Another disaster workout, Garmin HR strap solution

By Skip

With company in town I had to modify my workout times this week a little bit.  Having said that, I ended up with a rather heavy ham and cheese omelet when I got home from work.  Normally, I like to eat after I have done my workout. I waited my usual three hours before I attempted to run an let’s just say that whole concept really did not work out very well.

Here was my ORIGINAL plan of action:

  • WU: Run 10 minutes @ low aerobic intensity
  • MS: Run 18 minutes @ threshold intensity
  • CD: Run 10 minutes @ low aerobic intensity

I emphasize original plan of action because that is not how things panned out.  First of all, it was quite late.  Second, my wife reminded me of a Blockbuster movie that needed to be returned….. as it so happens, there is a Blockbuster that is on one of my longer running routes.  So I made the decision that this is what my run was going to be… an out and back to the video store.

Hauling the video in my hand was a little bit of a hassle but the store was at the half-way point so only 50% of the run I was inconvenienced.  That was not the issue.  The issue was the omelet that was in my stomach reminding me it was there from the first 30 seconds of my run all the way until I stopped!  You have no idea how many times I wanted to turn around, stop running, vomit, etc.  It was a horrible feeling.

The one good thing is that I never stopped running.  No matter how badly I wanted to, I refused to do that to myself.  This became a mental battle which I eventually won.  The bad part is that I was not able to stick to my plan of action as this workout called for a threshold session that I was not able to perform.  Between this and my last bike workout where I didn’t feel like my workout was up to par, I am heading into a race that I already feel under-prepared for.

Click for larger view

Off of the negative… Let’s get to some encouraging news… I started to do some research on my Garmin premium heart rate monitor that I have been having problems with for quite some time.  The more research I do, I find out I am not the only one with this problem.  I have written to Garmin for a replacement and will let you know their response when I receive it.  In the meantime, let me share with you what I have found.

Let me start off by explaining the problem for those of you who have not been following this blog.  A couple of months ago (has it really been that long?) my heart rate monitor started spiking and would show heart rates up to 245 beats per minute… yikes!  I tested it alongside my older HR monitor and it confirmed that this was not accurate.

Here are some of the solutions I found.

  • ONLINE SOLUTION: Wet the strap and possibly your shirt
    • MY COMMENTS: I have always wet the strap.  During the run, this is not an issue as I sweat very heavily so it is always wet
  •  ONLINE SOLUTION: Change shirt types
    • MY COMMENTS: Apparently different materials will cause static electricity that will interfere with the communication and cause spikes.  Buy new clothes? I dont’ really consider this a solution.
  • ONLINE SOLUTION:  Rub a dryer sheet on your shirt before your exercise.
    • MY COMMENTS: This apparently will solve the above issue with static electricity… kind of seems silly but at least I will smell good
  • ONLINE SOLUTION:  Apply honey or peanut butter to the electrodes to make a solid contact
    • MY COMMENTS:  Seriously?  I am severely allergic to fire ants to begin with, imagine what they would do to me if they found the honey or peanut butter smeared over my chest.  Plus this would do nothing but make me hungry.

Here is an entire thread dedicated to the subject:

When you search the Garmin tech support, here is what they say:

The Garmin Premium Hear Rate Monitor (Soft Strap) is much like any fabric, in order to be at its best performance, it must be cleaned. Please follow the recommended cleaning criteria below.

  • Hand wash in warm (not hot) water with a mild detergent
  • Detergents such as a dishwashing liquid are ideal
  • Wash at least every 5 uses

Please be aware, that not washing on a consistent bases, can cause sweat and salt to build up in the strap. An increased build up of either can increase the ability for the strap to short with use when getting wet.

Any other comments from others out there with the same problem?  I would be very curious to find out your solution!

If you liked that post, then try these...

Duathlon Nationals? Serious or not!? on July 6th, 2013

The Quest for Boston on March 7th, 2013

Upcoming Duathlon on September 20th, 2012

Race Results :: A1A Half Marathon (2012) on February 21st, 2012

A1A Half Marathon Preparation on February 17th, 2012

Filed in: Diet / Nutrition, Gadgets, Running, Sprint Training, Triathlon • Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Leave a Comment

Next Triathlon / Duathlon

Email Subscribe

2013 Sponsors

2013 Charity

Video of the Week

My Race Calendar

2013 Upcoming Races
Labor Day Duathlon
9/1/13, Coconut Creek, FL
Short Course Duathlon Nationals
10/26/13, Tuscon / Oro Valley, Arizona
Turkey Duathlon
11/28/13, Coconut Creek, FL
Space Coast Half-Marthon
12/1/13, Cocoa, Florida
Last Chance Duathlon
12/14/13, Naples, FL
Jingle Bell Jog 5K
12/21/13, Sunrise, FL
2013 Completed Races
Ragnar Relay, Florida Keys (Ultra)
January 4-5, 2013, Miami to Key West, FL
Results: 32:59:17
Disney Family 5k
Orlando, FL, 1/11/13
Results: 18:41
Disney 1/2 Marathon
(Goofy Challenge)
Orlando, FL, 1/12/13
Results: 01:32.02
Disney 20th Anniversary Marathon
(Goofy Challenge)
Orlando, FL, 1/13/13
Results: 03:30:41
A1A Marathon
2/17/13, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Results: 3:10:11   --   BOSTON QUALIFIED!
2014 Scheduled Races
A1A Marathon
2/16/14, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Boston Marathon, Boston, MA
4/21/14, Boston, MA
Cellcom Green Bay Marathon
5/18/14, Green Bay, WI
Standard Distance Duathlon
World Championships
TBA, Pontevedra, Spain
Ironman Wisconsin, Madison, WI
September, 2014
Click Here For Archived Race Results

Recent Runs

  • 06/05/2016 - 8.68/MI - 1:14:22 - 08:34/MI
  • 05/27/2016 - 5.23/MI - 40:59 - 07:50/MI
  • 05/25/2016 - 4.07/MI - 33:23 - 08:12/MI

Personal Running Records

  • 05:39 Fastest 1mi
  • 18:11 Fastest 5k
  • 38:52 Fastest 10k
  • 1:21:49 Fastest Half Marathon
  • 3:02:29 Fastest Marathon
  • 27.31/MI Farthest Distance
  • 3:54:50 Longest Run


So if you have read any of the blog thus far you know a little bit about me… I can not be told what to do and I push myself about as far as I can be pushed!

But how did I get here and why? Well, that is what this page is about.

I was never really the athletic type. Sure, I played tennis in high school (and quite well, mind you) but running CERTAINLY was never my thing!

The start of 2009 was big for me as I came to the realization that I had put on too much weight over the past 10 years (read more...)