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Strange heart monitor readings for first mile (Read 401 times)

    For the last few weeks, I have observed the following with my heart rate monitor and its readings (I have a Garmin 410)

     

     - no reading until I actually start running (i.e. nothing during warm-up) I am thinking this might be due to the cold - I know the HRM requires a little humidity from sweat to work correctly)

     - once a reading starts, for the first mile, it is always at 160-165

     - for mile 2, it drops to where it should be based on previous experience (137/138)

     

    Anyone else had this happen to them? 

    Personal bests (bold = this year): 5K - 23:49 / 5M - 38:42 / 10K - 49:31 (track) / 10M - 1:24:26 / HM - 1:52:08 / M - 3:58:58

    Next races: NYC Marathon, Nov 2014 

    NumbrCrunchr


      2foot, it's a common problem with garmin HRMs. Many folks have reported switchsame out the garmin strap for a Polar brand strap (using the same monitor) and resolving the issue

        Sounds like you need more prewetting.  They make a product to help but spit works great.

        Colonial 200 Relay Sep 20-21 -

        Smithfield Hog Jog 5K 12 Oct -

          Try searching the forums, there are hundreds of these threads.

           

          You need to get it wet when you first put it one. When the humidity is low, you end up getting alot of static electricity build up until you start sweating and its worsened by tech shirts. I usually run my warmup with my hand pressing on my HR monitor over the shirt so there is no static electricity. It usually takes about 5 to six minutes and then its good after that. I'm sure people think I'm having heart trouble when they seem me running outside holding my heart.

           

          The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

           

          2014 Goals:

           

          Stay healthy

          Enjoy life

           

            I never have any problems like that with my Garmin HR monitor.

             

            But, I wet my monitor before I put it on and track my HR before I begin exercising (I like to see the '65bpm' before I begin running).

            Also, I make sure that it's on right side up.

            My father in law apparently had troubles a while ago by putting his on upside down, and having funky readings.  I've only listened to his story telling and never researched whether it's essential that you MUST have it on right side up.

             

            I also have a buddy that had funky readings (spikes to 240bpm), and his was more serious ('go to cardiologist' type of heart issues).

             

            With that being said, I've heard a lot of people struggle with getting their monitor to read properly, and I don't know why.

            Cheers,

            Brian

            2014 Goals:

            #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

            #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

             

              Sounds like you need more prewetting.  They make a product to help but spit works great.

               

              or a water faucet, or a water bottle

              2014 Goals:

              #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

              #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

               

                Try searching the forums, there are hundreds of these threads.

                 

                You need to get it wet when you first put it one. When the humidity is low, you end up getting alot of static electricity build up until you start sweating and its worsened by tech shirts. I usually run my warmup with my hand pressing on my HR monitor over the shirt so there is no static electricity. It usually takes about 5 to six minutes and then its good after that. I'm sure people think I'm having heart trouble when they seem me running outside holding my heart.

                 

                Hi Burnt toast. I was aware of the wetting angle, but clearly I have to do this a little more. But never thought of the static to explain high reading at the beginning, it makes perfect sense. Thanks for you advice

                 

                By they way, I didn't do a general search on the forum, but I did go into the two Garmin User groups to see if they had anything - both are pretty  dead. Could you perhaps direct me to a thread to explain how I can upload old Garamin data to the training log?I have managed to upload the activities still on my watch, but not those on the Garmin database. In fact, it is not so much uploading the file, but how do you create the file in Garmin Training Center

                Personal bests (bold = this year): 5K - 23:49 / 5M - 38:42 / 10K - 49:31 (track) / 10M - 1:24:26 / HM - 1:52:08 / M - 3:58:58

                Next races: NYC Marathon, Nov 2014 

                runfoolery


                  It's strange, I make sure to wet the contacts before I start running,  but still have absurdly high readings for the first mile. I've touched the HRM a few times but not noticed the rate decrease, so I'm not sure if it's a static electricity thing or not...

                   

                  I'm leaning towards not caring, as the first mile is always warm up and the reading almost always stabilizes before w/u is done.

                    The strap itself also absorbs sweat and can have a salt buildup that affects reading accuracy.  Wash it every so often.

                    “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

                    xor



                      I'm leaning towards not caring, as the first mile is always warm up and the reading almost always stabilizes before w/u is done.

                       

                      This.

                       

                      It's good to have numbers and charts and things... but some numbers probably aren't needed.  Of course the challenge is if some important summary makes use of the goofed numbers.

                       

                      It is interesting to me sometimes that some folks (not in this thread, general stmt) don't understand the difference between "real physical issue" and "instrumentation problem".  It's one thing to ask "why is my garmin doing this", but sometimes people start threads about "am I in trouble?"  Look, if you start running and your heartrate spikes to 200+, I'm betting you will feel that.  If you didn't feel it, it probably didn't happen. (again, that is aimed at the theoretical person, no one in this thread)

                       

                      markrice


                      Geezer trying for speed

                        Yeah, crazy common issue. Others hit on some key issues... Some of this may be duplicate. I lean on my HR heavily so had some experiences related to this:

                         

                        • Need to be wet (salty preferred... saliva works well) - Non-wet usually causes LOW readings but CAN be involved in high readings if combined with slightly loose. Tap water does not conduct electricity as well as some think... salty water does. Tap is tons better than nothing, but saliva or salt water is FAR better!  Sweat works well because it's salty.
                        • Need tightening - a VERY common problem. This usually causes high readings because your body bounce causes contact/no-contact which can be read as a heart beat.
                        • bad battery - This usually shows up as low readings. 
                        • Bad belt - two of my three garmin belts have gone bad (one went bad after a few years... another purchased at the same time is still good... a third purchases just months - soft belt - ago was bad out of the box... I waited past a month to tell Garmin and now they will not swap it. UGH!!! I was hoping for better customer support... I'm a fan, and have been happy... I hope this is not a sign of things going south re Garmin's support)
                        • Clean off the crud buildup... use a toothbrush on the contacts. In some cases, this works like magic... in my experiences, the crud is visible, so if it looks clean, it's likely clean. The crud builds up in the grooves (in the older belts... I've not had a working Garmin soft-belt yet and it has no grooves... don't know why mine is junk).
                        • Belt upside down... I have tried this... it WAS a problem with the older belts I own. The softbelt doesn't work either way (always reporting low HR... WAY low). So, be sure the Garmin name is right side up. (Thanks for the reminder of this problem, KerCanDo)
                        • Burnt Toast brought up static electricity (made worse by technical fabric). Great point. Not sure if I've ever had that.

                        No reading at all usually indicates not sufficiently wet AND salty (assuming it's actually synchronized with the watch).

                         

                        Your situation strikes me as 1. wet it (which you may do) and 2. tighten it (...and/or you need to clean it). I wish my belt didn't require quite the tightness that it does, but it's slightly tighter than I wish it had to be (if I'm to get good readings during my warm-up).

                         

                        Burnt Toast - Loved the "heart attack" look... I've done that a lot and thought the same thing. 

                        Anyone could see races, etc. on www.markrice.com/running.

                        I believe in HR training: www.markrice.com/running/heart_rate_training.html


                        not lazy, just tired

                          Garmin soft straps especially are notorious for this.  As others have mentioned, washing it pretty regularly helps, as does wetting it with saliva when you put it on. I was thinking of replacing my soft strap with the older harder plastic model - has anyone had this problem with one of those?

                          Not if it makes sense.

                            Hi Burnt toast. I was aware of the wetting angle, but clearly I have to do this a little more. But never thought of the static to explain high reading at the beginning, it makes perfect sense. Thanks for you advice

                             

                            By they way, I didn't do a general search on the forum, but I did go into the two Garmin User groups to see if they had anything - both are pretty  dead. Could you perhaps direct me to a thread to explain how I can upload old Garamin data to the training log?I have managed to upload the activities still on my watch, but not those on the Garmin database. In fact, it is not so much uploading the file, but how do you create the file in Garmin Training Center

                             

                            PM sent.

                             

                            The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                             

                            2014 Goals:

                             

                            Stay healthy

                            Enjoy life

                             


                            Chasing the bus

                              I have a Wahoo (their app sucks, BTW), but have had trouble all along, especially in the cold. It takes so long to get warmed up and get the readings to stabilize, I finally got some electrode gel (BuBump). That pretty much works.

                              “You're either on the bus or off the bus.”
                              Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

                              zonykel


                                I've had issues with both soft strap and hard strap. Soft strap was more susceptible to HR spikes. But after washing it, things improved.

                                 

                                http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2010/11/how-to-fix-colddry-weather-erratic.html

                                 

                                The above link has some pretty good recommendations on fixing the spiking HR readings.

                                 

                                The electrode gel helps (costs about $5 from amazon... I got the "Spectra 360 Electrode Gel"... looks like it's going to last a while).

                                 

                                DC Rainmaker also mentions why the Ant+ HR straps all have spike problems "See, most of the companies (read: basically everyone) that re-brand the ANT+ straps do so using the firmware that came on them from the Asian company that mass produces them. The only thing changed is the logo on the front.  Most of the time the firmware works just fine, but sometimes, in certain conditions – it has ‘issues’"

                                 

                                DC Rainmaker tested the Wahoo Blue HR strap, which is not ant+, but BLE (bluetooth low energy- it'll work with some cell phones, like the iphone 5, but it won't work with your Garmin watch). And that HR strap showed improvement: "the Wahoo Fitness team actually re-wrote the entire HR strap firmware from scratch, using a bunch of Georgia Tech athletes as guinea pigs in trying to create the perfect athletes strap.  The resultant of which is a strap that just simply works without issue."

                                 

                                You kind of wish they Wahoo folks had done that for the Ant+ as well. They'd steal the market.

                                 

                                In case you wonder where I got the quotes above from DC Rainmaker, you can find them here:  http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2012/01/wahoo-fitness-blue-hr-bluetooth-low.html

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