Focus Garmin Data Field

I’ve tried so many times to understand the Focus feature Garmin data field and really believe that it could be ideal for doing intervals outdoors but I just don’t get it. I’ve seen Scott’s video and read the Xert webpages plus forum pages, yet I feel missing something.

If it’s just that if my interval targets are 300w and that I do nothing but 300w (except under LTP?), then my focus will be purely the time which Xert understands I can continuously hold 300w. Is that right? But then surely this is of no use on the bike as it would be after-the-fact analysis.

I strongly suspect that this data could be one of the best things for me about Xert but I’m just missing something. Please feel free to link to other convos, though I might probably have already read them. I have an open mind and really want to get it.

This is mostly me repeating myself :slight_smile: but hopefully something clicks for you.
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The Focus target outdoors is similar to recommended indoor workouts. It’s just a different way to get there by performing irregular intervals that achieve the same strain goal for the day.
While the intervals may be irregular in duration, they do have structure to them.
The Focus field on Garmin provides the target focus to shoot for while the TTE/TTR field helps you gauge RIBs and when to go again.
For example, you can free ride intervals that closely target your 5-minute power (Breakaway Specialist) sandwiched between your warm-up and cooldown portions of your ride. Or the entire ride is slow and easy to meet the endurance goal for the day (Focus: 20:00+).
With a 5-minute power target you’d ride intervals at or slightly above your 5-minute watts on your power curve. Doesn’t have to be exact. They won’t be 5 minutes long as that would drive you to complete exhaustion. :smiley:
Recovery RIBs should be low watts (ex. 60% TP) so TTR returns close to zero. Then go again.
You also keep an eye on your XSS goal for the day.
When you return and upload the ride, the activity title and details tell you know how well you matched goals for the day.

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Think this is where the misunderstanding is. The interval target is based on your power curve before the ride, and is only shown in the advice, not during the ride. The actual ‘after the fact’ (which is actually also available in real time if you use Xert data fields, or Xert EBC) focus reflects everything you actually did during the ride, regardless of whether you actually rode 300w or 400w or 500w intervals. That’s the value of it.

So it’s not re-estimating how long you could hold 300w, but estimating what part of the power curve you actually focused on (based on actual relative contribution from low high and peak ‘systems’ - but don’t think you need the detail). If you did 400w intervals instead of 300w, your focus would end up being maybe 3 minutes rather than the 5 minutes you were aiming for (all made up, just to illustrate), and you’d know you went a bit too hard (or in real time would know to back off to hit the target focus)


Thanks guys and sorry for not getting back sooner. I think what I need to do is to just incorporate intervals into a ride and see it in action.

thank you for explaining.

is there a good way to predict ahead of time how many minutes / intervals to do at the Focus power?

it would be convenient to know ahead of time so I could plan my route based on time, etc.

so say focus is 5:00 power and that is 300 watts. let’s say I wanna ride an hour at just below LTP and intervals at ~300 watts. how would I know how many minutes / intervals at 300 watts I should do?

or do you not think about it this way? and just hit 300 on hills or long stretches where you know you won’t have to stop.

Looking at the duration of a whole ride, if you want to achieve a focus of 300w you’d need to ride at a higher power than that given that parts of your ride will be at a lower power, e.g. at LTP.
Think of focus as the equivalent to normalized power (NP) in the TrainingPeaks universum. I think both these metrics are much more useful to describe a certain part of a ride, i.e., a lap for a certain climb, than a whole unstructured ride.
Btw, the focus garmin data field has an option to reset on lap key, I’d recommend to enable that.

How much time should you spend “on”, i.e., at your focus power?
Check progression->fitness signature and adjust the graph to show high or peak training load

Let’s assume you are not after sprinting, then you’d probably like to increase your high TL.
A high TL of ‘x’ xss means you’d need to generate ‘x’ high-xss/day to maintain that TL. So add something sensible to ‘x’ to pull it up over time.
Play with the workout creator to get a feel for how to achieve that.

Or just use forecast AI, it’s made so you don’t have to think about all that.

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Ok thank you. It’s starting to sync in.

My brain doesn’t work well with simplicity sometimes. I’m trying to make this more complicated than it is.

One more ?

If i use the AI forecast, do you change the wattage in the Garmin Data field each ride? Say AI gives me a 5 min power workout one day then a 10 min power workout another. Do you open connect IQ every ride and change the data field?


Which wattage in which field exactly?

Why not just following the plan by riding to your target xss & focus when using the XFAI?

if I load Garmin Connect IQ then go to the data field, then settings, you can enter the target wattage.

Scott entered his 5:00 power in the youtube video where he demonstrates.

wondering if I need to change that day to day as my workout focus changes?

Scott demonstrates entering the target watt value into the TTE field and a recovery target for TTR (ex. 40-60%TP).
You would want to edit TTE each time if you plan to monitor that field during work intervals to gauge duration capacity.
For example, if the goal is to focus on 5-minute power for the day you want to spend sufficient time in that “zone” during your intervals but never close to a failure point.
That means there is a range of possibilities from short efforts more often (shorter RIBs) versus long efforts less frequently (longer RIBs). Which you choose to do will depend on terrain/traffic and the Focus Duration point for the day. How difficult is it to reach that target FD and maintain it while you accumulate XSS points for the day.

I suggest practicing outdoors several times then circle back to watch the video again when you’ve had experience monitoring the data fields IRL.
What’s not shown is Scott waiting for TTR to return to zero for many of the intervals. Whether you choose to do that each time is another variable.
As you become more proficient you can also regulate specificity if the goal was Pure versus Polar or Mixed.

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ok got it thank you.

I think it’s becoming more clear to me that this is a tool just to help you monitor a specific TTE / TTR for whatever reason you want to…and not technically necessary for the workouts.

thank you for your reply here and your reply to others…i’ve been searching and reading back in the forums on various topics and your posts are super helpful…tyty