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VO2Max no longer updating - Software v3.90 - Vivomove Style

Hi all, 

it seems that since the update to 3.90 (Vivomove Style), the watch is not providing an estimate of VO2max during running activities. Before the update, the watch would provide an estimate for all the runs. Is this a known issue? 


  • Wow, you are taking this investigation up a notch :-) I fiddle with Python too, but frankly I do not have the will to do more than what I am doing trying to troubleshoot the issue. I find it very strange, though, as VO2 Max is the result of a calculation, based on some of the metrics the watch is for sure registering. How the 3.90 update may have "broken" this is a mystery to me.

    Case in point, I went for a short run this afternoon, just a couple miles. At the beginning of my run I started the usual tracking with the "Activities -> Run -> Use Phone GPS -> Tap 2x Start/Stop" function of the watch. Stopped manually at the end of the two miles, saved the activity when prompted, waited for the watch to sync with the app, checked VO2 Max... no update for today's run, still showing the data point from yesterday as the last one on the "4 week" graph on the app and on .

    This time I did not try another run forcing the VO2 Max update from the "Heart Stats" menu on the watch, as I did yesterday.

    Tomorrow there is rain in the forecast, so most likely I won't run outside. Next time I go for a run I will only try to force the VO2 Max update from the watch, without tracking the whole run, so I can clearly separate the two methods. 

    Removing and reinstalling the app did not have any effect on this. Perhaps I will try another watch reset. But from what others have written here, it seems that even doing that it did not fix this particular problem.

    @Garmin-AmberD or @Garmin-Isabella, care to chime in? 

  • Thanks Batman! We were discussing with a friend of mine how to download the data and do some analysis on our running performance (mostly cause we're nerds haha). 

    I agree, it would be interesting to understand how the watch measurement of the VO2Max is performed on the watch, and how it might be different from a post-calculation based on the total running data.

    From what I read online, the direct measurement of VO2Max on Garmin watches is considered to be "more precise" than post-run estimates (e.g., those from Runalyze), but it would be interesting to understand what type of models are used across the different calculations. 

    In any case, let's see what Garmin people say :)

  • All right, here it goes another episode in this saga :-)

    Went out for a run this afternoon. Instead of starting a GPS-tracked "Run" in "Activites", this time a forced a VO2 Max measurement starting it from the "Heart Stats" menu.

    After 5'16" the watch saved the activity, even sooner than last time. Perhaps because I run a little faster, who knows. It is strange anyhow, as when you start the VO2 Max measurement the watch displays reads "Walk or Run for 15 minutes". Oh, well...

    At any rate, as expected the VO2 Max "4 week" graph in the app got updated with another data point on today's date.

    Conclusion: something seems to be wrong in the 3.90 update when it comes to measuring or recording VO2 Max during a GPS-tracked run (or walk it seems, for those of us not running), but not when forcing a VO2 Max measurement. 

    For the sake of complete due diligence, this evening after my run I reset again the watch and re-paired it with the phone and Garmin Connect up. 

    However, this time I selected the second reset option "Reset watch and delete all data". Will see if that makes a difference next time I run.

    Although this clear ALL stats in the watch and resets all settings to their default, once you re-pair it all the stas will be copied back to the watch from the app when you sync.

    You still have to manually change all the settings you may have personalized, like alarms, widget order, etc.

    If not even this more radical reset fixes things, I will file an official ticket with Garmin support. Even more so since they have been silent about this here on the forum.

  • One more (last, I am afraid) update on this: went on a run today, this time starting a regular GPS-tracked "Run" in "Activities". At the end of it, the VO2 Max data point was NOT recorded. The last data point shown in the app is the one from yesterday, when I forced the update using the "VO2 Max" option in "Heart Stats".

    Something even stranger: since I had reset again the watch, the VO2 Max value stored in the watch had been erased. After my run today not even the watch shows a value for VO2 Max. So it seems to be definitely something wrong in the watch firmware. If VO2 Max were calculated by the app based on the low-level data passed by the watch, a new value should be shown after each run. As things stand, it appears that now the watch is calculating VO2 Max only when that specific options is used in "Heart Stats" in which case a new value is stored in the watch and shown on its display.

    Conversely, when using "Run" in "Activities", it seems the watch does not update the value and so not only the watch but even the app shows no new VO2 Max data point on the date of the run.

    After having removed and reinstalled Garmin Connect, reset the watch twice (first time only to the default settings, second time to default + erasing all local data in the watch), I think it is fair to say that the 3.9 update definitely broke VO2 Max tracking and recording.

  • @Garmin-AmberD or @Garmin-Isabella, are you reading this thread? I see you are responding to others, do you have any comment on this? A function of the watch seems to be completely gone, I suppose this qualifies as a serious issue :-)

  • Is there any other way to get support? I’m very disappointed that my £250+ watch doesn’t have all the features anymore due to a software update!

    any way to at least revert to the previous version? 

  • Thanks, Batman, for all your testing! I agree, there is definitely something strange going on with this function, and I find it strange that we are not even getting an acknowledgement from Garmin moderators.

    On a side note, downgrading seems essentially impossible, and, in any case, there would be no way to block software updates. Let's hope the next update will be smoother, as I have had to reset the watch at least three times due to several bugs (body battery messed up, sync issues, and finally, the VO2max). 

    I have been thinking of getting a more technical Garmin watch to track running activities but, to be fair, now I am feeling a bit reluctant. 

  • I noticed that users with other issues that posted quite rude comments got an answers. Perhaps we are being too polite...

    Sarcasm apart, I will contact Garmin support and see what they have to say. If you all want to do it too, this is the support page for the Style:

    Once you select a topic you will be taken to a page with a few general help tips and at the bottom you have the option to either open a chat or call. 

    I too am/was thinking about getting another more specialized watch, in my case the Instinct Solar. It is one of those rugged outdoor watches, I do lots of hiking, kayaking, open water swimming, etc. I am following its forum as well and it too has its share of issues. At least, though, it is one of those models where not only you can turn off automatic updates, but also roll back the software.

    Ironically, the Instinct Solar has all of the features you can think of, it supports a bazillion activities and tons of metrics, but it does NOT have VO2 Max. Sometimes I wonder what's in the mind of the marketing types that make this kind of decisions...

    Going back to the issue at hand, to be fair smartwatches these days are very complex. I deal with electronic devices with firmware because of my job, I do realize that sometimes you fix or improve something and get unwanted side effects. I have also had fitness trackers or watches from other companies and three members of my family have Apple watches. All have had their share of issues.

    My point is: it's not that a screw up cannot happen, it is all about what it is done AFTER it happens to make things right. This is were Garmin is disappointing me.

  • I’ll try and see if I can reach out to the support then.

    I agree with the sentiment, things can go wrong in an update, I’m just disappointed that there seems to be no support to resolve the problem.

  • I totally agree as well, it is the lack of an acknowledgement that I am finding upsetting as well. I will contact Garmin support as well :) 

    In any case, it is true that these are complex devices so it is understandable that issues can arise during an update. My only issue is that this is my second Garmin watch (I had a refurbished Vivomove HR before the Style) and had quite a lot of troubles with that watch as well. 

    To be fair, I really love the Style, it is a nice looking, very useful watch and the VO2Max is more of an added benefit - I have started using runalyze to have a bit more details on my training and it includes a series of different VO2Max estimates that I am finding more useful than the Garmin one :) 

    The Instinct Solar looks like an amazing watch! I was thinking something along the lines of a Forerunner 235. I have recently got into running and I am quickly getting tired of swapping straps and washing the style after each run :) Let's see how things go!