I have used Heart Rate training intermittently over the years to push myself on training runs and govern my effort during races. Even though measuring Heart Rate is a wonderful tool, my intermittent use is mostly due to problems with my chest strap. Either it doesn’t work or causes chafing on long runs.
Have you experienced that on a long run your heart rate starts dropping dramatically (Dropout), or that it occasionally doubles (Spikes) or doesn’t work at all? Well you heart isn’t broken, it’s your chest strap. I have experienced all of the above, so I finally researched some possible solutions. So instead of not using your heart rate monitor, or just going out to buy a new one, try these fixes for your chest strap:
- Tighten the strap – It could be as simple as your strap is too loose to get adequate skin contact. Tighten it up a notch and see if that helps.
- Wash it- If you keep it clean, it may work better for you. Try washing it after every 4 -6 uses.
- Use some conductive gel – Some people have had success with Vaseline or you can use the right stuff, Parker Labs Tensive Conductive Adhesive Gel. The adhesive gel helps with slippage or you can get the non- adhesive type.
- Replace the battery in the chest strap.
- Replace the strap- There are a lot of replacement straps available through Amazon, If you are going this route, check out the Garmin Soft Strap.
When my heart rate monitor is working, the other problem I can have is chafing from the chest strap. It can be a big deal during a long run or race. Here are some suggestions to reduce chafing:
- Wash your chest strap.
- Try Body Glide or Hammer Seat Saver on your skin underneath the strap.
- Apply a band aid on the backside of the pod. (Not like the Picture above!). The pod sticks out on the back just a little bit so by adding a band aid or duct tape on the back can smooth that edge.
- Replace the strap with a Garmin Soft Strap.
If you are just fed up with dealing with a chest strap, before you go and throw your watch away, you can get a wrist heart rate monitor and go strapless! The Mio Link Heart Rate Wrist Band is a great option. It works with many different devices and you wear it on your wrist like a watch! So don’t ditch monitoring your heart rate just because you are having problems with your current device. Give these solutions a try and get back to focused training!