I want Garmin and Fitbit to copy COROS' new and exciting Coaches program

Starting a tracked run on the COROS APEX 2 Pro
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Starting March 16, COROS users can email the fitness brand's three-coach team for running advice for free.
  • "COROS Coaches" lets you ask for guidance on training intensity, recovery, or plan recommendations based on your Training Hub data.
  • You can email coach@coros.com to receive advice within 1–3 business days, but you must have a COROS account to receive a response. 

COROS is a niche but highly respected fitness watch brand that makes several of our favorite running watches. Along with some of the longest-lasting watches on the market, COROS distinguishes itself with its free training software: EvoLab gauges your current training readiness and recovery times, while the Training Hub has free workout programs aimed at specific race lengths and times, as well as shared data with running clubs. 

Now, COROS is offering a new Coaches program that lets you email their team for training advice at no cost, so long as you have a COROS Training Hub account. Some recommended questions include "if I was sick last week, what should I do this week?" or "What intensity should I train at given my goals?"

While COROS emphasized that its three coaches won't create a customized training plan or individual workout for you — no doubt that would be too much work — your response will be based on whatever COROS workout data you've logged, and they can point you to a pre-made training plan or official workout that's best for you.

The coaches include one who trained "25+ national champions in the sports of Track, XC, Triathlon, and Cycling," a 2:29 marathoner, and an "exercise physiologist with a Strength & Conditioning coaching background." So whether your question is focused on training, pace, or recovery, you should get a pro-quality answer. 

"Our goal at COROS is to educate athletes and build a global training mindset," said Derek Dalzell, COROS' Senior Manager of Consumer Education. "There is simply no better service for our users than providing 1-on-1 coaching advice based on their own data."

A fatigue score showing current energy levels using the COROS APEX 2

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

This news made me want to start wearing my COROS APEX 2 again and start generating data for these coaches to analyze. While I can't be certain how in-depth the COROS coaches' responses would be, I would trust their advice more than the typical algorithm-generated training recs that a running watch typically gives you. 

It's not something that brands typically offer, and they typically charge an arm and a leg when they do. Fitbit used to offer a Fitbit Coach upgrade to Fitbit Premium for $45/month, before eventually cutting off the service, and we don't know of any other alternatives that pair specifically with a fitness brand.

Fitbit and Garmin provide workout recommendations generated from your data, and Garmin also has its own AI "Coach" and training plans to follow that will help you become a better runner. But you can only take the algorithm at face value, and it can't always account for unexpected roadblocks like injuries, pushing you to work harder than you should. 

While a few newer Garmin watches can account for upcoming races when generating workout suggestions, those with older watches have to figure that out for themselves. And generally speaking, these recommendations only focus on your current fitness level rather than being aspirational. 

That applies to COROS' algorithm too, of course. But the option of sporadically "checking in" with a running coach for advice during key moments of your training or recovery is just a really neat perk for runners who don't have good coaching or running clubs available nearby. 

That's why I hope other brands take note! With Fitbit cutting so many services right now, finding a way to make basic real-life coaching available for Premium users again would be a great perk to keep its customers happy. And Garmin already offers Garmin Coach plans based on real-life coaches' advice; adding a consultation option would make its hardcore user base very happy.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, Wearables & AR/VR

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on wearables and fitness. Before joining Android Central, he freelanced for years at Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, and Digital Trends. Channeling his love of running, he established himself as an expert on fitness watches, testing and reviewing models from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, Suunto, and more.