Garmin introduced the so-called Workout Execution Score a few months ago with the introduction of the Forerunner 255 and 955. Here’s what it is and how to use it.
The metric has actually been around for a long time, but only on certain Garmin bike computers. The 255 and 955 are the company’s first watches with this feature. A few days ago it migrated to the Forerunner 945 LTE via a beta firmware update. Presumably it will be coming to all of Garmin’s high-end watches in the near future.
The feature is closely related to Daily Suggested Workouts
The clue is in the name. The Workout Execution Score measures how closely you followed a workout instruction.
The metric is closely tied to Garmin’s Daily Suggested Workouts feature – something most of the company’s recent watches have. Fenix 6 was the first watch with suggested daily workouts. Whenever you head out for a run or bike ride, this spits out workout recommendations.
In order for the feature to activate, you must set an exercise status by tracking at least two running or cycling activities over a week. The more training data you collect, the better the suggestions will be.
That’s because Garmin considers a variety of factors when creating a proposal, including:
- training status, load and load focus;
- your current Vo2Max;
- remaining recovery time;
- willingness to exercise (sleep data on watches that don’t have this);
- profile of the last runs (bicycle tours);
- Any races you may have planned in the near future.
You can accept or decline the suggested workout, view the steps in detail, or ask Garmin to suggest an alternative. If you agree, you will be guided in real time during your run or bike ride.
It’s also worth noting that if you have a specific Garmin or third-party training plan synced to your watch, it will take precedence over the default Suggested Training feature. The training plan takes precedence.
While training, do your best to follow the guidelines. This can be, for example, staying in a certain heart rate range. The clock shows on the screen where you are and where you should be. If you find yourself moving outside the recommended zone, the device on your wrist will alert you with a vibration.
The Workout Execution Score occurs after the workout is complete
Now we come to the Garmin Workout Execution Score. It only kicks in after you complete the workout.
Essentially, this is a simple metric on a 0-100 scale that quantifies how well you’ve followed Garmin’s suggested training instructions. You’ll see it on your watch post workout, and it’s also found in Garmin Connect and the web dashboard in the details for that particular run or ride.
For example, if you’re given a suggestion for a 55-minute baseline run, you’ll have to do your best to stay within the recommended range. A score of 67% and above means you did well. Anything below 33% is bad.
A detailed explanation can be found in Garmin Connect.
Optionally, you can rate your perceived effort
We all had good and bad training days. Depending on your settings, you may also be asked how good you felt after the workout. This on a scale of 1 to 5.
You can also rate your perceived exertion with a score between 1 or “very easy” and 10 “maximum”. Garmin doesn’t actually use this data for anything, but it can provide more insight into your exercise log. Refer to it in the future to see the connection between how you performed and how you felt on a given day.
Essential reading: The best fitness trackers and health gadgets
Workout Execution Score is a simple metric that I find useful in my daily workouts. However, it’s more of a nice-to-have than a must-have. Nothing is too complicated, so hopefully there will be more Garmin watch choices in the coming weeks and months.
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