HR Monitor issues

  • Creator
  • #47197

    I established my aerobic and anaerobic thresholds. Turns out I am another one suffering from ADS. Therefore, I want to focus on training my aerobic base.
    However, I run into some questions/problems doing this:

    1) It seems that my HR during a workout is shown with some delay on my watch. When I exceed my aerobic threshold and slow down my heart rate still keeps climbing for a minute or two before it starts dropping. Similarly once it has dropped I start accelerating again it keeps dropping before it goes up again. This makes it quite hard from me to consistently stay below my target heart rate, or train at a somewhat constant HR. It is often highly fluctuating.
    All my runs are on hilly terrain.

    2) I am using a Suunto Ambit3 with a chest strap to record my HR. While a lot of times the readings seem to be correct, sometimes it drifts off to erratic numbers for longer periods of time. E.g. it keeps rising and rising and stays above 230bmp (I am over 40!) for several minutes while walking and feeling quite relaxed. After a while it suddenly drops back to normal values. So these HR readings obviously can’t be right. Because of these errors calculation of averages or comparing runs etc. become pretty useless.

    3) In order to keep my HR below my AeT on uphills I often have to walk. This leads me to another question: as a recent dad I am going hiking with the baby in a baby carrier (currently ~15lbs) frequently. Since I can’t run uphill without exceeding my target HR anyway, could I use brisk uphill/downhill hiking for about an hour with a baby carrier as on part of my aerobic base exercises?

  • Participant
    r.j.hammond345 on #47229

    I am a long suffering Suunto strap user.

    From new they work perfectly for 4 or 5 months. Then they start to record 30/40/50 bpm over the actual. Usually downhill. It is the strap not the sensor or watch. Messes your records up somewhat. Frequent washing with soap helps but it will never be properly reliable again. If under warranty send the strap back.

    When it starts to go bonkers on a downhill I immediately unclick one of the 2 sensor connectors to the strap. No hr recorded for a bit but it is better than 230 bpm recorded. When the work gets hard again, click it back in and it always comes back to “normal”. Not perfect but workable.

    Anonymous on #47985

    1) Heart rate always lags output. With base training, that’s not a problem; just stay under your AeT HR. Set an alarm for AeT -5.

    2) Sounds like a strap issue?

    3) That’s normal. Very few humans can run uphill under AeT.

    PaulB on #48304

    Regarding the Suunto HR strap, I have found them to be very sensitive to static buildup while wearing synthetic shirts even when the strap/sensor is new and then over time the readings get more and more erratic more of the time. I warrantied one strap and my second strap worked okay for a couple months before giving erratic readings similar to yours. I spent several months diligently washing with soap and water after each run, all the while changing the battery every couple months (this is the first thing Suunto always says to do). I finally decided that level of effort wasn’t worth it and bought a Polar H10. I use an Ambit3 Peak and there is no problem connecting the H10 to the watch and so far (about 2-3 weeks now) I have had no erratic HR readings. So, if you can, I recommend getting a different chest strap.

    sbr on #48327

    Paul, thanks. I still have some other straps and will try that.

    sbr on #52944

    Since the issue with the Suunto strap kept coming back and back I replaced it with a Polar H10 and now HR readings look fine.

    russes011 on #52946

    RE #3:

    I consider anything above 55% of maxHR to be aerobic base. So hilly hiking with your young one would likely fall into this category. You may need to look at the time above 55% maxHR on TP after the hike to see what ‘counts’. You could also pull a Milo of Croton and keep hiking with your child on your back until they are an adult.

    — Steve

    PS – I have a Polar chest strap–it also has glitches like those you describe.

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