Monday, 16 March 2015

Badum, badum, badum - I've got a new toy.

Remember that cheap (as in 15 quid, $23, 20 Euros) HRM chest belt I mentioned?
Anna got me one this morning from our local Lidl!
(I was at work, of course).

First impressions:
1) Seems to work - I put it on at "rest" and it came up with a figure in the mid-50s, which is about right. then I tried running on the spot, and Anna said to try running up and down our staircase, so I did that some times, and it went up to 120. Given that I wasn't that out of breath, but I "felt" it, it was propbably about right. Smartphone said I peaked at 127 bpm. All very believable
2) It takes a CR2032 battery (commonly available, and cheap), and there is a little cover that twists on the back.
3) It seems to be "always on", so it might be a good idea to take the battery out for storage
4) It works with my wife's 'phone (Android 4.4 Kitcat, Bluetooth 4.0), but not mine (Android 2.3.5, Bluetooth 2.0). My 'phone won't even detect it (although it will detect the neighbour's MacBook Air!)
5) My wife's 'phone seemed to connect with Bluetooth SMART, whatever that is. Must ask my daughter :-)
6) The clip on the end of the strap seems a little easy to undo ...
7) the "sensors" seem to be a pair of rubbery strips on either side of the "body" of the device (the "fat" part in the middle)
8) you're supposed to strap it just under your pectoral muscles - not too sure how this works out for you ladies and your undergarments - being a guy, I just wear it under my tee-shirt :-)
I have seen ladies "sports" undergarments with a built in HRM advertised on "Wiggle", but I really don't know if that will be an issue or not. Must give it to my somewhat reluctant "female tester" :-)

Anyway, some folks may go on about it not being "pro" etc. etc., but it seems to work for me - and to be honest, I'm only going to use it to check up on whether I've been working hard enough while cycling, and perhaps to optimise my running performance for my 5 and 10 K training runs - I want to work hard enough, but not too hard.

My first test of the HRM chest belt while jogging is here

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