A Change of Heart


Good news. I figured out the issue with the recovery time on my Garmin. I know you were all super interested in that … I’m kidding. BUT apparently some others were having the same issue (this is for you Lizzie and Jill). It’s a pretty easy fix. You just need to set the maximum heart rate in your user profile.


This can be done directly from your watch: go to My Stats > User Profile > Heart Rate Zones > Max Heart Rate or from the Garmin Connect app: go to More > Click on your Device (in the top right corner) > User Settings > Heart Rate Zones > Max Heart Rate.

Once you are here, adjust the maximum heart rate. If you aren’t sure what your maximum heart rate is, in the Garmin Connect app: go to Health Stats > All Day Heart Rate. You can see your low and high heart rates for each day for up to the last 12 months. I would recommend finding a hard race or fast repeat workout that you did and basing it on the maximum from that day.

At the two mile race I did last week, my maximum heart rate was just over 210. This is the highest heart rate that I have seen since I got my Garmin Forerunner 235. I adjusted this setting on my watch and the recovery feedback that I have been getting makes much more sense! Yay.

If you don’t go in and adjust the setting, the default maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. For me this would be 189. Since my max heart rate is actually a decent amount higher than this, before I adjusted this setting my watch thought that I was basically redlining on all of my runs. No wonder it told me I needed to cool my jets!

Unfortunately most Garmin watches don’t automatically update these stats based on your actual data. The built-in heart rate sensors are still a relatively new technology. According to Garmin, “While our wrist HR monitor technology is state of the art, there are inherent limitations with the technology that may cause some of the heart rate readings to be inaccurate under certain circumstances. These circumstances include the user’s physical characteristics, the fit of the device and the type and intensity of the activity as outlined above.”

I try to pay attention to my heart rate levels after each stress workout that I do, as this gives you good feedback as to whether you were training at the correct intensity to get the desired adaptation from the workout. An elevated resting heart rate can be a sign of over-training and/or dehydration, so it’s a good idea to monitor your resting heart rate as well.

I mainly just wanted to share this info today, but since we are here I might as well fill you in on my weekend runs as well …

Saturday morning I ran with Daniel and his training buddies. My schedule called for a moderate pace long run and their normal long run pace is basically my long run pace, so that works out pretty well.


I wasn’t quite in the range that I was supposed to be, but I’m still happy with this run overall! Post run we did the usual breakfast and hang out at Warehouse thing. After this run my Garmin told me that I needed 19 hours of recovery, which makes much more sense than the typical 72 hours that it has been telling me. Success.

This morning I met the girls at the pier and did 11 easy miles. We had a great run! Post run we did the usual caffeinate and hang out at Coffee Loft thing. Daniel came and met us and brought the iPad so that we could watch the Women’s Olympic Marathon live. We had three top-notch women representing the United States and they all ran their hearts out! It was very inspiring to watch.


I hope you had a great weekend! See ya soon!

2 thoughts on “A Change of Heart”

  1. My Garmin has no heart rate monitor and I really have no idea how to train based on it… but that’s good to know for anyone who does train with heart rates and track it. I do try to track resting heart rates occasionally using the machine at the grocery store and have heard if it is high, that is a sign to rest or take it easy that day.

    Looks like you had a great long run! Are you guys experiencing flooding? I’ve been thinking about you with everything I’ve heard on the news


  2. Have you ever had a V02 Max test to know what your actual heart rate zones are? I’ve had that done multiple times and it seems to be the most accurate indicator of what your HR should be during the various workouts. Anyway- great runs last weekend!


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