Garmin training distribution?

What is the training distribution that Garmin’s training load focus uses to tell you whether your training is balanced?

It seems to me that the amount of high aerobic (plus anaerobic) is pretty high and low aerobic pretty low, compared to the polarised training method. Is it kind of pyramidal, or just high intensity heavy? Garmin Connect tends to tell me I’m doing too much low aerobic or too little high aerobic when I want to build volume in accordance to the polarised method. Even when I’m doing 1-2 high intensity sessions (e.g. 4x8 at or just above ftp). Anyone else having the same?

I like the fact that GC tries to do the math for me and tell me whether load, distribution and recovery are on point. But that gets kind of limited if it’s not in accordance with the approach I want to use. And killer for your motivation if you get negative feedback all the time… :slight_smile: Using an advanced platform and analysing myself or getting a personal coach are be a bit too much for me (math-wise and financially respectively), at least at this point in time. I would like to devote my time to training, feeling confident about the platform I use.

Is there a platform that gives decent quality, ready to use guidance and works well with polarised training? I realise it will not be the same as real coaching, but could do the trick for now.

(46yr, moderately trained, looking to step up my game, primarily cycling, mixed with some gym and running)

Garmin has been telling me I have an anaerobic shortage for about 6 months. I tend to ignore it.

I might be wrong, but I have asssumed its targeted at someone that might want general all round fitness rather than trying to hit a peak at specific time of year. It also doesn’t account for any of the strength training I’ve been doing.


I think you are finding out for yourself the “unreliability” with wearables including our bike computers that measure power and HR. As a coach I find the Garmin stats to not be very accurate epscially as it relates to your aerobic vs anaerobic systems as you listed, furthermore when it tells you that you need 5 days off after a long 3-4 ride. This is AI and algorithms at its finest and does not account for your durability, resielancy and overall physio- at least in my opinion. All of us coaches appreciate your comments regarding working wiht a coach would be best and while that is true, the best thing you can do is set those baseline numbers via perfroamcne testing to set trainig zones and keep those accurate and then if polarized is what you like then stick to that following the 4x8 and moving to 4x12 or 4x16 eventually as the protocol calls for. You may want to look into HRV and start tracking that as well as looking into the cardiiac drift over the course of several weeks to see improvements on your economy and how much more of a durable athlete you are becoming. At the end of the day, polarized will help on both of these in that you can ride so much at that easy intensity and get that 1 hard interval ride in per week or perhaps 2x if you move to a 10 day training schedule.

Finally, listen to your inner athlete- it is rarely wrong. We have so much data at our finger tips that tell us coaches if our athletes are fatigued, or training too deep, or not training hard enough based on all these metrics that at the end of the day it comes down to how you are feeling and how your physio is accepting that training.

Happy training!!

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Hi Fpike,
great suggestions, thanks !
What kind of performance testing would you suggest when noch lab is available?


There are a host of performance tests you can do. The basic, most simple is doing a field test for durations that include 20M, 5M, 1M and 15sec. This will provide a full pyhsio view of strenghts and weaknesses. Coaches often use this. For self taught athletes that do not use software to deep dive and analyize data I would suggest the 20M and 5M so get idea of your sustained threshold power (20M) and your VO2 power (5M). Tests are about max power for the duration and help you set accurate training zones.

Other ways are going to perforamnce lab and using a metobolic cart for more accurate FTP and VO2 readings. Finally there is a remote metabolic test called INSCYD which I perform using powermeter and a specific protocol on 4 durations. This is accurate with a few points of the metablic cart which is most accurate. INSCYD identifies training zones, FTP, VO2, VlaMax (high glycolic power) as well as fatmax- how well you combust and use fats as fuels which is uber imortant for cyclists. Are you using power, HR or both or neither? Let me know how I can help further. Thx