Garmin Forerunner Features Made Simple

What you need to know about the incredible features of the Forerunner series.

Deep Analytics & Predictive Insights

The Garmin Forerunner 965 digs deep into your biological data and the latest health science with their Firstbeat technology. They have now given you the tools to gain insight before only seen with expensive equipment and trained professionals.

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Garmin Forerunner® 965

Predictive / Suggestive Insights

These metrics indicate how you might perform, or what you should do to best maximize fitness, based on the Core and Deep Analytic metrics.

The most powerful part of the Forerunner suite of features.

Recovery Time

How long should I give my body to recover?

Giving your body enough time to recover is essential, to be at your best, to effectively improve your fitness, and to avoid injury. But for how long should you be recovering? This is a question on every runner’s mind.

Garmin’s Recovery Time metric offers insight into the answer by combining your training load (daily, weekly and monthly), remaining recovery time at the beginning of a workout, and VO2 max trends. Stress and sleep tracking can also prolong or reduce Recovery Time. A good night of sleep can reduce your recovery timer, while a bad night can extend it. The same goes for your stress scores.

What Happens During Recovery?

Your body continues the replenishing and restorative activities long after the EPOC period, when your heart rate and breathing reach your rest state. Not only does your body continue to recover to its previous state fully, but improvements then occur above and beyond this.

In recovery, you recover plus extra. This “extra” is the body’s adaptive response and allows it to work harder, for longer and more efficiently in the future. It’s that extra that is the most important. These are the benefits of your hard work.

Giving your body enough time will allow it to improve and make your next personal record breaking performance possible.

Daily Suggested Workouts

What should I be doing today?

If you want your fitness to progress at the fastest possible speed, it is important that you balance different types of training, intensities, and recovery. This Garmin feature suggests your optimum workout today to facilitate your fitness improvements.

The goal with this feature is to improve your fitness level, which can be measured by your VO2 max. The feature considers current training load, load focus, recovery time, sleep data and the profile of recently performed workouts.

Leave the analytics to Garmin with this powerful planning tool.

Training Readiness

How ready is my body? Am I in a peak or low state?

Training Readiness is a powerful way to gain insight into the current state of your body, and whether you are ready to perform at your best, or maybe in need of additional recovery time.

This metric is designed to tell you when you are ready to receive the most benefit from your hard training. Training while in a low state can be counterproductive to your progress.

How is it calculated?

Sleep Score, Recovery Time, Acute Training Load, HRV Status, Sleep History, Stress History

Possible States:

Poor - Let your body recover.

Low - Slow it down a bit.

Moderate - Ready to go.

High- In a position to take on a challenge.

Prime - In peak state.

Your training readiness receives a large update when you wake up when your nightly HRV data is accounted for. It then updates throughout the day according to your activities. If you have hours remaining on your Recovery Time countdown, expect your readiness to increase as that time expires. Record an activity and you will notice a decrease in readiness afterwards that reflects your current recovery needs. Light efforts have minimal impact while hard workouts can significantly reduce your readiness.

Real-time Stamina

How much do I have left in the tank? At my current pace and in general?

You may wonder how much you've got left in you while you're running. Real-time Stamina offers an answer with Stamina, and Potential Stamina.

Stamina lets you know how much you've got left at your current pace before you are likely to begin experiencing rapid fatigue. Potential Stamina can let you know how close you are to your rapid fatigue point at any pace.

This is given as a percentage and decreases over the course of your exercise. Your Stamina can decrease at a faster rate than your Potential Stamina if you are at a very high intensity, generally if you are training above your lactate threshold.

Can be a useful tool for pacing.

Performance Condition (Real-time)

How well can my body currently perform?

Slightly different than training readiness, this is a more precise measure of where your VO2 max, and therefore your peak aerobic ability, is in real-time. The results are dynamically provided as you are running. 

Higher numbers indicate greater performance potential. Expressed as percentage points above your VO2 max baseline.

Based on pace, heart rate and HRV.

Race Time Prediction

How might I be able to perform today? How should I pace myself?

Your pace is absolutely essential to planning and execution of your run. With the Forerunner 965, you will now have a personalized target pace as a benchmark and can plan around this.

Race Time Prediction tells your estimated times for various common racing distances. The prediction uses your VO2 max (aerobic training capability), training load, and other pieces of data from the past few weeks.

Deep Analytics

These metrics help to answer questions about how you are managing your training and how your body is responding. This information is critical to making efficient training plans and decisions.

Training Load

What strain is my body experiencing due to training?

Training Load is intended to capture the overall stress on your body, primarily your cardiovascular and central nervous system, due to your most recent activity level. 

Straining your body is a core part of exercise, and the only way to improve, but balance is key. 

The basis for these metrics is EPOC, the measure of the short-term recovery period at the end of your exercise, when your breathing and heart rate return to rest state.

There are 3 types of Training Load that Garmin tracks:

Exercise load

 EPOC from your most recent run.

Acute load

EPOC from 10 days’ worth of activity, normalized to a 7-day window. This means you are seeing your weekly training load, but with data affecting it as far back as 10 days.

Chronic Load

 28-day EPOC data / monthly training load.

Training Load Focus

What type of training have I been doing?

A common theme in the Garmin watch focus is balance, which is essential to improve performance as quickly as possible and run your best.

There are 3 types of training that are documented: Anaerobic, High Intensity Aerobic, and Low Intensity Aerobic

Training Load Focus tracks your training in each area and provides an overview to maintain balance and better plan your next training.

Training Areas & Impact of Balance

Anaerobic Training

Key Example: Sprint intervals.

  • When your body needs to primarily rely on anaerobic processes.

  • Will help your body enter high intensity training more easily and recover more quickly.

  • Improves your maximum performance capability.

  • Overdoing this means you may not be allowing your body to recover all its reserves and making adaptive changes.

High Intensity Aerobic Training

Key Example: Tempo runs.

  • When your body is near your lactate threshold, but still in an aerobic state. Sustained high intensity.

  • Adds strain to your body, depletes ATP and oxygen reserves, building up creatine and lactate. These must be replaced during recovery.

  • Improves your endurance capacity and pace.

Low Intensity Aerobic Training

Key Example: Long slow runs.

  • Conversational pace.

  • Ensures a balanced training plan.

  • Allows for recovery while continuing to train.

  • Avoid overstrain from more intense runs.

Training Status

How well am I managing my training? Do I need to push harder or slow down?

Training Load helps you to answer this question by combining your acute training load (7-day EPOC), VO2 max, and your HRV status (7-day HRV average).

Factors influencing: Acute Training Load (7-day EPOC), VO2 Max, HRV Status.

Possible Training States:

Peaking, Productive, Maintaining, Strained, Unproductive, Overreaching, Recovery, Detraining

You can also have "No Status" - the device does not have enough data to provide feedback - or "Paused" - this is a setting that turns off Training Status entirely.

Training Effect

What impact is my training having on my progress? How much am I improving?

As you exercise properly, your fitness level will go up, or if you decrease your activity level, your fitness level can go down.

Results are provided after each training session.

Garmin's advanced analytics now can tell you much your training is improving your fitness, or degrading if you are taking a break.

Two metrics are provided here: Anaerobic and Aerobic Training Effect. The metric is determined by length of time and intensity spent in each category and is weighted by your overall fitness level. The same activity level will have a smaller and smaller impact on your fitness as you progress.

Note. The training effect scale for both aerobic and anaerobic is: 

0 – None, 1 – Minor, 2 – Maintaining, 3 – Improving, 4 – Highly Improving, 5 – Overreaching.

Training Areas & Benefits

  • Anaerobic Training
  • Aerobic Training
  • Develops your body's anaerobic energy systems.

  • Determines your sprint capability and maximum power.

  • Provides your body with fatigue resistance.

  • Increases lactic acid tolerance, extending the ability to perform while lactate is building.

  • Increases body's energy (ATP) and oxygen reserves.

  • Uses fat for energy

  • Develops the body's aerobic energy systems.

  • Improves endurance and stamina.

  • Improves your prolonged running endurance and pace.

  • Increases VO2 Max and Lactate Threshold.

Sleep History

How am I sleeping recently?

Your most recent night of sleep is incredibly impactful on your health and fitness. However, we can also accumulate sleep debt, meaning prior nights can have a significant impact on us. One bad night can affect your mood and energy levels for many days after.

Sleep History factors the past several nights of sleep into a 0 to 100 score to give you a picture of how your recent sleep is impacting your health and performance.

Note: Used to help determine some of the predictive metrics, such as Recovery Time.

Stress History

How are my recent stress levels?

Stress can come from your training or from life. It can be a good way to determine if you need to make a change or give your body a bit longer to recover.

Stress History provides insight into how your overall recent stress levels are impacting your health and performance. It does this by analyzing the past 3 days of stress scores.

Note: Used to help determine some of the predictive metrics, such as Recovery Time.

HRV Status

How is the stress from training affecting my body?

HRV Status looks at the 7-day average of your HRV to help understand the state of your body. it can be a determinant if your body is overstressed from training or dealing with an illness.

Higher levels of HRV generally indicate relaxation and balance, while lower HRV represents stress and strain. This is true only to a certain extent for high HRV values, as beyond a certain point would not be ideal either.

A useful way to tell if you need to focus on recovery rather than performance.

Heat and Altitude Acclimation

How is my body adapting to heat and altitude conditions?

When you exercise in hotter than normal conditions, or higher altitude than you are accustomed to, your body undergoes adaptive changes to be more capable of performing here in the future.

Similar to Training Effect, your Heat and Altitude Acclimation tells you how well your body is improving from your training sessions.

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The Garmin Forerunner 965 is an incredible tool to make your running experience smooth and worry-free. Let your device do the analysis and help you with planning so you can enjoy your runs.

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Core Biofeedback: 

Heart Rate

Your heart is the engine of your body, supplying your body with everything it needs to do the incredible things you do. It's no wonder we can get so much information from measuring it.

Your heart rate is a true measurement from a sensor and is the core data for all information provided by Garmin watches. Measured in real time, 24/7 and shown in 7-day averages for a long-term perspective.

Core Fitness Metrics

These are core metrics which are widely used in the field of fitness and athletics to measure performance, fitness level, and general health. 

You will have access to all of this information with the Garmin Forerunner 965. These are also used as part of the Deeper Analytics metrics.

HRV (Heart Rate Variability)

HRV is a powerful tool to determine the strain on your body due to training or other sources of stress. It is the backbone metric of the analytics used in Garmin devices. 

This is a measure of the changing length of time between two consecutive heart beats. Garmin measures your HRV at night to avoid other factors that could affect the measurement, giving the most accuracy.

High HRV indicates relaxation in the body, while low HRV indicates higher levels of stress. When your body is in fight or flight response mode, the heart beats more regularly to provide oxygen and nutrient supply for whatever may be occurring. When the body is more relaxed, the heart has some room to beat less regularly as it no longer anticipates strain.

A low HRV can indicate that recovery, proper rest, diet, or other attention to your body is required. A consistently high HRV can indicate that you are managing your training and health ideally.

Lactate Threshold (Anaerobic Threshold)

Lactate threshold determines the level at which your body will rapidly fatigue and is a key indicator of endurance capability. This metric measures the anaerobic lactate threshold, above which lactate is being produced at a greater rate than can be broken down, leading to a buildup in the muscles.

This is provided as a pace and heart rate at which you will hit your threshold.

Your body produces lactate, or lactic acid as a byproduct of carbohydrate usage for energy. This process increases in volume as you exercise, and your body consumes more energy.

Lactate, or lactic acid, is responsible for muscle fatigue, soreness, and stiffness.

Your body will increase the lactate threshold as you progress, allowing you to increase your endurance pace without experiencing the symptoms of quick fatigue.

VO2 Max

Your personal cardiorespiratory/aerobic fitness level. 

VO2 max determines the largest amount of oxygen your body can consume and use in any period.

This value is uniquely assigned to you and will be compared against your own baseline to determine fitness improvements and capabilities.

Oxygen supply is an essential component of performance, therefore VO2 max determines your highest level of aerobic fitness, and is tied strongly to your endurance performance.

Activity beyond your VO2 max places you into the Anaerobic Training zone.

Sleep Score

Sleep is essential to health and certainly to your performance. This score indicates your most recent sleep quality and can affect deeper analytics such as recovery time.

Stress Score

Stress is critical to manage well, and factors other than your training can influence this. This score indicates your current stress level based on your heart rate and HRV and can affect deeper analytics such as recovery time.


EPOC stands for Excess-Post-Oxygen consumption, and it describes the period of time after exercise has stopped, but your body is still bringing your heart rate and breathing back down to rest state.

This metric is used to determine your Training Load (a Deeper Analytic metric), or the strain on your body due to your training. It is directly related to the amount of anaerobic training that occurred.

Whenever you are in an anaerobic state, your body’s depletion of ATP, oxygen, and phosphocreatine (PCr) increases and your EPOC, or recovery time also increases. During EPOC, your body works to restore ATP, oxygen, and PCr reserves as well as remove excess lactate that has accumulated.

Anaerobic Training

Anaerobic Training is directly measured in Training Load Focus, which is given a numerical value based on how much energy you spent through your body's anaerobic systems.

There are two scenarios in which your body is in a primarily anaerobic state:

1. When you first begin to exercise, your heart rate and breathing are increasing to meet the oxygen demand.

2. When you are exercising above your VO2 max, you are at an intensity which requires more oxygen than your body can supply.

This state depletes your body’s reserves and builds up waste products like lactic acid very quickly.

This is your max performance capability.

Example: Sprints / Interval training.

Aerobic Training

Aerobic training is active when your body is maintaining the oxygen supply your body needs to maintain your current activity level. This occurs after beginning to exercise or increasing intensity once your heart rate and breathing have caught up to meet the demand on your body.

This is your endurance training level.

Examples: Tempo runs or long, slow runs.

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