A while back I bought a Suunto Ambit 2S to track my training. It's fair to say I've only used a few basic features, the watch is capable of so much more. Heart rate, that was one of the readouts missing once data had been downloaded. My past experience of heart rate monitors was not great. I once bought a cheap watch and chest strap while on holiday in France. The hardware was okay, the thing that put me off HRM's was fiddling with the chest strap. It was one more thing that had to be done before heading out the door. After using it a few times I got fed up, part of the problem was not knowing what I was doing and how to train by heart rate.
There seems to be more emphasis on training by heart rate so I wanted to utilise the Suunto and connect it to an HRM. Technology has moved on, a tight uncomfortable chest strap is no longer required. I opted for a wrist monitor, the Mio Link which uses a cell to "sense" the volume of blood under the skin. A coloured LED lets the wearer know which zone their heart rate is in.
Once unpacked and charged I needed to program the Link with zones according to my stats. This is straight forward using the Mio Go app on a smartphone. Once my details were filled in, the HRM was programmed with 5 colour coded zones suited to me. I was ready to go but had a choice, connect bluetooth to the iphone using the app or connect ant+ to the Suunto. Since the app was already open I ran with the phone, location enabled so the route could be mapped. One problem with this system was the phone kept going into sleep mode and needed awakening to see the heart rate. On the plus side, once the run was complete, the stats were available immediately, including a mapped route without requiring a laptop to download.
The Links second outing was a 10 mile loop on Bennachie, a nice hilly route. This time it would be connected to the Suunto but it took an age for the watch to find the HRM. The Link was on the same wrist as the watch but they continually failed to connect to each other. I was about to grumpily start the run without monitoring when the beep of acceptance finally rang out, persistence paid off.
My route was a couple of miles on the flat before ascending the hill. I switched the Suunto view to include heart rate but needn't have bothered, I preferred glancing at the flashing LED on the Link rather than trying to focus on the watch face. I didn't alter my pace according to heart rate, it's too early to do that as I'm not sure how to build heart rate into a program yet. My effort on the hill seemed to correlate with the LED read out, mostly in the yellow zone, purple walking uphill and never in the red.
Once the run was complete I stopped the Suunto and was surprised when it advised a recovery time, 25 hours to be exact. Connecting the Suunto to a heart rate monitor means even more information to pour through on Movescount.
I like the Mio Link so much, I'm going to use it at the Fling. The most surprising thing is I'm not going to connect it to a smartphone or the Suunto, I'm only going to rely on the colour LED display.
Time to Google training by heart rate.
Week ending 5th April. Tues 4, Thurs 4, Fri 10, Sun 6. Weekly total 24 miles.
Mon 6, Tues 6, Wed 6, Thurs 6, Fri 10. Weekly total 34 miles.