Versión en español

(Many thanks to…)

After more than a year testing, adding and dropping calculations, and still in trial version, my second application for Garmin watches comes to light.

Due to the limitation to only add 2 IQ fields on the screens of each activity, I tried to condense a whole bunch of them into one field, as they seemed practical to see on screen, both in training and in competitions.

The only way to do it is to choose before starting which one you want to see on screen, since once the activity has started you cannot change it. It is also not possible to see two different fields although we configure it on two screens (it is not possible anymore) since we would see the same information on both screens.

And in addition to everything that could be seen, I also wanted to be able to record a whole bunch of additional data, and then be able to see them in Garmin Connect and make use of them. Total and average data for both the complete activity and for each lap, and some of them visible in graphs.

Later I will write some more entries to go into detail of the calculations that I have used for each parameter.

Data displayed on screen

We can choose between 6 different data to see on screen. In turn these can be seen in two or three different formats:

  • rTL: Training load as a function of speed. The slope of the terrain is taken into account in the calculation, since it is not the same effort to run at the same speed on the flat, uphill or downhill. For example running at 4′ the km with a 5% incline is the same effort as running at 3’20” the km on the flat, or at 4’46” the km with an incline of -5%. In case this sounds to someone, it is what Training Peaks calls rTSS® (running Training Stress Score).
  • TL: Training load as a function of power. Parameter analogous to the previous one but according to the power. At Training Peaks it’s the TSS®.
  • ECO (Objective Load Equivalents): Training load based on heart rate zones. Developed by Roberto Cejuela and Jonathan Esteve, it quantifies the training load according to the time in each heart rate zone.
  • Power: Rolling average from the last 30 seconds. It takes into account the power developed to overcome the resistance of the air depending on the speed at which it runs, the temperature and the altitude. Does not take into account the wind, considers calm wind.
  • P:HR (rate between power and heart rate) and decoupling: At the beginning it shows the rate between power and heart rate, and after a certain time or certain laps, as configured, it will show the decoupling with respect to the previous data. Traning Peaks and WKO calculate the relationship between normalized power and mean heart rate. In the application both parameters are normalized in the same way.
  • Running effectiveness: Rolling average from the last 30 seconds. It is the relationship between speed (in m/s) and specific power (in W/kg). It is a good measure of the efficiency we have in transforming power into speed. At Training Peaks they call it RE®.

In addition, the training load data can be seen during the last seconds (configurable) of each minute as a percentage with respect to the threshold value at that moment, and the average per minute.

In the case of power, the percentage with respect to the threshold power, FTP (Functional Threshold Power) or CP (Critical Power) is displayed. Average per minute is not shown for not making sense.

The application performs its own calculations to obtain the power, but it may be the case that we have a race potentiometer connected to the watch. In this case, the power data to be used in the calculations will be that provided by the potentiometer. When the power data is taken from an accessory, a “(p)” will be displayed during the first minute of activity.

Stored data in the .fit file

From the data displayed on the screen, the following are recorded in the .fit file:

  • rTL, TL and ECO: Total activity and for each lap.
  • Power: Graph of the average of the previous 10 seconds and activity average.
  • R:HR: Graph of the average of the previous 30 seconds and average for each lap.
  • RE: Graph of the average value of the previous 30 seconds.

In addition, a few others are recorded:

  • xPower: Time-weighted exponential rolling average of the power, developed by Doctor Skiba. Calculated over the previous 25 seconds. Average value of all activity.
  • Normalized Power®: Rolling exponential average power, from Training Peaks. Calculated over the previous 30 seconds. Average value of all activity, average for each lap and graph.
  • Air resistance power: The resistance that air opposes when moving at a certain speed. Like any fluid (water for example), when moving within it opposes a resistance force that is proportional to the front surface and speed. The greater the surface and the higher the speed, the greater the resistance. It can be experimented by moving a hand in the water at different speeds, and with the palm perpendicular or parallel to the movement. If there were a headwind, we would have to add the speed that we have to that of the wind, and if there were a tailwind, we would have to subtract it. The application considers calm wind, that is, zero wind speed. The average value of all activity is displayed.
  • rIC: Coefficient of intensity according to speed. Indicates the intensity in relation to the threshold speed. A value of 1 would be the equivalent of running throughout the activity at the same speed as the threshold. What in Training Peaks they call rIF®. Average value.
  • IC: The analog to rIC with power. IF® at Training Peaks. Average value.

Data field configuration

In our mobile we can configure the behavior of the application, both to see different data on the screen, and for its behavior.

Some data is taken from the watch, from the user settings. They are height, weight, resting and maximum heart rates, heart rate zones.

The data to configure are the following:

  • Threshold pace. In s/km. The pace corresponding to the anaerobic threshold (VT1) or Lactate threshold. Ideally it should be measured flat. In case the watch is set in Imperial units (miles) it must also be set in s/km. It is the data that is used to calculate rTL and rIC.
  • Threshold power. In W. The power that would correspond to the threshold pace of the previous point, or the critical power. Theoretically it is the maximum power that can be sustained constantly for one hour. Data to calculate TL and IC.
  • Calculation time for decoupling. In s. Time in seconds of the sections between which we are going to see the decoupling. If you want to see the decoupling according to the laps, you must leave it at 0. The decoupling does not make sense for less than 30 seconds, so even if it is set below this value, the minimum time will be 30 seconds.
  • Decoupling intensity/recovery intervals. In the case of interval training, we may want to see the decoupling between the intensity intervals and the recoveries from each other, and not between an interval and the previous recovery, or a recovery and the previous interval. If activated, the decoupling of an odd lap will be calculated with respect to the previous odd lap, and in the same way for even laps. If deactivated, the decoupling is calculated from the immediately previous lap.
  • Half zones in ECO calculation. If enabled, the intensity factors for each zone will be divided into two, depending on whether we are in the lower or upper half of the heart rate zone. For example, zones 3, 4, and 5 have intensity factors 3, 4, and 6 respectively. When scoring half zones, zone 4 would be left with factors 3.5 and 4, and zone 5 would be left with factors 5 and 6. If deactivated, the entire zone has the same intensity factor.
  • On-screen percentage time. In s. Indicates the seconds at the end of each minute that the percentage of the data that we have on the screen will be displayed. That time divides in two to show the percentage during the first half and the value per minute during the second half. If set to 0, it will not be displayed. If set to 60, the absolute value of the data will not be displayed.
  • FE correction in ECO calculation. In %. The ECOs can be increased or decreased according to certain training conditions, for example on slopes, indoors, etc. We can increase the exercise factor by the percentage that we consider convenient.

Information data on the initial screen

When entering the activity, before starting it, when the watch searches for GPS signal and connected accessories, the data field presents a few informative values about the values that we have configured. They are shown in a circular way, once the last one is reached the next one to appear will be the first one again.

The values go in this order:

  • ECO (or ECO/2z if half zones are enabled): Exercise factor that will be used to calculate the ECOs. Includes the correction factor. For running it will appear 1, 0.5 for cycling and 0.75 for swimming. For other sports it is set to 1 so that it can be easily corrected through the correction factor. For example for cycling on trainer the authors recommend increasing the exercise factor by 20%. When configuring the correction factor with the value “20”, the ECO data 0.5 + 20% = 0.6 will be displayed. If we run on treadmill and correct with -20%, 1 – 20% = 0.8 will appear on the screen.
  • rTL: Threshold pace. In min/km or min/mile.
  • TL: Threshold power. In W.
  • External or calculated power: If a power meter is connected, “Pwr Ext” will be displayed, otherwise “Pwr Calc” will be displayed.
  • WtoR: Approximate pace at which you go from walking to running, calculated from height. In min/km or min/mile.
  • R-M: Resting and maximum heart rates as configured on the watch.
  • 1 to 6: Heart rate zones for calculating ECOs. They are obtained from the zones configured on the watch. The first 4 zones are the same, zone 5 differs from its upper limit and a zone 6 is added. The zone number – lower limit – upper limit is displayed. Both limits are included in the zone.

Information on the field label

The field label, the text displayed above the data, will indicate, in addition to the name of the parameter itself, information on the configuration we have chosen.

This is the information that will be shown in each case:

  • ECO: If we have activated the half zones, the label will be “ECO(1/2z)”.
  • Decoupling by time: Up to 60 seconds the value in seconds “P:HR(45s)” will be displayed and above the minute it will be displayed in minutes:seconds “P:HR(2:30)”.
  • Decoupling by laps: If interval decoupling is deactivated, it will show “P:HR(lap)” and if it is activated, it will show “P:HR(a-lap)”.

If you like the app and feel the need to make a financial contribution, you will be welcome and grateful. I cannot offer anything else, other than putting your names, or nicknames, or whatever comes to me through PayPal, at the end of this entry in the thanks section.

Comments and possible improvements to the app will also be appreciated, which you can do on its Garmin IQ page:

For financial collaboration, this is my personal page on PayPal:

Many thanks to

Gema Quiroga, David Avilés Martínez, Juan Carlos Martínez Riesgo, Rafael Fernández García.