Monday, November 2, 2015

Vivosmart HR - broadcasting heart rate data

I bought the new device primarily to monitor resting heart rate, I didn't see the broadcasting feature - whereby the Vivosmart HR ("VHR") broadcasts the heart rate signal from its Elevate optical HR module over ANT+ - to be a major draw.  However, after wearing it for a 5K treadmill run, I am reconsidering it as a strap replacement.  While it doesn't seem as instantly responsive as my Garmin HRM Run (it has a slight lag time -- from my subjective sense), it does seem good enough for my daily use after its first real workout.

I put the VHR into broadcasting mode - pressing the side button, scrolling to the settings icon then sliding to Heart Rate, pressing it, sliding over to broadcasting and then pressing the check icon - paired with my Garmin 920XT in the same way you'd do any other HRM (I now have three devices paired).  I started running, thinking I was good to go, but it seemed that I must have missed a step or the initial pair didn't work - when I went into indoor running and started the activity on the 920XT, it wasn't showing my HR a couple of minutes into the run.  You can see this on the red chart below as its flatlining around 60bpm.

I stopped the treadmill, re-paired, and started the run again (you can see where it happened on the upper (blue) chart.  

The monitor in the VHR broadcast to the 920XT worked like a charm -- it showed approximately 130bpm during my 9-10 min/mi pace on the treadmill, jumped up to around 155-160 during two 7:15 min/mi interval sessions.  I slowed down towards the end to a walk until I got my hr down below 100 - which usually takes about 2 minutes when running outside using the HRM Run strap, same with using the VHR.

The strap was not secured "very tight" -- tight enough not to slide loosely, but not so tight that it was uncomfortable for me (princess and the pea).

One side note:

When I ran on the treadmill, those minutes were reflected in "intensity minutes" metric, even though I didn't "create" an activity on the VHR, just on the 920XT.


  1. Wish my VHR would reflect intensity minutes.... :-) Good write up on the broadcasting.

  2. Thanks. I am not super fond of the way Intensity Minutes are showing up. I ran 52 minutes this am, got 80 something minutes of intensity. That's what I call a good run.

    1. I noticed somewhere (in the Garmin Connect app I think?) that it actually calculates two different levels of intensity - 150 minutes of "moderate intensity" or 75 minutes of "vigorous intensity".

      I think that's probably makes sense for a lot of people - people who aren't as active can get their 150 minutes of moderate activity (light jogging, casual bicycling, yoga, etc) - while people who are much more active (running, cycling, Insanity workouts, etc) can set a higher goal for themselves by upping the "Intensity" minutes to 200 or 300, then completing 100 or 150 minutes a week of "vigorous activity".

    2. Good point. The mobile Garmin Connect shows moderate intensity on the snapshot page, which is a ratio of 2:1 vs vigorous intensity. So the fact today I showed 86 intensity minutes - really 43 vigorous intensity minutes on a 52 minute run makes a lot of sense since I stopped for water and walked a rocky path for a couple of minutes.

  3. Thanks for the write up. Glad you were able to pair with your 920XT, I was hoping I would be able to pair with my fenix 2, but I have not been able to get them to pair. Have you heard of any problems with pairing between the VHR and the fenix 2?

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