Simple heart rate monitor for my free minimalist training philosophy?

  • Creator
  • #57095

    Hey there,

    As I want to get more serious with my trail running training, I am thinking of running with a heart rate monitor more often again to make sure my easy pace is actually easy enough.

    I have been training quite focused and consistent for about 1,5 years now – having run a lot in my life before as well but not nearly as consistent and as much as at the moment. Since I think I might be affected from ADS and now want to focus on building a big aerobic base, incorporating running with a heart rate monitor from time to time again would make perfectly sense for me.

    What is holding me back? –> I used to run a lot with a gps watch (garmin fenix 6s pro), but stopped doing it due to several reasons i don’t want to get in right now, since it would probably take several pages for me to explain (english is also not my native language…).

    So instead of jumping in right back into the running anxiety I used to have because of all the stress that came from running with pace, distance and other metrics, I am looking for a different option to include heart rate monitored training that works with my rather simplistic and minimalist approach that keeps my love for trail running alive.
    I have been tracking my progress and running writing down the duration and RPE of my runs – the only thing I would like to change now, is to actually ‘control’ my intensity to be sure it is right.

    Does anyone have advice for me what to do or has experienced the same?

    Maybe there is an app for my garmin watch from connect IQ? Or are there any sport watches (maybe in combination with a chest strap) that only show time and heart rate zones?
    I would love to use the 4-zone model by UA!

    Tracking my running as I did earlier in my life with all the distance, pace, … etc just simply wouldn’t work for me anymore and only kill my passion for the sport… I hope someone can understand me and give some advice for my rather minimalist free approach to training!

  • Participant
    Mariner_9 on #57099

    “are there any sport watches (maybe in combination with a chest strap) that only show time and heart rate zones?”

    I have a Suunto Ambit3 Peak. You can configure the watch to show what you want – and you could limit that to time and HR (either in BPM or as % of max).

    You should absolutely not take that to be an endorsement of Suunto!

    Garret on #57101

    It’s possible to turn off the GPS on your garmin.
    You can also change the zones on the Garmin to match UA’s 4 zones.

    How about turning off the GPS and just use the heart rate screen during the run ?

    tobischneider on #57111

    I tried it with GPS turned off – unfortunately the watch still measures distance by an accelerometer (i am not sure if this is the right english word, sorry!) that can not be turned off.
    Something like a special app or widget from Connect IQ would be great – something that only tracks time and has a customisable heart rate zone monitor…

    todd.struble on #57136

    Do you want to monitor your HR during your run or would it be enough to see what your heart rate data was after your run? If you want to match your RPE to a specific heartrate, you might consider a heartrate strap that has on-board memory! Then a simple dumb-watch to keep track of your time.

    I use a Tickr-X with on board memory. You can put on the strap, do an activity without a watch or a phone, and when you bring it back to the Wahoo App, it can upload your HR data. There are other models with onboard memory but I’m not familiar with them.

    Alternatively, your watch should be able to be configured to just do time and heartrate. I have a Garmin Instinct. It is very easy to create a workout type that only shows your heart rate and time. It doesn’t use the connect iq apps, but I think most watches should be able to create a workout type with specific fields. But it will likely collect your gps data (unless you disable it). Or do you not want that extra data to be collected at all?

    tobischneider on #57142

    Thanks Todd for your response and tips!
    Ideally, I would like the watch to only track my time in the 4 heart rate zones, so I can better control my intensity while running. Therefore it would be necessary to have them shown to me during the activity and not just later when I am already at home.
    I have been trying to create a custom activity that fits my needs; however, I always fail at stopping the watch to track any additional data. Even when the GPS is turned off, it measures the distances nevertheless by using the accelerometer.
    Would you have any tips for creating a workout type for me?

    Garret on #57143

    I think a Garmin will always record the distance.

    It’s possible to set the screens you see during your run so it will only show your HR and the zone. I use this so that on some runs I only see the HR screen and I have changed the zones on the Garmin to match UA’s 4 zones.

    Do you want to keep the heart rate data for analysis or do you only want to see it while you are running ?

    If you want to keep your HR data for analysis you can use a HRM strap that stores the HR data (Garmin, Wahoo, Polar all make these). This will give you the HR data and time but no distance and you can upload that after your run. You won’t have to save the run on the Garmin.

    If you are keen to use HR accurately you will need to get a good strap anyway.

    tobischneider on #57146

    By doing some research in the garmin forums, I eventually managed to create a custom activity based on Cardio that almost fits all my needs – some things are not perfect yet, but I think I can live with that.
    How did you change the 5 zone model to a 4 zone model though? This does not seem to work with my Fenix 6s Pro – I simply made zone 5 as small as possible (99-100%), but it does not seem to be able to delete it completely from my settings?

    Garret on #57153

    I still have the 5 zones.
    I set:
    Garmin Z1 to UA Recovery Zone (Z0)
    Garmin Z2 to UA Z1
    Garmin Z3 to UA Z2
    Garmin Z4 to UA Z3
    Garmin Z5 to UA Z4

    I set the top of Garmin Z4 to 100% LT (lactate threshold) and top of Garmin Z5 to max HR.

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