Fixing my Garmin HRM

On my last two runs, my heart rate has been showing annoyingly high… avg 168 and max 200 on and easy 5 miler yesterday, and avg 177, max 200 on an easy 14 miler today. Oops. It certainly didn’t feel like it was that high / hard.

Rather than me suddenly becoming less fit than I was a week ago… it’s more likely that my Garmin heart rate monitor strap went a bit wonky.

I do have a Garmin 735xt which has the wrist heart rate monitor in it, but I’ve been using a heart rate monitor strap since I started running in 2008, so I’m used to it. (And it’s a bit like a comfort to me…). I also find it’s usually more accurate than the wrist monitor.

Garmin uses the heart rate measure to calculate a few things… Garmin training effect, how hard you’re working, and how long it recommends you should recover for.

But it also works out a VO2 max estimate… put simply, how well your body uses oxygen to make you run. The higher the vo2 max estimate, usually the faster you can go at a lower heart rate. Or the fitter you’ve become.

When my vo2 max estimate was at the highest, it was around 55… when I trained for the Belfast marathon and did a time of 3:32 (or around 8 mile miles for that duration, with a avg heart rate of 165, max higher).

Recently it’s maybe been 48-50 and still in the ‘Superior’ vo2 max estimate band. But with the wonky heart rate measuring… it’s now dipped incorrectly to 44. Still excellent, but not a true reflection of what it should be, because my heart rate was actually lower than the false readings showed.

The fix is hopefully to replace the battery on my HRM strap…

I took the red cover off, got a mini Phillips screw driver and a flat round battery and replaced it with easily.

Now hopefully that will sort it and I’ll be getting an accurate heart rate measure going forward.

4 runs last week, nearly 28 miles, and one strength session. Next week I’m planning 3 runs and maybe 2 strength sessions. But with a busy week at work next week, we’ll see what happens.

Early night tonight after a big dinner and some downtime / rest and relaxation after the 14 miles coaching with Lisa, which went well. I might rest tomorrow, or might rest on Wednesday and Friday & Sunday.

Here’s what I might do:

Mon: Strength
Tue: Run & Coaching
Wed: Rest (off site with work)
Thu: Strength
Fri: Travel & Rest
Sat: Run
Sun: Travel & Rest

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