Garmin: Time In Heart Rate Zone

I guess the honeymoon is over, I’m starting to find things I don’t like about my Edge 830. In its defense, I think that this was actually caused by a Garmin update…

I noticed this a little while ago: when I rode with my heart rate monitor, the data would be recorded correctly, except that “time in heart rate zones” would be completely off.

(Heart rate zones are pretty much what they sound like: intervals of heart rate beats per minute, like 80-105 BPM, 105-130, etc, that indicate exercise intensity. There are typically five zones, which is how have mine set up: Zones 1 and 2 are for warming up and easier riding, I spend most of my time in Zone 3 just below my anaerobic threshold, Zone 4 is when I’m pushing it, and I don’t hit Zone 5 unless I’m going all out. So, mostly in Zone 3, a bit in Zones 4, 2, and 1, and almost nothing in Zone 5.)

That’s how it is usually — but what I’d been seeing lately was almost all of the ride in Zone 5, with maybe a few seconds in some of the others. When I hovered over the time in zones on the Garmin Connect website — hovering should reveal the high and low heart rates defining each zone — I found that Zone 5 was set as anything over 3 beats per minute, and the rest were basically set to nonsense.

I checked Garmin Connect on my phone — for Linux, GC on the web is sort of crippled so I use the phone app to access the device — and heart rate zones were set correctly for both generic sports and also for cycling. I looked up, on the Garmin site, how to set heart rate, and I could have sworn that the only way to do it was through Garmin Connect, but they had instructions for doing it directly on the unit. I follow those instructions, and sure enough, there’s a setting for heart rate zones; there is only the one option, no separate sets of zones for different sports, and the zones in the setting are the nonsense I saw before.

I set those zones correctly, and they worked fine on tonight’s ride.

I’m not sure what happened, but I’d guess that Garmin pushed some update that added the heart rate zones setting to the unit, but screwed up the implementation so that the unit no longer sync’ed with the data on Garmin Connect.

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