Friday, September 30, 2016

The Great Heart Rate Monitor Saga


I have been exercising regularly for a few months now. I switch between using the elliptical machine at the gym and running on the trail right outside my place. Once I hit 40 years old I became concerned about heart health. So now I monitor my heart rate with a chest strap when I run and use that as a metric to go by.  I set a target heart rate that is almost my max, or if I am working on a distance I watch my heart rate to know when to take things slower.

Things with my monitor started out fine. Then things went wonky. At first it would just have the occasional drop out or seem slow to adjust. It got worse as time went on. As soon as a would take off on a slight jog the monitor would instantly shoot up to over 170 bpm. The drop offs became way more common.  The monitor soon became totally useless and unreliable.  I took a screenshot of the results from one run below.

Either my HRM isn't working or I died several times

I have been trying not to spend money so I hoped to fix the problem without buying anything. The chest HRM consists of two parts. The strap itself that has the sensors that go against your skin and a pod that takes a battery and transmits the data, in my case to a GPS watch. I changed to a brand new battery.  Thing improved slightly but not for long. Next I cleaned off the strap but that didn't help. I tightened the strap. I loosened the strap. Nothing mattered.  I actually had another strap sitting around and so I tried that, but I still got the bad results.  At this time I decided the pod itself had gone bad. Luckily I had gotten an amazon gift and it covered the cost of  a new monitor. So far it works fine.



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