Fenix 3 HR Update

Well I finally took the plunge and purchased a Fenix 3 HR with the HRM bundle. I figured that having the chest strap would allow me to record metrics that aren’t available from the optical HR like lactate threshold.

It’s an impressive watch about the same weight as my 310XT but heaps more features. I’ve been wearing it everyday and pretty much 24×7 as I’m interested in the activity tracking features – something to fiddle with. More of that at a later date.

Took it for a spin a few days ago but the HR wasn’t recording correctly. I later found out that I was wearing the watch incorrectly and that it should be positioned below (closest to the elbow) the wrist bone. That seemed to give a better result but not as confident with it as with my Scosche.

It seems that you really need to tighten the strap so that it doesn’t move around on your wrist, especially when you start to sweat. So I’ve been tightening it as tight as possible without stopping the blood flow.

After a few short runs and touchy HR results I took it for a long 30km run from North Sydney, across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, through the city, out to and around Centennial Park then back again with a detour through Barangaroo. Being an early morning run on an impressive iconic course I decided to wear my contacts so I could appreciate the views. The problem of course is that I couldn’t see the watch face. Now that in itself is not a new problem as I am always faced with that when racing a marathon as I always wear my contacts. However, the screens I had set up, even with illumination were just too difficult to see. In my haste to aluminate the watch face I touched the lap button to turn on the light but it also triggered the lap counter that then reset my lap counter. I pressed it a second time almost straight after the first, but from then on an extra lap was recorded – that messed with my head for most of the run.

The HR though seemed to be behaving itself. I was running with a friend who had his 620 paired with a Scosche HR strap and the difference between us was on par with our normal runs. But unfortunately, even when the sun rose I still struggled to see the watch faces clearly. Needless to say the optical HR app was the dominant app I used throughout the run.

Having said that, once we completed the run it synced automatically with my iPhone and all the run details were there. I did notice that on completion, even though I was sitting down and resting, the HR was showing about 152bpm which seemed way too high after resting so I moved the watch on my wrist back towards the elbow and it immediately dropped in the 70’s bpm. That worries me as how can I rely on the results throughout the run.

I then compared my HR results with last weeks 34km run and they were pretty much on par, albeit that the 30km run had more hills.

That afternoon I changed the watch faces to a series of single measures, namely pace, distance, time, HR zone, a collage consisting of time of day, distance, average pace and average HR and the visual optical HR widget. I later discovered that you can set a gradient widget courtesy of dcrainmaker (this guy is great) so added it to my watch faces.

So I’m keen to try out these new settings.

Happy running all.

 

Fenix 3 HR

If you love to wear great running gear then this GPS sports watch from Garmin has got to be the pick so far this year – the Fenix 3 HR with a wrist based optical heart rate monitor. From the review I’ve seen so far from DC Rainmaker, a well respected and popular reviewer, the GPS sports watch has got a lot of things that “open and shut”. It’s not perfect but having the optical HRM inbuilt is in my view a big plus. Since my ageing Garmin 310XT is starting to fail on me, the Fenix 3 HR is looking like it’s going to be replacing it. Unfortunately it won’t be cheap but I love technology.

I highly recommend you review the DC Rainmaker initial review hot from CES Las Vegas 2016 and judge for yourself.