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HRM readings

dee4life2005dee4life2005 Posts: 773
I've recently taken up cycling, and got myself a Garmin 500 so I could record my routes and monitor my progress.

I used the garmin supplied HRM for the last couple of 20 mile rides, fairly flat, and the readings I was getting were an average of 181bpm and 174 bpm, with a few spikes over 190. I'm 14+ stone, 5'11'' and 32 year old so using the age forumla (i know it's not exact) gives me a rough max of somewhere around 190ish. I wasn't overly tired, or struggling for breath or dizzy or anything which makes me doubt that I averaged 181 bpm for 1hr 50mins (about 12mph average speed) ... could the garmin HRM (rubber strap type) be over reading at all ? If so, is there anything I can do to make it give more accurate readings?


  • paul2718paul2718 Posts: 471
    If the Garmin strap isn't making a good connection then it can be affected by flapping or vibrating clothing. This usually clears after a bit of sweating.

    For example the HR readings in the first 11 or so minutes of are bogus for this reason.

    If you see what you think are high readings you could just stop, see if the reading drops very fast, and take you pulse manually to see whether the Garmin is in the right zone (sic). I find that in general it is about right.

  • Thanks for the reply.

    Tthe two rides in question are :

    I was wearing an Altura Night Vision Jersey so wouldn't have expected any interference caused by static and it's pretty snug, so it's unlikely to be flapping / vibrating clothing. The strap was wetted prior to use, and is fitted tightly without being uncomfortable - which I'm assuming is correct.

    I'll maybe see if I can borrow another heart rate monitor to check the readings.
  • paul2718paul2718 Posts: 471
    To me your heart traces look normal other than they are surprisingly high, they go up on the ups and down on the downs. This may just be a consequence of being unfit and having a naturally fast pulse.

    I would take my pulse with a finger on the wrist and see if the Garmin is in the right ball park then if you're worried a visit to a GP would make sense.

  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    That doesn't look like static / flapping jerseys from the Garmin Connect graphs, but GC does sample the data so doesn't necessarily tell the whole story. If you have Garmin Training Centre or some other software that shows all the data then does the HR graph look much the same only a little noisier?

    Even assuming your max HR is 200 bpm or more though, those rides should, if the HR is to be believed, have felt very hard and you should have been out of breath for the whole of them. So something is probably not right.
    More problems but still living....
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