Mar 22, 2016

Tracking HRV with Garmin Watches

How to enable HRV tracking and analyze the data in SportTracks

We recently announced the ability to manually input Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and Resting Heart Rate (RHR) data into the newly-customizable SportTracks Health page. In addition, HRV data can automatically be included in the .FIT files from specific Garmin sports watches! 

If you have access to a Garmin 920XT, 910XT, fēnix 3, or a Forerunner 620, you can start tracking and analyzing your HRV data in SportTracks — but first you need to manually enable the recording of this data on your watch. Instructions are below...

Garmin 920XT, fēnix 3, and Forerunner 620

To enable HRV recording you need to do the following:

  1. Connect your watch to a computer with the supplied USB cable
  2. Download this file
  3. Put that file (which is named “”) into your watch in this folder: :\GARMIN\NEWFILES
  4. Sync your watch with Garmin Express and disconnect

Garmin 910XT

To enable HRV recording you need to do the following:

  1. Power up your 910XT
  2. Press the Menu button
  3. On the Menu screen, press the Up button then the Down button, and repeat this ten times. 
  4. After pressing Up and Down a bunch of times, the watch will display its Diagnostic Menu. In the top right, select HRV to enable it.

Turning on this feature will eat a little more battery life than usual and make your FIT files noticeably larger, but it’s worth it to reap the benefits of HRV training.

NOTE: Here is a SportTracks blog post that clearly explains the benefits of training with HRV.

HRV App for Garmin Connect IQ

If you have access to a Garmin watch that features Connect IQ, you can download and run the free HRV app, which provides a simple way to test your HRV. However, the HRV data created by this app is not sent to SportTracks for analysis on the Health page. The current Garmin products that are compatible with Connect IQ are the 920XT, 920XTJ, epix, fēnix 3, fēnix 3 HR, the vívoactive, and the D2 Bravo.

Is there another way to measure HRV?

We highly recommend using the excellent HRV4Training app, which is available on iPhone and Android. HRV4Training automatically sends your HRV and RHR (Resting Heart Rate) data to SportTracks, and it utilizes the built-in camera on your phone to take readings, so you don't need to use a heart rate strap.

The instructions for the 910XT were provided by

Article written by Sam Mallery, Director of Marketing, Zone Five Software Inc.


Not for the FR630?

I spent some time researching the Garmin Forerunner 630, but couldn't find enough information to include it in this post. That watch has the Stress Score function, which is similar to HRV, but it's really a different kind of feature.

If you (or someone else reading this comment) has the FR630 and you're willing to test this out, we would love to know if this watch has the hidden HRV tracking capability. Follow the instructions for the FR620 in the post above, do a workout while wearing a heart rate strap, and import the .FIT to SportTracks.

When the .FIT file has been logged in SportTracks, go to your Health page and click on the name of one of the charts. This will give you a menu with options for what to display, and you can choose Heartrate variation (HRV). 

If I enable it on my 920 and decide later that I don't need it can I disable it?

What I would do is connect the watch to a computer again, remove the file you had added to the folder, and re-sync the watch with Garmin Express.

Installed on my 920XT, will test today on my lunch-time run.


Tested on my FR630 and it works. See my notes in the SportTracks FB pace.

How can I activate HRV recording by the diagnostic menu in a FR 630?
This watch has no up'n down buttons.
Is it activated after the sync by default?

Yes, it's activated after the sync by default. The up'n down button dance is only for the 910XT.

Yes, it is activated and showing a first small bar and a value. Don't know how to handle this value but it is another thing to "collect"😉.

There isnt a Newfiles folder on my fenix 3. Can you please check what folder I should use or should I create it?

Its a 'hidden folder' - so you need to enable these to be viewed in the explorer menu.

Great, that helped. Another question, that might seem obvious, but I'm not sure. Is it automatically in the fit file when doing a excersize and the watch told you how far you are from baseline or do I need to do the stess test OR the HRV app from the IQ store.

It also works with the Epix.
I wonder, tough. My HRV from the runs is much lower than the HRV that I measure first thing in the morning. Is the HRV score while running of any use?

Hi, if I had several workouts one after one, i.e. triathlon, what value Health page shows? Average? Last one?

And one more question: is that possible to add HRV column on Workout page to see HRV for each workout?


I added the file to my Fenix 3 New Files directory and synced. I have done two runs since then.

Now what? I don't see an HRV metric in the Sportscks mobile health page. I attempted to customize the page but I don't see any way to add this metric.

Is this only available in the full website?

More details on how to view the metric would be appreciated.

when I tap on the gear in the health page all I get are a series of blue boxes with arrows next to them. It doesn't look like we even have the ability to modify the metrics on the Health page.

Somehow I managed to add another blue box but when I tap in it's gear, the whole page flashes but nothing happens. I think the interface is broken.

Follow the simplay instructions Keith.

Go back to your health page and you should find 2 boxes at the bottom with nothing in them. Click on the Gear icon in the right hand corner of the box. This takes you to the Value page with a drop down filled with amongst other things, the HRV and Resting HR choices.

Hope this helps.

Can the HRV data be imported to SportTracks through syncing with Garmin Connect? Or do I have to import a FIT file from my watch?

HRV data is imported into SportTracks from Garmin Connect.

I have a Garmin Fenix 3HR and enabled it. I yesterday also bought the iPhone app. The values differ a lot. Is there a way to disable the Garmin HRV as I want to stick with the iPhone app as I like the way it works

Try connecting your watch to a computer again, and then remove the file you had added to the folder, and then re-sync your watch with Garmin Express.

Would you mind letting us know if this solution works after you've tried it by leaving another comment?


Files from the "new files" directory get moved to other places after restarting so the file is not there anymore. I also looked in all other directories but it is not the same name any more or removed. So that does not work.

I did some searching and couldn't find a solution. In this case, we recommend contacting Garmin Support:

Sorry for the inconvenience!

Got the same problem. Did you sort this out? Thanks

I asked but no response yet (they tend to be slow). I have done a complete factory reset on the watch and it does not measure and report HRV now. Is there a way to delete the HRV measurements from the watch from your database and only keep the HRV app?

You can easily edit this data on the Health page:

  1. Find the HR measurements that you want to edit (it's likely in the "Heartrate variability (HRV)" chart).
  2. Hover your mouse over the data, then click and drag over the section you want to edit.
  3. A window will appear with values for each date you selected.
  4. You'll see a pencil icon on the right to edit the data, and a trash can icon to delete it.

I have a Garmin Fenix 3 HR and have folloved your instructions above. "Installed" the FIT-file on my F3HR and installed the HRV app on my F3HR -
All synced after installed.

Took a test yesterday and got a successful reading of my HRV using my cheststrap to F3HR.

However I am not successful in syncing my data to SportTracks. No value shows up.
Anyone capable of giving some guidance on this issue?

Hi Jøran. In order to view and analyze HRV data on the SportTracks Health page, you need to do a little customization:

  1. Click on the gear icon in the top right corner of your Health page
  2. In the Customize window, click + then > to add modules for your HRV and RHR data, then click Close
  3. Scroll to the new modules you just created, and click one of their gear icons
  4. In the next window, select "Heartrate variability (HRV)" as the value
  5. Repeat this process and select "Resting heartrate" for the other module

Thanks for your input.

I have done all your bullpoints listed, but still no HRV values.
Will try again in a few hour to see if the values from the new test shows up

We recieve HRV data from workouts that you track on your watch and then load into SportTracks. SportTracks does not recieve data from the Garmin Connect IQ HRV App. When you do your test, do it with a workout.