Petestack Blog

1 April 2010

HRM niggles and ringing the changes

Filed under: Running — admin @ 9:25 pm

When I bought my Forerunner 310XT, I also decided to get the new soft-strap heart rate monitor, and said (in my brief 310XT review) that ‘The new soft-strap heart rate monitor is nice and was worth getting even though the 305’s monitor will work.’ But I’m not so sure now, and thinking of trying the old one again because the new one seems more temperamental and has quite simply been telling me lies today (see trace below, where I was attempting to maintain a heart rate in the low 130s but it’s trying to tell me I was hitting 160s and more, which I can pretty well only do in a flat-out sprint, between 2:00:00 and 2:30:00!). Now, the old one also tended to produce an early spike (although never the monster spike-and-dip this one gave me on Saturday) but thereafter stayed wholly reliable for the rest of the run, and that’s what I need for my ultra-marathon pacing. So I’ve got to work out why the new one’s tending to lie after a while (seems like it might simply not be maintaining such good body contact, but that’s not good enough if it’s going to keep happening) or get the old HRM going again.

Must also just revisit one other Forerunner feature before moving on, and that’s the altitude readings (as already briefly discussed in another blog post). On which note, I discovered changes to Garmin Connect when I uploaded today’s run, with ‘Elevation Corrections’ now enabled by default and defined (to paraphrase a wordy explanation) as your GPS positions cross-referenced with elevation data from professional surveys to give you more realistic figures. And they’re certainly quoting you significantly reduced elevation gain and loss (maybe too much in some cases, which makes me wonder how many points of reference they’re using) when it’s enabled, because I tried it both ways with tracks from several runs.

And so to ‘ringing the changes’, which is just a way of suggesting that I’m trying to get away from constant repetition of my old stalwart routes (even though I ran one of them twice yesterday!) and get out to enjoy a more varied programme now that I’m on holiday for a fortnight and longer evenings are here until the big race. So this afternoon I tried an anticlockwise loop from the forestry west of Ballachulish along the partially completed cycleway (very nice while it lasted) towards Duror, then up Glen Duror through trees and snow to Gleann an Fhiodh and back by Ballachulish. Which came in at 15.6 miles and a fair bit of ascent including some curious diversions through the Glen Duror forest, where I’d planned to take the LH track the whole way if I could locate it above Lagnaha but things weren’t always quite as straightforward (they rarely are with forestry) as you’d think from the map!

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