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lactate threshold based heart rate zones

In the past weeks I started to wear a chest strap for some of the runs. My watch offered to update my heart rate zones based on the lactate threshold (and I accepted it).

Is it ok to run sometimes with the strap and sometimes with the watch with the same zone settings?

  • Yes but be prepared erratic heart rate recordings from the wrist that might affect the automatic settings. For stability use the strap. 

  • to tell the truth I was comparing the strap and the watch HR for a while, and they mostly match. Unfortunately there are 2 cases when they don't:

    1. when I do short, fast intervals, the watch doesn't get to the real HR, the strap does. This is a known issue.

    2. the strap sometimes has readings that look... well let's call it "random". It's not related to what I do or feel. The watch does good in these times.

    So for knowing my HR I trust the watch more than the HRM :( When I do intervals I know it's higher than what the watch displays. But when I run for longer time with a relatively stable pace (training or even a race) I think I can trust the watch.

    I'll try to wear the strap when I do intervals. This way I (and the Garmin algorithms) will have a chance to see my higher HR.

  • You can use build in HR sensor for walk, resting or other very calm activities.
    Regarding 1. it is not an issue, it is how your body works, there will be always a delay with pulse change on your wirst and sensor located there will never work correctly for intervals.
    Regading 2. I cannot tell you why you have such issue, for me chest readings looks stable.

    When I compare wrist readings and chest readings, ususaly my hart rate recorded on wrist is 10 to 15 beats lower than on the chest, what of course completelly changes all data and estimations.

  • To be fair not even the strap will record the max heart rate reached during a short sprint; there’s a lag at both the start and the stop of the sprint but it is better than the OHR. 
    if you’re getting ‘random ‘ results from the strap check the fit and ensure it is well wetted before starting. I soak mine in warm water.

    In general I believe Garmin has made huge progress with OHR and often don’t use a strap too but if I want certainty in the reading then it’s the strap that I turn too. 

  • I saw a guy put conductive Gel on his strap in our office change rooms the other day. I asked him if it helped. He said he had dark skin and was hairy so the OHR didn't work well. Even the chest strap had issues when he didn't use the Gel.

    I searched for HRM gel or electrode gel and found it is available for a few dollars. I don't have much chest hair so wetting the inside of the strap is enough for me.