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Recovery matters. The replenishing and restorative work your body does after an activity makes your next performance possible. Recovery processes can also be among the most difficult to manage effectively. We know it takes time to bounce back, but how long is long enough?

Inadequate recovery means missing out on the benefits of your hard work. Challenging yourself with a tough workout before your body has completed the restorative and adaptive work triggered by your last effort can leave you struggling. Ignore your body’s recovery needs for long enough, and injury risks skyrocket.

The recovery time feature available on many Garmin GPS watches provides scientifically personalized insight into how long it will be before you are fully recovered. When your timer hits zero, it means you are ready to gain the maximum benefit from your next hard fitness-improving (i.e., training effect: 3.0+) type workout.

The primary basis for recovery time recommendations involves analyzing and interpreting performance data from your recorded activities. The amount of strain resulting from your workouts is interpreted based on a combination of your current fitness level and recent training history. It is measured in terms of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) based training load. Behind-the-scenes adjustments are made to these recommendations based on the amount of time remaining on your recovery timer at the start of your workout, trends in your VO2 max fitness level and your acute (7-day) to chronic (28-day) training load ratio.

Recently, recovery time has been improved by introducing health and lifestyle tracking data to the analysis for the first time. This means that on compatible Garmin devices, all-day stress tracking and estimated sleep tracking data is now used to increase and decrease your recovery time recommendations, and the impact of your day-to-day activities is now also factored into the equation to complete the picture.

With the improved recovery time calculation, you may now notice that an especially stressful day or a bad night’s sleep will extend the amount of time recommended before your next hard workout. On the other hand, good sleep, low stress and light daily activity levels can all shorten recovery time recommendations.


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