Garmin sports watches are famous for the breadth and depth of their performance metrics. They demonstrate the company’s dedication to providing high-quality data that can assist users in optimizing their athletic performance. We can now add one more performance metric to their already comprehensive list. It is called Chronic Load.
It was quietly introduced in Garmin Connect in the last few days. Simply go to Training Status, then Load, and finally the Acute Load tab at the top.
You’ll notice a Chronic Load button just below the Acute Load four week timeline chart. When you click on it, the chart will change to show your Chronic Load and the optimal range for the metric.
What exactly is Chronic Load and how is it different from Acute Load?
The obvious question is to do with the difference between Acute Load and Chronic Load. The first has been around for a few years now, the second is new.
Acute Load assesses the intensity of exercise and its impact on the body over the preceding seven days. It is calculated by taking the volume and intensity of physical activity into account. Because this is a weighted sum, older exercise loads have a lower impact than newer ones. This metric can assist you in monitoring how your body is adapting to your exercise regimen and making necessary adjustments to help prevent injury and optimize performance.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Garmin has not yet added any reference in its help documents to the new Chronic Load metric. But we can find out more about it if we go the the Firstbeat website. To remind, Garmin has acqured their intellectual property a couple of years ago.
Firstbeat defines Chronic Training Load as a rolling average of acute training load over the last 28 days. They say it provides longer term information on an athlete’s training load over time, and is good indication of their fitness. Monitor this to see if you are trending up or down.
It is also useful for determining where your Chronic Load is in relation to the optimal range. The ideal range is determined by your personal fitness level and training history. The range changes as your training time and intensity change.
For example, you can use the chart to see if your the load is changing too quickly. If your values are above the optimal range, you have increased your training too much and risk overdoing it. Rest for a day or two.
A useful addition that is also available to older devices
This latest change to Garmin Connect is not a significant one. However, both of these metrics are useful.
It is encouraging to see that Garmin has made them available not only to the most recent devices, but also to older trackers. We are guessing that it is available for all devices that can display Acute Load (view list). This seems to be a change that was added to the smartphone app, so it does not require you to update your smartwatch to a later firmware version.
Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!