What is Suunto‘s Training Effect (TE), and how would this benefit me? The short and simple answer is that Suunto’s Training Effect is a measurement of how hard you trained. It uses your heart rate information, along with your personal information such as age and maximum heart rate, to come up with a number between 1 and 5. Listed below from Suunto’s website is a description of what the numbers mean:
Here is a picture of the Training Effect displayed on a Suunto watch:
With this tool, you can plan your workout ahead of time, set your watch for the time and TE desired, and go. You can program multiple TE’s and time periods, for a completely custom workout. All of your data is logged, and can be downloaded to your computer after your workout is finished.
Is there anything similar to Suunto’s Training Effect in other manufacturers’ products? Well, Garmin has a setting called Heart Rate Zones. The zones range from 1 to 5. The default settings are shown below for the Garmin Heart Rate Zones:
The Garmin HR zones are programmable, and can be optimized for the individual. Joe Friel has a some great information on how to use HR zones in his book The Triathlete’s Training Bible. So, are Suunto’s Training Effect and Garmin’s HR rate zones the same thing? I don’t know. It looks like Suunto’s TE is a feature that may learn as it is used. I am trying to get more information from Suunto on this feature, and I will let you know what their response is in a future column.
If you want to learn more about Suunto’s Training Effect, click here to download is a PDF resource on training using Training Effect.
Here is another good source for anyone just starting a training program and wants to use Training Effect as part of their everyday training.