve got some work to do on integration between their devices, their apps and if they want them to truly be useful they need to truly interact with other platforms like TR, TP, Strava, etc

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It sounds like there’s a market for a fitness app company to aggregate all the data from watches, head units, phones, training apps, etc. and put together a holistic view which includes not only workouts, but non-workout metrics like nutrition, sleep, steps, weight training, daily stress, etc. If one already exists, please let me know. :slight_smile:

Thanks all,

Seems like there is no workaround other than recording activities on multiple devices and then manually cleaning up in GC. Oh well. I might try this for a few weeks, just because it’s fun. But I don’t expect any real insights into my training that I can’t get elsewhere.

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I do sometimes record on both Garmin and on tablet and then clean up afterwards.

I agree that the FirstBeat metrics aren’t super useful at this point. However I do like seeing the interpretation after a workout regarding aerobic and anaerobic efforts. Does it change anything… not really.

Does anyone know who the “performance condition” rating that pops up at the beginning of a workout is calculated? Is it using heart rate elevation as it relates to the exertion?

At the end of the day its info, not unlike the “fitness and fatigue” ratings in Strava. Not always super useful.

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The way the calculate the “perfomance condition” is descriebed on the Firstbeat webpage.

When you realy want to understand the topic, you can read their whit papers. But i have to warn you in advance they are realy scientific.

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It’s likely a licensing issue, they’ve paid Firstbeat to be able to run the analysis on Garmin-recorded activities. Unfortunately it doesn’t apply these measurements to imported rides.

While there is “true-up” it only merges the info from separate Garmin devices.

I do the same thing as others, I record each TrainerRoad workout on the Garmin and clean up dupes TrainingPeaks/Strava/GC manually afterward. Generally I keep the Garmin recording only on GC for the Firstbeat stuff (limited use but like another poster said, the Training Effect thing is interesting) and the TrainerRoad file on TrainingPeaks to maintain lap split info.

HRV4Training app can replace a lot of the insights gleaned from the Firstbeat things.

I find the Garmin data collection to be pretty ridiculous too. If I do two TR workouts and record my my steps then look on MFP the calorie data is all over the place, often showing the cals burnt for one TR workout, missing out the second and then giving me - values for the additional steps.

As stated above, I quite often have to clean up either GC or MFP.

I record everything on my 935 to keep my metrics in check, as useful as they may be. I don’t have the sync from Connect to TR because it’s both ways and I don’t want to deal with cleanup of multiple workouts in Connect where I actually log my workouts - - I push workouts from Connect to Strava and most of my workouts in Zwift (running and cycling) are handled nicely with the Garmin duplicate getting removed automatically. Strava is just a place where friends and acquaintances can see what I’m up to (if they care) without me sharing all the details that I log in Connect, which is more private.

I’ve been using 935 over a year now and until I set correctly my LTHR and Max HR all the metrics (VO2max, TE, Recovery) were all over the place showing unreal numbers. With correct settings I’m getting reasonable output of Firstbeat metrics.

Recovery time as advertised by FIrstbeat is commonly misinterpreted as time when you should do another workout. Whereas what it shows is approx. time when to do next Hard workout. So 48 hours recovery following hard workout on Tuesday gets inline with most plans. Wed is easy/mod aerobic workout following with Thu hard training.

For FTP and LTHR auto-updates you will need a HR strap that transmits valid RR data. Other metrics like Performance condition rely on 2 input metrics (Power, HR or Pace, HR for running).

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I like the metrics on my Fenix so here is the method I have come up with.

I have Trainerroad linked to Strava so my Strava shows the workout and the pretty graph
I DO NOT have Trainerroad linked to Garmin Connect

Indoor rides:

Do my TrainerRoad workout on my phone.
Start my watch as an indoor ride when I start my workout.
When I finish the workout the TrainerRoad ride syncs to Strava automatically, but the one I save on my watch does not because it was roughly at the same time and duration as the ride it already synced.
This way I get the metrics I want on my watch, but I don’t have to do any cleanup of GC or Strava after my ride

Outdoor rides:
I have a 520 and my Fenix both going. Basically the 520 is there to let me see everything more conveniently, and if my watch stops working.
I haven’t delved into the Physio TrueUp function on devices, but the last couple years this has definitely not worked, so this is my method to ensure that the watch is my one source of data.

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I might try the Strava - TR sync once it comes time to ride outside again (in another 4 months or so…) and/or when TR adds run and swim activity syncing to the calendar. I usually run my 935, TR and Zwift at the same time so they would all have to compete to see which workout comes out on top on Strava though :joy:.