Today's blog started off as one thing but has become two things.
Kinda like cell division I guess.
My original plan for this blog was to talk about heart rate. See I've been tracking my heart rate on and off when I run for almost a year. I track it enough that I have a sense of what the numbers mean and I know when I'm pushing too hard or not hard enough.
It occurred to me that I've never once worn my heart rate monitor while cycling. So, on Sunday, I put it on. I changed my Garmin Forerunner 305 display to show heart rate when in cycling mode and I watched what happened.
Our bike ride was just under 30k and fairly flat. There was a pretty tough headwind at times as well as some short but steepish hills. I watched my heart rate like a hawk and tried to see how high I could push it.
When I run, I have learned that my heart rate goes up to 160 bpm pretty quickly and then it hovers between 160-170 unless I'm doing hills. Anything over 170 really doesn't feel good and I run into breathing issues and ear plugging annoyances. So I keep it under 170 as much as possible.
The cell division part of this blog occurred when I went to upload my workout so I could see what my heart rate did. For the first time ever, my Garmin failed to upload a workout. I restarted the laptop. I restarted the Garmin. I disconnected and reconnected everything. I downloaded the latest driver. I read online forums looking for solutions.
So I'm now writing a blog about my cycling heart rate (as I remember it from looking at my watch) and a blog about GPS watches.
Back to my heart rate on the bike. What I found was that, when cycling at a steady state (28-30 km/hour), my heart rate stayed right around 135 bpm. When I was pushing harder into a head wind, it climbed but never to more than 150 bpm. On the toughest hill, it spiked to 153 but dropped right back down again.
Even when I was pushing as hard as I could, it didn't climb anywhere near where it climbs when I'm running.
Running and cycling are obviously very different sports but it was interesting to see how a hard bout of cycling doesn't compare to a typical bout of running - at least heart rate-wise.
So my cycling friends, is that perfectly normal or does it mean that I am not pushing as hard as I think I'm pushing on the bike? Should my cycling and running heart rates be similar? Is 80% of max different with different activities?
On to GPS watches. I have had my refurbished Garmin Forerunner 305 for almost two years now. I know it is nearing the end of its life so I need to start figuring out what I want to buy next. I've used Forerunners for years and have had several 305s which I've loved. I like the big screen and the heart rate monitor. I like that it beeps at every kilometre and tells me how long it took me to run it. I like that it lights up so I can see the display in the early morning hours.
Of course, since I purchased my current one, I became a swimmer. This watch is not meant for swimming. I also cycle more and this watch doesn't measure cadence which I desperately want to measure.
Here is what I want. I want a watch that I will primarily use for running. It needs to be easy to read and needs to show me several things at once (pace, distance run, and time run). A heart rate monitor is also important.
I would also like this watch to be usable in the pool and in open water swims to measure distance and speed.
Finally, I want it to have a cycling mode and, I don't know if this is possible, measure cadence among other things. If this is not possible, I am willing to entertain the possibility of buying a separate GPS device that stays on my bike and shows me my cadence.
Ideally, I want a 'triathlon' watch that switches easily between sports somehow rather than needing me to hold down buttons for a few seconds or scroll through a menu because, really, who has time for that during a triathlon?
Any swimmers, runners, cyclists or triathletes out there have any great GPS devices that they recommend? Tell me what you've tried and what you've discovered. I need to do my own research too but we all know that it's always better to learn from people who have gone before.