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965 and HR Zones

the HR zones on my new 965 don't match what I had before (I am not sure what they were before but the zones were more forgiving if that makes sense. I have set the max hr to my average max hr according to Garmin. 

Strangely though they are miles away from what Strava suggest. Is it best to set these manually? if so what is the best way of calculating? the age formula doesn't work for me as I have a high max HR and a very low resting (48 and I am around the same age). 

Any advice is appreciated, apologies this isn't 965 specific but the new watch caused the change. 


  • Hi mate

    take into account that the power responds instantly and the heart rate zone with a long delay.
    from my experience with garmins, and I've been using them since 2009, I think that generally in 95% of cases they set you perfect, sometimes you just have to give them time.
    I currently use a 965 and had a easy run today.

    so far my power zones are underestimated,
    i'm done with stryd after 6 years and i've only had fairly easy runs for the last week, so garmin needs to learn me a bit, but still pretty close.
    don't mix strava into it, give garmin a chance
    garmin power or stryd need few type of run to set the zones well.
    several gears of the type 5-10 x8-15 sek max
    a few times 1 to 2 minutes. max
    a couple of runs 3-5 min max
    and about 20 minutes of your max
    and a lot of easy running after about 30-90 minutes
    then the results are valid.
    I've been running on power for the last 6 years and I think I know a bit about it :-)
  • Thank you, should I adjust the Garmin heart rate zones to match what strava suggests or is there a formula to follow?

  • DC, pay no attention to strava.
    give garmin time to update zones based on your runs.

    the more you train harder, the faster it will happen.

  • Thanks, which is the best option to use? %Max HR, %HRR, or %LTHR ?


  • I prefer %LTHR.  I try to do a guided lactate threshold test on the watch every 4-5 weeks to make sure my LTHR is up to do and set the zones off of that.

  • Same. I usually do two or three tests each marathon training cycle. I also keep auto detection on but it’s been months and months since it’s changed after a workout. 

  • I am not sure how to do the test but I appear to have it auto calculating, as Patrick mentioned it doesn't change often. Is the LTHR the best way to define zones? I assume they then change as LTHR changes?

    Has anyone seen a change with the auto detect model?


  • In Run settings under Training you can do a guided lactate threshold test (requires a HR strap for a formal test).

    I think Garmin has disabled the auto detection as they work out a bug in the feature - But it looks like the current release for the 965 fixes that.

    You are correct that as your LTHR changes, the zones would change.  I've found that through the course of training that my LTHR doesn't change more than 2-3bpm, and even if the HR threshold is the same, the pace which I'm able to move at that HR is much quicker.  There is only so much that the your body can change.

  • Thank you, 

    I have a chest strap and will do a test and see how I go. I have changed the zones to %LTHR. I struggle when I read about zone training when there are a few ways to measure the zones each being significantly different :( 

  • I just did a quick look at some calculators and the zones on the three calculations were within a few bpm of what I'm currently set with.  Enough that for the lack of perfect science/calculations on things that I wouldn't be too worried.  I don't find doing a LTHR test to be too much work, and doing a test for a Max HR is a pain/my resting heart rate can be influence by enough factors that even it isn't a perfect number.