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Thread: Gps watches

  1. #41
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Most people i've spoken to are of the opinion that the chest-strap for Heart Rate provides much more accurate and useful results.

    I can't comment, as i only use my watch for pace/distance.

  2. #42
    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    I've no reason to doubt my wrist based heart rate. Seems accurate enough for my needs and don't need any additional kit. The only time I have noticed any issue was when I was on my bike on an indoor trainer and obviously must have had my wrist at an odd angle as I apparently flat-lined!

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteS View Post
    I've no reason to doubt my wrist based heart rate. Seems accurate enough for my needs and don't need any additional kit. The only time I have noticed any issue was when I was on my bike on an indoor trainer and obviously must have had my wrist at an odd angle as I apparently flat-lined!
    Thanks. I don't suppose you've used it anywhere very hot and humid have you? - I'll be living mostly in a tropical rainforest area so trying to imagine whether the sweat factor will affect a wrist strap more or less than a chest one. I assume you have to keep the strap fairly tight to your wrist.

  4. #44
    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    Sorry but hot and humid is not something we get much of round our way.
    I've had a few runs over the summer where it got very sweaty and rain doesn't seem to make much difference either. It doesn't need to be too tight -just the same most would wear a standard watch.
    Going downhill fast

  5. #45
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    I find that the optical heart rate can sometimes pick up cadence, particularly if hiking up hills. I think it's worse when using poles, possibly because a bent wrist seperates the sensors from the wrist.

  6. #46
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    I've started using a chest strap and it does seem to give me slightly more realistic readings. I do seem to have a particularly fast ticker, but my watch recorded 212 the other week on the climb up to stoodley pike. Based on that I would have expected to chucking my guts up but I dont even remember working particularly hard at the point it was recorded.

    In reality with the chest strap I think my max hr is more like 205 (still seems to be pretty high for a 32 year old though).

    Also, I find with a chest strap there doesnt seem to be as much lag. With the watch I would be running up a very short incline and then recover on the flat over the crest but the hr wouldnt really increase on the screen until I was already well over the top and easing off on the flat.

  7. #47
    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    Lag for HR on watches is usually due to sampling rate and subsequent smoothing of that data typically a moving average. My old suunto used to exhibit the same behaviour for ascent where that would continue to rise even after going over a peak and starting the descent.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by PeteS View Post
    Lag for HR on watches is usually due to sampling rate and subsequent smoothing of that data typically a moving average. My old suunto used to exhibit the same behaviour for ascent where that would continue to rise even after going over a peak and starting the descent.
    But is it your watch or is it your heart rate peaking before recovery? I have read that HR monitors are not the best for gauging short hard efforts because your HR does take time to catch up with your actual exertion. If you think about it when you do an interval sprint your HR doesn't instantly rise and will continue to rise a little then stay high until you recover.
    It won't matter if you are primarily interested in speed and distance but my personal experience with optical HRMs has been poor. That's not to say it's perfect with a belt - I still get spikes and strange readings but I think this is common to most if not all systems. Reasons given include picking up cadence, poor contact (I wet my belt before starting an exercise, it often works fine for 5-10 minutes then body heat dries it out. Then I get silly, high readings for a while until I get sweaty, presumably the contact then improves and I usually get good readings for the rest of the run).
    Its interesting to note on the Uphill Athlete site that they don't rate optical HR monitoring and stress the need to use a chest belt for accurate results.

  9. #49
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    I've always used pace as a basis for effort.

    2 mile (or 3km run) race effort gives you a baseline pace... 60-70% of that for easy runs. 88% is supposedly tempo pace. I think it is 95-98% is VO2 max area.

    I believe that the theory behind it is that it gives incredibly similar paces/results to measuring HR, but less room for error in the measurement. Obviously it is better suited to flat running.

  10. #50
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    Thanks for you ideas. I've ended up with a slightly older model - Forerunner 735xt. It seems to do the things I want and was a little cheaper that the Instinct. Unfortunately the wrist HRM seems very unreliable for me - erratic and impossibly high readings. Maybe they just don't work so well on thin wrists. Thankfully my rather ancient Garmin chest strap HRM pairs with the new watch so it's not a major issue.

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