I've managed to get by for 36 years of running without knowing my heart rate, but I acquired a monitor with my new Garmin, so I figured I might as well see what all the fuss is about.
When I ordered my Garmin 610 online, I did not spend the extra $50 for the HRM, but they sent me the wrong package. The boxes do look almost the same, with only a heartbeat pulse line to show that the HRM is included - no words. Felt a little sorry for the warehouse that shipped it, but not enough to send it back! Garmin should be more careful with their packaging!
Box with HRM included!
Not so easy to tell the difference!
Anyway, I ignored it for months, but finally pulled it out and gave it a try on Sunday as I did a 9 mile "easy" run.
OK, here's the data.
First off, my resting HR is about 60 when I first wake up. I went out to run, stretched a few seconds. My rate was 82 when I started running. The first time I checked, after maybe 10 seconds, the HR was 172!!!! And it stayed there as I trotted to the end of my block at maybe 9:30 pace. Then I stopped for the light and it came down a bit, but went right back over 170 when I started running again. I was going slow and easy, as I always start out, but apparently my heart goes really fast to catch up to my body!
You can see it stayed high for about 3 minutes before it decided that running was a normal activity and dropped down to about 160 and leveled off. Then it stayed in the 160-165 range very steadily while I was running.
The dips after that were when I stopped for water or traffic. I sped up a bit before the 2nd break and HR went up to 170-172 as I ran about 8 minute pace. Otherwise it was about 166 for 8:30 pace.
I decided to do a little test of max HR by charging the last 1/2 mile uphill back to my house. It got up to 185. Then I left the Garmin on while I walked for a few minutes to see how fast the HR would come down. It quickly dropped to 140, and then gradually went down to 120 over a few minutes.
So I have a few questions for you HRM veterans out there.
- Is it normal for the HR to start out so high so fast?
- 166 average for a relatively easy run seems high. What HR do you have for "easy" runs? Granted, I push too hard on my easy days, but still. It was high from the get-go when I was not running hard at all.
I am going to keep wearing it. I have 400 intervals coming up, so should get a good idea of HR Max! How low should I let my pulse get before I start the next interval?
FYI, wearing the strap was not a problem at all. I knew it was there, but it didn't bother me. Seeing the HR on my wrist was pretty nice, but I'm not sure if it will make a big difference in training. It seemed to go up and down with how I felt my effort was anyway. I guess after some time I will be able to tell how tired my body is by seeing if my HR is elevated above normal. One more thing to track. Yay!
Let me know what you think about HRMs.