Posted: 07/06/2015 at 11:58
My heart rate monitor was giving silly readings, so I couldn't use that to train sensibly.
I wore the HRM numerous times and had ridiculous readings every time. I'm talking up to 100bpm above a realistic reading!!! I tried a number of tips from the Garmin forums and nothing improved the situation.
Apparently the Garmin soft strap is a bag of shite and is well known for going wrong. When I thought about it, it was never that reliable and needed several miles of running to "settle down" before producing anything like realistic readings. I knew that clothing and external factors (i.e. static) were definitely not the cause of my problems.
Then I came across the most brilliant tip...
I purchased a Polar soft strap! (£11)
The Garmin HRM transmitter fits the Polar chest strap perfectly. There was no need to re-pair the device or anything, since it was still the same device - just a different strap.
The results have been startling! Rock-solid heart rate readings throughout my runs with absolutely no spikes, dropouts or dubious readings of any kind! I have used it on four runs already and am so happy that I can now rely on the device 100%.
Up to now I've been training every other day, because I knew that none of my runs were likely to be true recovery runs. Now, however, I can ensure that I run at recovery rate and can therefore run on consecutive days without over-training.
This week I've run 20 miles in four runs. My longest run was 6m this morning. They have all been seriously slow - but well controlled - and I have felt great after all of them. I will continue with four runs per week now that I can ensure that one is a genuine recovery run. If I'm feeling good, I'll introduce some strides to get the legs moving faster.
It has been seven weeks since I started my comeback, and I've lost nine pounds in weight. Still a lot to do, but I'm on the right track.