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Is Garmin VO2 Max Accurate? (A Quick Response)

The direct answer is yes, Garmin VO2 max is accurate. The inclusion of the Firstbeat Technology has made Garmin VO2 max even more accurate.

Although we have studies that suggest Garmin overestimated calories burned, others say vice versa is true.

But the thing is both findings suggest Garmin’s VO2 max is within an estimate of 5% of the true VO2 max.

What is VO2 Max Garmin?

VO2 max can be defined as the highest capacity of oxygen (milliliters) the body can take each minute per kilogram at its utmost performance.

VO2 max increases with an increase in fitness level hence an indication of aerobic fitness.

Why Is VO2 Max Important? 

VO2 max is important because it is one of the best ways you get to find, comprehend, and manage your levels of fitness. If your VO2 max level is level it means your fitness level is low.

When your VO2 max score is high then your level of fitness is high with great performance capacity. VO2 max affects the way we live and train and that makes it important in our lives.

VO2 max Garmin Accuracy

One of sport’s greatest development is the ability to measure data through wearables. But even if we are able to calculate data how accurate is the Garmin VO2 Max data?

And is the Garmin VO2 max accuracy anywhere close to the data we get from laboratory testing? Although Garmin VO2 max is not directly proportional to lab VO2 max, it stands to be the best way to estimate VO2 max from home.

Garmin VO2 max is accurate but with an error of between 10% and 15%, this error is equivalent to 3.5ml/kg/min.

How does Garmin measure VO2 Max?

Garmin comes with the VO2 max feature to help those who find no time to visit labs to have VO2 max calculated or estimated.

The highest amount of oxygen for your workouts is contributed by VO2 max. With VO2 max we get to know our cardiovascular shape while training.

Garmin calculates VO2 max for various activities with the help of the Firstbeat Fitness Test. Garmin wearables will need age, activity (e.g. walking, cycling, running, and rowing), and heart rate.

The data is recorded in segments and the most credible segment is used to estimate your level of aerobic fitness.

The segments are in periods of 20 to 30 seconds. Garmin used speed (km/h), power (W), inclination (°), and weight (kg) as units of calculation for VO2 max.

RELATED: You may also want to know how Garmin calculates the number of calories the body burns.

How to calculate cycling vo2 max Garmin

So, how does Garmin calculate cycling VO2 max? To calculate your cycling with your Garmin watch you will need a compatible chest strap or any wrist-based heart rate monitor and a power meter.

Pair the Garmin watch with the power meter. Pair the chest strap with the watch but if the watch comes with an onboard heart rate monitor you don’t need to pair it to any external HR monitor.

Try a couple of rides to let the watch learn about your riding performance. Ride the bike intensively and steadily for about 20 minutes. Save your achievement. To view your VO2 max score on Garmin Fenix 5/5S:

  • Choose UP or Down for the performance widget.
  • Scroll through your performance metrics using the Triangle symbol.

Why is my vo2 max decreasing

Your Vo2 max is seen to decrease when your pace is slower than your heart rate or vice versa.

For example, when you are sick and go for a run, you will run slowly but the rate at which your heart will beat will be high.

This explains why your VO2 max dropped, is so low, and why it is not improving. A factor such as health can affect your VO2 max score and Garmin doesn’t know that or whether you are running /cycling at high altitudes.

Your VO2 max can only start increasing when you recover from an illness e.g. COVID-19.

Garmin Race Predictor

What is Garmin Race Predictors?

Race prediction on Garmin is determined using your training history and VO2 max score.

Race periods provide for example Garmin Forerunner 945 and Forerunner 245/245 Music among others include 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon distances.

If you have the Forerunner 245/245 Music and want to view predicted times do the following:

  • Select UP or DOWN from the watch face to see your performance widget.
  • Select START to be able to scroll through your performance data.

You will see race times for 5K, 10k, half marathon, and marathon distances, and the data may seem inaccurate.

Consider going for a few runs with the watch so that it gets to understand your running.

How accurate are Garmin Race Predictors?

The accuracy of Garmin Race Predictors depends on how accurate your heart rate is and the number of data collected.

It would be best if you have a chest strap heart rate monitor activities such as training load, race predictors, and training status using the heart rate data.

Garmin Training Status Unproductive

What is Garmin Training Status? Garmin training status will show how your workouts affect your levels of fitness and performance.

Garmin Training status depends on the changes in your workout load and VO2 max over a given period of extended time.

Training status can be used to prepare for future training and improve levels of fitness.

Note, you will need at least 2 weeks of training history for Garmin to collect enough data to determine your training status.

How do I make My Garmin Productive?

When Garmin says your status is unproductive it means your load training level is okay but fitness is depreciating.

To improve and make your Garmin more productive consider paying attention to nutrition, rest, stress, and your overall health.

For example, when you run or workout so hard 3 or 4 times a week spend the remaining time resting, workout out minimally, and sleep enough.

When your VO2 max is good or improving your Garmin status becomes productive.

Which Garmin Watch measure VO2 Max?

Can a Garmin watch measure VO2 max? A Garmin watch can measure VO2 max and provide. Good examples of Garmin watches that can measure VO2 max are Garmin Vivoactive and the Fenix 6S.

Garmin Vivoactive

Garmin Vivoactive comes with the Firstbeat technology which is known for being so accurate in calculating VO2 max.

The watch comes with sports apps like swimming, yoga, and cycling to keep you active so that you get to improve your VO2 max score over and over.

With this watch, you not only get a chance to keep track of your VO2 max but also, get to monitor your levels of stress.

Garmin Vivoactive

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RELATED: Click here to check how Garmin Vivoactive 4 compares to Fenix 6

Garmin Fenix 6S

Garmin Fenix 6S is definitely the VO2 max watch to opt for if you are a runner. Like Vivoactive, it comes with the Firstbeat technology which is more accurate on VO2 max.

The watch is loaded with advanced training metrics and running dynamics. Apart from tracking your VO2 max score, the watch will track your recovery time, and hydration, and provide you with workout suggestions each day.

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How to Increase VO2 Max for Runners

VO2 max is very much important to athletes and fitness enthusiasts and that’s why as a runner it is important to improve VO2 max if it drops. Fortunately, increasing your VO2 max score is possible.

In order to increase your Vo2 max, you will need to come up with a workout schedule that you will on a regular basis.

Why is my cycling and running VO2 max different?

The reason we have a difference between the running VO2 Max and cycling VO2 Max is that the activities don’t share the same muscles. These muscles also require different amounts of oxygen.

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