Image source: Garmin

Garmin update adds automatic Recovery Heart Rate calculations

A recent Garmin update has quietly introduced automatic calculations of Recovery Heart Rate. We noticed this figure appearing for all our runs on our Forerunner 955, and it might be part of beta update 18.22.

What is Recovery Heart Rate?

For those not in the know, Recovery Heart Rate is a metric that offers a glimpse into your cardiovascular system’s efficiency. It measures how quickly your heart rate drops after exercise. To calculate it, simply subtract your heart rate a few minutes after exercise from your peak heart rate during exercise. Or better yet, get your watch to do it.

The quicker your heart rate recovers after exercise, the fitter you likely are. So you want to aim for a high Recovery Heart Rate score.

We actually wrote a detailed piece on the metric. You can check it out on this link.

The old way versus the new way

Up to now, you had to adhere to a specific procedure to measure your Recovery Heart Rate on a Garmin watch. After a workout (like a run), you needed to wait for two minutes instead of immediately saving your data. In those instances, your Garmin watch would automatically calculate your recovery heart rate and display the result. On some watches, you could also trigger a manual reading.

Now all of this is done automatically for you. Stop your run and save it as you would normally, there’s no need to wait for two minutes. The watch will do its thing in the background without your input.

Recovery Heart Rate now appears in Garmin Connect

Part of the problem previously was that Recovery Heart Rate data was not visible in the Garmin Connect app. Instead, it was stored within your .FIT workout file and accessible using third-party tools. Which is not ideal.

Thankfully, Garmin has addressed this issue. Recovery Heart Rate now pops up in Garmin Connect (both the app and web interface), even for your past workouts.

Unfortunately, the metric still only appears within individual activities. So Garmin does not offer a way to chart your progress over time. Perhaps this is because Recovery Heart Rate can jump around quite a bit. That’s because it depends on workout intensity, your post-workout behavior (sitting vs. walking), and other factors.

Nevertheless we feel this might be a missed oportunity. Charting the metric over time may provide a glimpse as to whether or not you are trending up.

A positive step forward

Despite these limitations, Garmin’s move to automate Recovery Heart Rate calculations is a positive step forward. It provides serious athletes with another valuable metric to track, offering insights into their cardiovascular health and training progress.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

Having said that, it is important to use it in conjunction with other metrics. Heart rate variability (HRV), resting heart rate, and overall training load offer a more complete picture of your athletic performance. Always consider factors like stress, sleep quality, and nutrition, as they can also influence your performance.

Neverthless, it is good to see Garmin making these types of changes.

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

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