Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Garmin fault?

Something was wrong with my pulse today. Or maybe it was my Garmin. Must have been the Garmin.

My pulse averages at about 150-160 when I run as slowly as I did today. But two seconds into my run it had shot up to 240 and fluctuated between that and 200 for the first couple of kilometres. Strangely enough I didn't feel that the run was particularly difficult or that I was struggling. I mean, there is no way my pulse can go up to 240.

I didn't know what to do. This was not normal. Was this a sign that I'm getting a cold? Was I tired? Was my pulse belt upside down? I opened my jacket and looked discreetly down my top. Nope, it was the right way around. I considered turning around and going home. The icy wind and cloudy sky almost sealed the deal. Somewhere inside me, though, what was left of my warrior spirit raised its voice in protest: I've run in worse weather, and my Garmin has sent confusing signals before.

I kept running. My pulse dropped to 180. Even running down hills failed to restore my pulse to its usual level.

I had to lower my speed to heed the law.

It took 7 km before my pulse was back to normal. I ran another 4, looking at my Garmin all the time for any indication that it would rise again. When I got home, I did some research on the Internet. Apparently some people have had problems with their Garmin belt at the start of their runs, before they get warmed up. It gives abnormally high pulse indications. Once they get sweaty, the belt sensor gets better contact with the skin, thus giving more accurate values.

I had already noticed that my pulse is always higher at the beginning of the run, which can be explained by this theory. Still, 240 is extremely high and I need to keep an eye for any other signals my body might be sending that it needs some extra rest.

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