JUMP TO:

BUY NOW:

  • Amazon.com
  • Clever Training
  • Clever Training Europre

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Garmin HRM-RUN

IMG_5074

When the Garmin FR620 first came out about 18 months ago, it brought with it the Garmin HRM-RUN strap.  That strap added what Garmin called ‘Running Dynamics’ data, which consisted of a few different running related metrics.  At the time, things were fairly straight forward.  The only watch that supported said metrics was the FR620, thus, if you had anything else then it didn’t really matter.

However, over the last year Garmin has released a number of other models that also support Running Dynamics.  And with that, the number of questions I’ve gotten on a daily basis on the subject has increased to the point where a standalone post is warranted.  Thus why I decided to write this up on the train ride last night.

The HRM-RUN Strap Hardware & Metrics

IMG_5058

First up is the HRM-RUN strap itself.  This strap is fairly straight forward, and at first glance looks no different than the Garmin HRM3 straps of the last few years.  The only distinguishing feature is the little runner icon on the front of the unit.

Internally it’s a different story.  Inside the HRM-RUN transmitter pod is an accelerometer which can measure movement.  These same accelerometers are also used within phones, footpods, activity trackers, and many other devices.  It’s this sensor that ultimately enables you to get metrics such as Ground Contact Time and Vertical Oscillation.  The pod also provides a secondary source of cadence.

These metrics are collectively referred to by Garmin as ‘Running Dynamics’.  In reality, it’s really only the first two that are unique to Garmin though: Ground Contact Time (GCT) and Vertical Oscillation (VO).  Cadence had always been an option on most Garmin running devices, but as part of a marketing shift it got pulled into the Running Dynamics moniker.

First up, is Ground Contact Time.  GCT is the measurement of how long your foot spends on the ground each time you touch the ground.  It’s measured in milliseconds.  You can see this on one of my recent interval runs, where at faster paces it’s shorter, and slower paces it’s longer.  In the below examples, I’m doing hill/incline repeat intervals on a treadmill.  You can see my ground contact time significantly increases during those short red/orange rest periods when I’m lightly jogging (and at the end in those four segments, walking).  And inversely, when I’m running quickly it’s quite short.  You’ll also notice as I warm-up it gets faster (in part, because I’m speeding up the treadmill).

image

Next, we’ve got Vertical Oscillation. VO is measuring the ‘bounce’ in a runner’s torso within each step. This is vertical motion, measured in centimeters.  In the below chart you can see my Vertical Oscillation stays pretty consistent for much of it, except at the end when I’m doing some sort sprints and the purple section is where I’m walking with the green when I’m sprinting.

image

Finally, we’ve got cadence.  Cadence is simply how many steps per minute (SPM) I take.  It used to be that Garmin measured this as single-sided (i.e. one foot) and showed it that way on Garmin Connect.  When the FR620 came out in September 2013 however, they switched to double-sided metrics on Garmin Connect.  So it counts both feet.  For example, instead of 92SPM, it was now 184SPM.

image

Now, let’s be very clear: You do NOT need the HRM-RUN to get cadence on your Garmin watch.  Virtually all new Garmin watches display and record cadence internally automatically from the wrist itself using accelerometers in the watch.  The HRM-RUN does however provide a secondary source of cadence.  Think of it like a second engine on an airplane.

In this case though you aren’t really protecting against loss of cadence measurement from the wrist watch, but rather, against the fact that the wrist can be subject to brief moments that would cause cadence to drop out.  For example, if you take a drink from a water bottle.  Or, if on a treadmill you hold onto the side or go to change the speed/incline for more than a second or two.  With the HRM-RUN (or a footpod), these will be transparent.  Whereas with wrist detection you’ll notice these little blips.  But really, it’s just that – blips.

IMG_5065

So what about the ANT+ footpod?  Well, that too measures cadence.  And pace (primarily indoors).  Thus yes, you have three different places you can get cadence on some Garmin watches.

Here’s a simplified run-down of metrics provided by type:

HRM-RUN: Vertical Oscillation, Ground Contact Time, Cadence
Footpod: Cadence, Pace (and thus distance)
Wrist (Watch/WDR): Cadence, Pace (and thus distance)

What’s the most accurate?  Well, from what I see on cadence, in 99% of situations it’s a complete wash.  Accuracy is perfectly fine across all three sources.  I’ve measured all three separately and they’re basically equal.

Where you will see some variation in wrist based cadence is the scenario I noted in terms of drinking from a water bottle while running, or in cases of a treadmill and adjusting pace.  But most of these are so minor that it’s rarely worth noting for the one or two seconds.

Pace and distance is different however.  For that, the footpod reigns supreme.  It’s what I use when I want accurate pace and distance on a treadmill or other situations where GPS is unavailable (i.e. a tunnel).  The watch at the wrist can provide pace/distance, and I find that at my ‘normal/average’ long run paces it’s fairly accurate.  But when I get faster such as in intervals, it gets much further from the truth.

Finally, for vertical oscillation and ground contact time, only the HRM-RUN provides it.

VO2 Max, Calories & Recovery Metrics:

IMG_5076

I briefly wanted to note in a section all unto itself that the HRM-RUN is NOT REQUIRED to get any VO2Max estimates, Recovery Advisor, Race Predictor, or Training Effect metrics.  Any ANT+ HR strap will gather these metrics (thus any Garmin HR strap).  That’s because these metrics depends on heart rate variability (HRV), which is a required transmission attribute of any ANT+ heart rate strap.  They have no dependency on the HRM-RUN itself.  So you can use any older Garmin strap you might have in your collection and still get these metrics.

Note that in the event you’re using a 3rd party optical heart rate sensor (i.e. the Mio sensors or Scosche straps), that optical sensors today largely ‘estimate’ this HRV/RR information.  For some, that may result in rather inaccurate recovery, calorie, or VO2Max estimates.  I’ve got an upcoming post in the next few weeks that discusses this a bit more.

Supported/Compatible Watches:

IMG_5069

The HRM-RUN is supported in two ways.  First, is that at its core it’s a standard heart rate strap.  It sends your HR data to virtually any compatible ANT+ head unit.  At present, I know of only a single device with issues with it: the Garmin Edge 705.  Everything else seems perfectly happy.

The second way the HRM-RUN is supported is the transmission of Running Dynamics metrics to the watch.  Specifically Vertical Oscillation, Ground Contact Time, and Cadence.  In this case, all three are grouped together.  Meaning that for a watch that doesn’t support Running Dynamics (i.e. the FR310XT), you won’t get cadence from the HRM-RUN, even though the FR310XT would support cadence from a footpod.

Here’s a handy table of which devices support which functions.   If I haven’t listed your device, the answer is no, it’s not supported for Running Dynamics and likely falls under one of the last 2-3 lines in the table.

HRM-RUN Compatibility

Device NameHRM-RUN: VO, GTC, CadenceHRM-RUN: Heart Rate FeaturesWatch: Cadence from wrist
Garmin FR920XTYesYesYes
Garmin EpixYesYesYes
Garmin Fenix3YesYesYes
Garmin Fenix2/2SEYesYesYes
Garmin FR620YesYesYes
Garmin FR220NoYesYes
Garmin FR910XTNoYesNo
Garmin FR310XTNoYesNo
Garmin VivoactiveNoYesYes
Garmin Vivofit2NoYesYes (Saved but not shown on device)
Garmin VivofitNoYesYes (Saved but not shown on device)
Garmin VivosmartNoYesYes (Saved but not shown on device)
Garmin FR15NoYesYes (Saved but not shown on device)
Garmin Fenix1NoYesYes
Garmin TactixNoYesYes
All Forerunners not ShownNoYesNo
All Edge units not shownNoYesNo
All non-Garmin unitsNoYesDepends on unit

Again, as a general rule, if I haven’t listed a device above – the answer is no, it’s not supported to get any Running Dynamics information.  If the device supports ANT+ heart rate straps in general, then it will likely be able to get basic HR information from the strap however.  Whether or not the unit does cadence within the wrist varies based on the model.

Frequently Asked Questions:

IMG_5061

Here’s a round-up of the most common questions and answers concerning the HRM-RUN strap and metrics.

Does the HRM-RUN provide pace and/or distance?

No, it does not.  It only provides cadence, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation.

Should I buy the HRM-RUN for Running Dynamics data?

Honestly, while the HRM-RUN strap provides the fun geek metrics of GCT and VO, at the end of the day those get sorta useless after a week or two of running with it.  There’s virtually no training guidance that either Garmin or any other training organization or scientists have made available that specifies how precisely to change GCT or VO to better your race results.  It simply doesn’t exist.  As such, right now these metrics aren’t something you can really focus on to improve and have a tangible and specific path to running a faster race.  Interesting yes, but not something that Garmin has done a good job in really extrapolating on beyond a few marketing buzzwords.

Will my HRM-RUN strap work with an older Garmin unit?

In 99% of the cases, the answer is yes.  The single unit that I’ve heard issues with is the Edge 705.  For every other Garmin made in the last 5-7 years, I’ve heard no issues and tested the vast majority of them myself.

What data will the HRM-RUN strap send to older Garmin units?

It will send just your heart rate data. It will not display Running Dynamics information, nor will it record it.

Do I need the HRM-RUN strap to get VO2Max, Recovery Advisor, or Race Predictor, or Training Effect values?

No, any ANT+ heart rate strap is sufficient.  Even your older one you have lying around in the bottom of your sock drawer.  Note that not all Garmin watches display these metrics however.  Mostly just the newer watches like the FR620, FR920XT, Fenix2/3, and Epix.

Is the HRM-RUN strap firmware updatable?

Yes indeed!  In fact, it got one firmware update in the Fall of 2014, for users who bought it with the FR620 or Fenix2.  Users who got the FR920XT already had the updated firmware.  This update was done via your watch.

Do you think they’ll update the firmware to transmit other metrics in the future?

I think anything is possible.  But I wouldn’t hold my breath on it for now.

Does the HRM-RUN provide pedaling cadence while cycling?

No, it does not.  During cycling it just provides heart rate related metrics.

I see WDR mentioned a few times, what does that mean?

WDR is ‘Wrist Dead Reckoning’, which is the internal term Garmin uses for determining pace/distance without a footpod using the internal accelerometer data on the wrist.

The Wahoo TICKR RUN and TICKR X provides similar metrics, are they compatible with the Garmin Running Dynamics metrics?

No, Garmin has kept the Vertical Oscillation and Ground Contact Time metrics as ‘private ANT’, and thus other companies are unable to read these metrics (well, easily anyway).  As such, there is no compatibility between the Garmin metrics and metrics that other companies such as Wahoo have – no matter how similar they might be.

Note that Wahoo has stated on numerous occasions that if Garmin opens up the Running Dynamics standard to be open ANT+ (and not private ANT), that they would implement support within the TICKR Run & TICKR X series for those metrics using that protocol.

Can I use the TICKR Run/X to get Running Dynamics on my Garmin watch?

No.  See previous question/answer.  It will however show standard heart rate information.

What is the order of precedence if you have an HRM-RUN and a footpod?

Run cadence hierarchy: HRM-RUN, Footpod, WDR (Trail Running and Running modes only)

For running pace, it’s very model-specific:

Fenix2 Run Pace: Footpod (if set to Always), WDR (Indoor Mode only), GPS, WDR (Outdoor Run mode)

FR920XT/FR620 Run Pace: Footpod (if no GPS found), GPS, WDR (Outdoor Run mode)

Note that with the FR920XT/FR620, it will not show footpod pace as long as GPS is found.  If however you go into a tunnel, then it will failover to the footpod or WDR pace/distance.  This is a departure from older watches like the FR610/910XT/310XT which allowed you to specify the ‘Speed Source’ and have that be used.  For footpod, see this post: Garmin ANT+ Foot Pods: Everything you ever wanted to know

Remember that WDR is ‘Wrist Dead Reckoning’, which is the internal term Garmin uses for determining pace/distance without a footpod using the internal accelerometer data on the wrist.

What is the battery type in the HRM-RUN?

It’s the same as all Garmin sensors – a CR2032 coin cell battery.

Does the HRM-RUN also include the Kitchen Sink?

Only in certain markets, most notably the Isle of Man when purchased as part of the sink bundle.  Just seeing if anyone is actually reading…

Does the HRM-RUN get rid of HR spiking/dropout issues?

I find that both the HRM3 and HRM-RUN straps produced after July of 2013 are both about as good as you’ll get in the industry today when it comes to reduction of false HR spikes/dropouts.  There are still situations, primarily in cold/dry air where the first couple minutes you might get some issues – but that’s largely true of any HR strap that doesn’t have moisture in certain scenarios.

Could Connect IQ display Vertical Oscillation and Ground Contact Time on non-Running Dynamics capable devices?

No, it’s not currently available on those devices.  Said differently, no, you can’t use the Vivoactive to get GCT/VO.

Can the HRM-RUN transmit heart rate values through water?

No, it cannot.  The signal only goes about 1-2” underwater.  Neither ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart can transmit underwater.  In the case of Polar units, they use an analog signal at a specific frequency which does transmit through water.  In the case of Suunto with the Ambit3, they ‘store and forward’.  Meaning they save the data on the strap while you swim, and then synchronize after you stop swimming and the strap is brought close to the watch.

Is the HRM-RUN waterproof?

Yes, despite not transmitting through water – it’s totally waterproof.  In fact most triathletes will wear it under their wet-suit during the swim portion, where it’ll reconnect automatically to their watch/device afterwards upon exiting the water. This is true of all HR straps made by Garmin, Suunto, and Polar (and pretty much every other HR strap made today by every company I’m aware of).  All are fully waterproof.

Thanks for reading all!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

 Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture

*

374 Comments

  1. Chris

    Could you please provide more information on the kitchen sink? Is it a double sink, a galley one, etc.?

  2. right heading of to the Isle of Man

  3. rubin

    i actually read that ……..

    Nice info thank you !!

  4. Tyler

    Would love to see you provide a detailed breakdown of any/all evidence-based training programs or methods for using these various metrics for average-to-serious amateur athletes (i.e. not weight loss driven, or promoting general activity level increases).

    Have had Garmin HR monitors for more than a decade.
    Have never used them for anything more than a general barometer.

    Used cadence sensor to help adjust my running style, but it was a one-time quick change and I found it easy to maintain without metrics.

    • Yancey

      This is the key question. We can measure things ad-infinium but there is no evidence how to action these metrics to improve performance, reduce injury… these new running metrics are in the same boat as Left/right power.

      “cool, now what do I do with it”? I think it is marginally irresponsible and deceptive for garmin to provide these metrics without science/physiology based guidance for recreational runners.

    • Flavio

      Good point. I’ve been using HRM Run + Fenix2 for a year now and a “serious amateur” I have absolutely no idea on how to evaluate the information generated.

      The only relevant new features that Garmin brings to the table with those new devices – and as Ray pointed out do not depend on HRM Run – are the VO2 and Recovery Time estimates. Even those have much less value than the usual HR + Pace data.

    • They only claim it can measure it, not that you can do anything with it. Maybe this metric isn’t that important but I think its useful to try and measure other things as that is the only way some undiscovered metric can ever be put to use

    • Joop

      @Tyler: I use heartrate in the Training load plugin in Sporttracks (also available on sporttracks mobi). There it is useful for the average amateur who trains for marathons etc (it is more relevant for endurance then for sprinting)

  5. Chris C.

    Thanks Ray,

    I did get mine in the UK, but unfortunately missed the sink combo offer ;-)

    Quick one: I have had it since July 2014 but do not remember being offered a firmware update via my F2 or 920XT.
    Is there a way I could check the FW and update it if required?

    thanks

    • Stevie

      You should of had a mail in rebate for the sink in side the packinging. Not as good as the Polar bidet I got last year :)

    • Dana

      Garmin began shipping new HRM-Run units with the updated FW in February 2014, so unless yours sat on a shelf for a good long time before you bought it, you probably have the current FW. It only took them the next six months to figure out a (more or less) stable way to flash the existing units.

      You can check on your watch at Settings>Sensors>Heart Rate>Sensor Details. Current version is 6.30 .

    • Chris C.

      Seems all good then, thanks Dana!

    • Keith

      DC rainmaker and Dana. My Fenix 2 doesn’t have the sensor details in the settings menu. Help?

  6. MattB

    I heard the HRM-Run got confused over cadence values for those 3-legged Isle of Man people, so the sink helps as some sort of counterbalance mechanism…

  7. Josh

    Great post! And more importantly that photo further justified the excitement most of us have waiting for our F3’s to arrive to replace our plastic watches. Of most excitement is that larger screen size over the 620. Thank you for the detail on HRM-RUN!

  8. Nick

    Why, oh why, oh why won’t garmin sell just the module. I bought an HRM-Run with my FR620. The first time I took of the module to wash the strap, I lost it. Called Garmin; the only way to replace it is to buy the strap as well. They sell the strap by itself for $50 and the whole this for $100. Why won’t they sell the module for $50… Grrrr.

    • MAGNUS

      Agree!!

      I prefer my polar strap to the HRM Run strap and would rather buy the transmitter alone. No luck though.

    • Adam

      The straps are prone to failure anyway, so if you plan on using it for any length of time you may as well get a whole new one and switch the straps if/when necessary. For me it’s usually the extra modules lying around that seem like a waste!

  9. José

    Currently who makes a better strap, Polar or Garmin? I know the straps are interchangeable, so I’m curious your recommendation. Are they close enough I should just get the cheaper one?

    • I see them as a wash these days.

    • Dana

      Are those the only straps that are compatible with the HRM-Run module? What about straps like HxM or Beets BLU that don’t have that plastic scraper backing?

      (FTR, I now have over 750 miles on my Polar soft strap used with the HRM-Run, which is considerably longer than either of my HRM-3 straps have lasted. The elastic is showing its age in that short segment between the plastic scraper and the fastener loop that gets all the stretch, but the plastic itself shows no sign of the cracking or delamination that’s happened to both my Garmin straps with many fewer miles on them.)

    • José

      Are Polar and Garmin straps still interchangeable? It kinda sounded otherwise on your podcast.

  10. John T

    I am buying a Garmin running watch tomorrow. You reviews are amazing. After reading many of them, Forerunner 220 meets my needs. I thought about getting a Run transmitter. This review answered all my questions. Thanks for your efforts and details.

  11. Devon

    How do you like the ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 19? The 20th anniversary edition was just released and it looks like they shaved off an ounce or so. Decent support, light weight, longevity?

  12. Jared

    With Connect IQ could the Tickr display/save running dynamics stats so they show up on garmin connect?

    • Yes and no. Yes, Wahoo could write a Connect IQ app to record the data from the TICKR. However, that data would not show up on Garmin Connect, since at this time no custom-saved data is shown on Garmin Connect (only in the .FIT file for 3rd party apps to access, like a Strava/Sport Tracks/Training Peaks).

    • David

      I thought that with the current implementation of Connect IQ, developers cannot write any custom data into the .fit file. I believe it was one of the Moxy developers that explained this on one of your other threads (which I couldn’t find to provide a link). They had to record the data in their device (again, I think it was Moxy) and then combine the data with the fit file off-board. (And they synchronize time stamps at the beginning of the workout so it all goes smoothly.)

    • Yeah…that’s a whole different issue. Lots of talk behind the scenes on that specifically…so I’m going to ‘assume’ they’re going to work it out by release. And by ‘assume’, I think I’ve made it clear enough that if they don’t, it sorta defeats the purpose of a large chunk of Connect IQ. I think they got my drift…

    • For those wondering, the moxy post was: link to dcrainmaker.com
      (there is also the issue of being able to use a generic ANT channel inside custom data fields)

  13. Rodrigo Meira

    Right there on the sink offer .. You can still find some bundles on e-bay for sale ….

  14. wolf

    So basically you are saying, if you already have an ANT+ HR Strap, there is no reason to buy the HRM-RUN, right?

  15. Jeff

    Consciously trying to alter your running dynamics metrics could be a big mistake.

    While fast running usually means low ground contact time, that’s simply a reflection of a number of factors that are affected by training and genetics. It doesn’t mean that if you just concentrate on getting your foot off the ground quicker you’ll actually run faster and more efficiently.

    Vertical oscillation is also a tricky metric. People assume lower means better, but in reality, VO is relative to stride length. Even the smoothest looking runners actually are proceeding along by a series of ballistic trajectories. If you go too low, you won’t go as far.

    The one thing I have found quite interesting about the running dynamics data is that I can see when fatigue kicks in. In a race or workout I might be running at a constant pace, and even at a fairly constant heart rate (or at least a heart rate that isn’t changing with an obvious inflection point). Nevertheless, there will often be a moment where my running dynamics suddenly shift radically. I take that as an indication that I pushed myself pretty close to the max, which is useful to know. On the other hand, I wouldn’t assume that I didn’t get close to the max just because my stride didn’t get screwy.

    • hatten

      I found it interesting to see the effect of changing terrain on GCT, VO and cadence. We’ve had lots of ice for the past few months, which has lead me to favor a midfoot strike tending toward the heel (instinctively, to optimize the traction from my shoe studs). Now, the ice is almost gone and I’m back to a midfoot/forefoot strike. While it was icy, I decreased VO by about 6-10 mm on average, while increasing GCT by about 20 ms. Cadence was largely unaffected.

      I’m a fairly poor runner – in that I have a lot of room for improvement, both as regards pace and running form. I feel running dynamics help me understand the effects of changes I make, i.e., I don’t make a conscious effort to decrease my VO, but if I discover that the manner in which I was running during a certain run had an effect on VO, I’ll remember that in future. Does it improve my running? Hard to say.

  16. Tom F

    Is there any difference between Garmin’s metrics or Wahoo’s metrics? It also seems like Wahoo might have bigger plans for the Tickr X down the road?

  17. Scott M

    Do you know if/when Training Peaks will add running dynamics support? Or does the ant-private nature of the data preclude this?

    • With the .FIT file, once there they definitely can. They had bantered about it a bit last year, but seems to have gone quiet. Sport Tracks Mobi does display it I believe (or, it was with a plugin via regular Sport Tracks…one of the two I think I saw it).

    • Aaron

      Yea, it’s in our online app SportTracks.mobi. We did a blog post a year ago when it was released. The screenshots are super old, but feature-wise it’s basically the same:

      link to sporttracks.mobi

      Potentially interesting (and illustrated in the blog post linked above) is the segment analysis with zone breakouts for VO and GCT. Imagine you want to see how your stride compares over different trail terrain (packed dirt, wet leaves, snow) or similar terrain at different spots in your run (fresh, fatigued, after a long hill downhill section). You can easily see that kind of data and explore it interactively. What to do with it is a bigger question.

      The data is in the public FIT spec, TP/Strava can definitely add support it’s just a matter of dev. priorities.

    • Anonymous Coward

      That’s probably what’s keeping WKO4 behind schedule.

    • Joey

      Will this data be available on import of *.fit files from 920xt into Sporttracks (PC Version), too. Or will this be limited to sporttracks.mobi?

      Greetz
      Joey

    • Yeah, you can see run dynamics plots over time in the PC app as well. The data tracks are available to all the plugin developers as well, so you’ve got lots of analysis possibilities.

  18. morey000

    Can we purchase the Isle of Man sink bundle via Clever Training and use the discount code?

  19. Mark

    Any way to do morning HRV or get better/raw HRV data?

  20. Daniel Gray

    Seems to be the same strap as sold with the HRM3 then? If so be prepared to get a new one in six months. Why is it that Garmin seem to fail so badly with their straps?

    • Same strap. Though, on the majority of people I haven’t seen high turnover rates on straps. I do hear from about 1-2 folks that burn through them at high rates. But often I’ll hear back that those folks will try other straps and see similar high turnover.

      I’m not sure if it’s just something about their sweat/etc… that kills them quicker than the rest of us. :-/

    • Dana

      As one of the ones who’s gone through five straps in two and a half years, I’ve finally got evidence that it is NOT my sweat.

      Besides the strap, my first HRM-Run failed in about eight months. Garmin replaced the entire assembly, leaving me with a module that still works, plus a strap that I’ve never used, since I’d gone to the more comfortable Polar and Polar knock-off straps.

      The other day I took the brand new, unused Garmin Premium Soft Strap out of its box just for grins. And the plastic backing is cracked and delaminated between the snaps.

      Not my sweat. Just age and poor quality materials.

  21. Huub

    does the wahoo tickr als send hrv-data to the forerunner 920xt? Or do I have to buy the hrm-run?

  22. somecows

    Something I have always wondered is, if I have my Fenix2 set to XC Ski mode, or Hike mode, am I missing out on any data if I just attach it to my backpack instead of my wrist?

  23. Marc-Olivier Tremblay

    Do you think Garmin plans to update firmware of the Forerunner 220 to include Running Dynamics. I’m sure it’s easy as ****

  24. Derek Paton

    Ray,

    Any comments of the accuracy of the HRM on the HRM run? I suspect it reads slightly low compared to my HRM1 hard belt. I’m using a 620 and comparing that to a 910XT so it may be the watch.

    One clear cut example of variance is when my tachycardia kicks off (SVT for those interested). With my 910XT/HRM1 combo my HR would hit 220 ish. With the 620/HRMRun it’s hit 164 (from 154) and 182 (from 156ish). Both times I reckon my heart was beating at well over 200! I reckon it’s not as sensitive.

    Thanks,

    Derek.

    • Having done a lot of testing with multiple straps/devices/etc on the HR front, I find them all identical to be honest.

    • The HR strap like all athletic HR straps I’ve seen only has 2 leads, not the 12 leads of a full ECG. Its a very simple device that just picks up what it thinks are the peaks of your heart beat so its not looking at the details of the heart beat. The newer electronics are also better at not having spikes in HR that the older straps sometimes had. Sure some of it is better strap material and better detection, but I’m pretty sure some of it are based on assumptions that can be made about a “normal” heart beat so it can throw out data it thinks is bad. That could be why it picks up your tachycardia differently

    • ekutter

      I too suffer from this and detected via older Polar analog HR straps. I would get HR values of 220 to 225 regularly and for a long time just assumed it was erroneous interference spikes. Until I actually stopped to count by hand and it was really beating that fast. I still get the spikes (I can feel them) but they haven’t shown up in the data for the last 3 or 4 years. I suspect Garmin is smoothing/filtering the data, which is really too bad. The old straps helped me to diagnose the problem and understand what caused it.

      So the technology can clearly measure these symptoms. But Garmin likely filters it out to give more accurate results to the vast majority of users.

    • Neil

      I also suffer from occasional periods where my HR suddenly jumps by 40bpm for maybe 5-10 mins while training (so maybe in the 200-220 range when it ‘should’ really be 160-180), though it’s not tachycardial. However, my Fenix 2 + HRM RUN + Polar Soft Strap always records this accurately (i.e. it shows the sudden high HR).

    • Dana

      Maybe all Garmin straps going back to the pre-ANT+ strap that came with the 301 did the filtering? Or maybe only certain types of palpitations used to get filtered out and now they all do? Whatever the reason, I’ve never had a SVT show up on a sports watch HR track, only on Holter monitoring (and if I’m awake, I always feel them).

    • All sports hr devices are two electrode connectors that all assume a “normal” heart beat. They are very basic devices that just do basic peak to peak measurements. There is a reason why if you have cardiac problems an ambulance and hospital will attach many more electrodes as they need more data to figure out what is wrong with the heart

  25. Wojtek

    There is also myETraining Android app for Elite home trainers. This app pairs without any problems with older Garmin HR modules, but it does not recognize the HRM-Run.

    • Wojtek

      But according to the producer, it should be fixed in the next release. Anyway, there is something different in the HRM-Run :)

    • Someone dropped a comment saying it wasn’t working on the Tacx app yesterday too actually, though, I haven’t had a chance to independently validate that on mine.

      I don’t know if it’s that it’s different (i.e. Garmin’s fault), or if the app isn’t doing something at an API level correctly (thus the other companies fault). Meaning – is Garmin doing something out of spec, or the app doing something out of spec.

  26. BWinter

    Does Garmin have plans for a HRN-RUN strap with ‘store and forward’ functions (like Suunto ).
    Or do we have to wait for a Wahoo TICKR X Connect IQ APP so that we can combine the info in swimming mode.

  27. Tim

    Ray,

    Somewhat related… Have you had issues with replacing the battery on this strap? I can’t get those screws to budge

  28. Tim

    Was wondering how accurate the race predictor and VO2 max was for everyone out there. For me I’m finding it to be way off on the race predictor. Its giving me a 5k time of 18min and I would be doing good to do one in 24 at this time. I’m really disappointed because this was a feature I was really excited about.

    • It’s all about potential. So it’s basing it on VO2*, and then doing lookup charts from there. Now, potential really comes down to training and scheduling.

      *VO2 accuracy: While I don’t have any scientific study, from listening to much feedback in the last 18 months, it sounds like most people that have had it measured, are within 1-2 units of their actual measured VO2Max (i.e. if measured at 61, it show 59-63).

    • Gary Strader

      Mine seems pretty accurate. It’s estimating my 5k time at 21:43, and I did a 5k time last November in 22:22. I am probably in slightly better shape than I was in November. I’m doing another 5k in April so I will compare it again then.

    • Windrunner

      Race Predicter = When I adjusted for weight (Current weight – optimal race weight * 3 seconds), it was pretty spot on. Same with the Daniels running charts; your V02 max cannot exactly predict time if you are carrying extra pounds.

  29. Rich

    I’ve always wondered, is that a 3rd contact on the strap with the grey fabric band on the HRM3 / HRM-Run? My original HRM1 solid strap has two sensor spaced out that are at the front of the chest. The HRM-Run strap has those two obvious contact areas at the front of the strap. But the instructions on the inside of the HRM-Run strap seem to imply there’s a 3rd contact area at the side. Or am I just confused with what the printed icons mean!? :)

  30. Brenton Barnard

    I purchased the 920xt last October, I have found on occasions, the first kilometer or so, the watch and HRM fail when running, My watch displays my heart rate so high that I know it’s not correct, however I have noticed that the values are identical to my cadence??? (No errors at all when cycling) I’m considering going back to my old sensor just so i can have more accurate data and results or maybe a future firmware update may change this. Have you ever heard of anyone have this issue?

  31. Dusitn Stalter

    Great information! I am just a bit concerned about the extra data and the need for it. Vertical oscillation I can understand the need and use for. It can help correct running form but my concern with that is this: What is the baseline? Is it based on height of the individual, running style (mid-foot vs. heel striker), etc…?

    Cadence I have no concerns with. Great data!

    Also the GTC is going to be directly related to cadence. ie: higher cadence=lower GTC. So my concern is the same as you, if there are not training goals or plans utilizing these data points, what is the point of providing it?

    My guess is marketing hype to say they have one more thing that “the other guys” do.

    Just my .02.

    Dustin

    FR920xt
    Edge 510
    Former owner of the Fenix2

  32. andrejs

    I’d like to know from other users who actually use these features – when would you ever need to know your cadence, or vertical oscillation, or ground contact time? Does that actually improve your performance and if so, how? Just curious.

    • Kermit262

      @andrejs Like Ray said, there’s not a lot of value in the vertical oscillation or ground contact time data. But there’s been plenty written about the importance of the ideal cadence, which tends to be considered around 180SPM. Research suggests that running form is more efficient at this number, and might also lead to less injury. Using my previous Garmin 920XT’s metronome and cadence feature, I was able to change my cadence from an average of 164SPM to an average of 180SPM, which I now maintain on a regular basis. Just Google running cadence and you’ll find a wealth of information.

  33. iain

    Is the kitchen sink firmware upgradable via the watch or does it require plumbing?

    Also, are there any plans to integrate it with 3rd party dishwashers, or will someone need to write a Connect IQ app for that?

  34. Bryan Alsdorf

    I was rather disappointed that the HRM-Run is unable to generate pace data when running on the treadmill.

  35. Great post Ray! I love the new fabric strap that comes along with the new Garmin HRM-RUN pod– it seems to get rid of a lot of the spikes and drops that used to plague the older straps. But now my problem is that I can’t find a replacement fabric strap without buying a whole new HRM-RUN monitor. Would you know where to get the new straps– or what Garmin’s model number is for that strap? I can’t seem to find them on Garmin’s site.

  36. Rick Recker

    It seems to me that HRM and GPS data, along with the user’s weight could be used to pretty accurately calculate the watts of power output that you have discussed recently. Why someone would need that metric for running, I don’t understand. I always understood power meter data to be a way of identifying a flaw in the bike or gearing optimization. With running your power output goes right from your foot to the road. I suppose there are situations like beach or snow running that rob power but I don’t foresee any running watt meter sophisticated enough to identify those factors anytime soon. Heart rate and cadence really tell a runner what they need to know.

  37. Bachoo

    I’m really surprise people had enough questions to warrant this blog entry. I knew when it was first announced it was a gimmick. I still a firm believer that you don’t need as much info as is provided.

  38. Radim

    I experience big problems with measuring HR with both HRM-3 and HRM-RUN. It is during every run and it is very frustrating as I cannot concentrate me to running in a HR zone but only to check, whether I get any HR data.

    I tried everything, I wet the pads, my breast, use electrogel but nothing helps. The HR goes very high, where I’m sure it is not correct, and if I stop it does not go low, or very very slowly. Sometimes it is the opositte, my HR is very high, but it shows 100 or less. I also see on the watch, that the HRM disconnects and reconnects, probably due to it is impossible to detect my HR. I’m desperate already.

    I found out that the original soft strap degrade very very fast as the resistivity increase from several kOhm to several hunderd kOhm, even I regularly washed it. I now use o-synce strap which has lower resistivity, but without any improvement. I’m already thinking about purchasing HRM from different manufacturer, but new HRM is expensive and I’m not sure if it will help.

  39. Basso

    Hello,

    Maybe this is a stupid question, but could one use GCT & VO data (provided by HRM-RUN) to some useful extent in jump testing (e.g. measuring (somewhat more or less accurately) contact times, flight times, elevation of centre of gravity etc.)?

  40. Jeff

    “Does the HRM-RUN also include the Kitchen Sink”?

    Do not understand this as non-english native.

  41. Gabe

    Ray

    given that the HRM Run bundle is just $50 more for fenix 3, 920xt etc would you advise to go that route or would you throw that $50 twds another type of HRM like the arm or wrist type ones?

    • It really just depends on how much one values that $50. If you don’t have a HR strap at all, then it makes sense to get the HRM-RUN bundle, since it’s the same price as you’d pay for getting the non-HRM-RUN separately. Of course, if you want optical, then you can get the Scosche just a little bit above that around $70ish I believe, and that’s very solid.

      If you already have a HR strap, and don’t think you’ll find much value in GCT/VO, then I’d save the $50 and buy a bunch of ice cream.

    • The arm and wrist ones are also all optical which means they won’t give correct R-R times needed for any HRV based measurements on the watch. But then those measurements may not be important to you so that limitation doesn’t matter.

  42. skeptic_orango

    Thanks a lot Ray,
    I own a fenix 2, could you please provide some additional info on:
    “Fenix2 Run Pace: Footpod (if set to Always), WDR (Indoor Mode only), GPS, WDR
    (Outdoor Run mode)”?

    What if set to always means?

    I’ m deciding if it is the case to buy a footpod. I understood that it would give me more accuracy concerning pace and distance also outdoors, without loosing the satellite image of my run. Am I right?

  43. panos

    i wonder, has used TWO hr monitors at the same time ?
    were the recordings without errors ?

    I am thinking buying Wahoo tickrX for the running dynamics data
    and at the same time use my running watch with it’s hr monitor for hr

    • I often use two (or more) HR straps. As long as positioned carefully to not overlap, it can work just fine.

      That said, it’s sorta uncomfortable and not really something I’m a huge fan of doing myself.

  44. panos

    My opinion on how to use running dynamic is this:

    Basically, to increase your speed, you have to increase either running CADENCE or STRIDE length or both.
    If your increase CADENCE and keep STRIDE constant, you decrease GCT.
    If you increase STRIDE and keep CADENCE constant, you decrease VO.

    The reason someone might be interested on the new metrics is that they are more “sensitive” to changes because they are measured in milliseconds and millimeters.

  45. Steve

    For sensor precedence, doesn’t “FR920XT/FR620 Run Pace: Footpod (if no GPS found), GPS, WDR (Outdoor Run mode)”
    equal “FR920XT/FR620 Run Pace: GPS, Footpod, WDR (Outdoor Run mode)” ? (first way was confusing)

  46. Scheherazade

    Hi Ray, excellent review as always!
    I own a Garmin 620 and I’m planning to buy a Mio Fuse to replace the HRM strap (So I could have a daily activity tracker and swim with it ) Do you think it’s a good idea or should I stick with HRM strap?

    Thanks~ keep up the good work!

    ( Sorry for my English )

  47. Maddy

    Hope I don’t miss the next special bundle with dishwasher!
    Thanks for clarifying all about HRM straps, nice work

  48. paddler

    What would happen with the VO measure if I rotate the HRM-run device 90 (the strap needs to be modified or removed). I imagine a kayaker interested in knowing how much the torso is rotating left and right for a stroke. Would the data recording be meaningful?

  49. Sebas

    Hi Ray,

    First of all: love your website.
    I really hope you or your forum members can help me out:

    I have a problem with my Garmin Fenix 2/Running Dynamics.
    While running, I can see my Fenix 2 is tracking running dynamics (cadence, vertical oscillation, ground contact). I’ve activated the screen.
    But when I upload my data to Garmin Connect, I don’t see the statistics. What goes wrong?

    When I run, I select a workout I made with Garmin Connect. For example:

    link to connect.garmin.com

    Running dynamics was turned on during this run. I can’t see the statistics back in my log, no matter what I do.

    Can you help me out?

    • Sometimes it’s just Garmin Connect being dorked up. I can’t see your activity at the moment, as you have the permissions locked on it.

    • Sebas

      My appologies; I made it public now, so you can see it.

      I upload my runs with the app (bluetooth). When the upload is done my activity is uploaded as ‘other’, not as run. Does this matter for the Running Dynamics? Maybe this is the reason the data is getting lost? (Just thinking out loud..)

    • Yes, if it’s not set for ‘Running’, that will likely do it.

      It’s odd that it didn’t pass that through automatically, unless you were using the ‘Other’ profile on the watch?

    • Sebas

      It’s odd indeed. I did some hiking yesterday and when I upload using the app it also says other. I’m am using the ‘running’ profile, not the ‘other’. Maybe it’s the app.

      Going for a run tomorrow; I will try uploading with Garmin Express. Let you know. Thanx in advance. Have a good week Ray!

  50. Richard C

    I understand that the monitor cannot transmit HR underwater, but would like to know if the unit minds going underwater. I am thinking of putting it on before the swim in my next triathlon.

    Thanks.

  51. Hi, I have 910xt for 2 years and thinking of getting a new one.
    What you reccomend for an amateur triathlete?
    upgrade to 920 or getting the new fenix3?
    Somehow I find the fenix more attractive wearing daily

  52. Mauri

    This time I have to say something is missing: the chaffing issue must be mentioned!

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Me and friends had to giveup with the strap, did tried everithing but nothing worked out and I ended up with a scosche

    Looking forward when all of that metrics will shift to an all-in-one clock with wrist sensors as the Tomtom

    thanks for your detailed reviews!!

    big fan

  53. Bora

    Ray,
    I currently use Scosche RHYTHM+ with my M400 and I am currently considering to move to 920XT or Fenix 3, first one being available right away, which makes it very tempting.
    Do you think I would miss something major by not going for a bundle with the strap and by sticking to my Scosche Rhythm + besides the geeky analysis features that you mentioned above?
    Thanks
    Bora

    • With using optical HR, you do run the risk that you’ll get redued accuracy on metrics that require heart rate variability (such as Recovery Time, VO2Max, Race Predictor, and to a much more limited degree, calories).

      For some people, it’ll be a wash and they’ll lineup. For others, the differences may be more apparent. It’s hard to know exactly.

  54. FStenn

    Hi Ray
    I have both the HRM Run and the old premium strap on the pic above. I´ve lost the strap for the HRM Run but still have the pod. Will the run pod work with the old strap?

  55. Christian

    I just found out that Garmin now uses a diferent strap picture for its HRM Run strap. It looks as it was re-designed, now covered with black straps on the outside.

    Link: link to buy.garmin.com

    Is there a new version coming up?

    • It’s not actually shipping (yet, anyway). There’s no change to the mechanics of it, it’s purely a comfort change. When I asked them last month about it, they said: It’s “designed to improve comfort, but the modules have not changed.”

  56. Dan Wilkinson

    I think some of the comments on running dynamics being useless data because it doesn’t provide guidance on what, much less how, you can improve them is off the mark. Consider running pace, when I see a consistent drop on pace on a long run, is that giving me guidance on how to run faster for longer? Of course it isn’t. It’s not information, it’s just data, to interpret how you see fit.

    If we regard such data as guidance for improvement as a primary goal, we really need to also use it for guidance as to understanding your limits and also for understanding your running style. Simply saying “My pace drops after 10k, ergo I must learn to run faster” is as useless as some of the comments above.

    However, if you read it the other way, and say use it to learn what you can do before you start to deteriorate, eg “My pace drops after 10k at this pace, and after 8k at this pace” you can take away valuable information about your current abilities, learn perhaps when to stop pushing, maybe learn than a small drop in pace yields a converse longer period in ability to keep it up resulting in faster times overall. It’s the interpretation that is important.

    As such, knowing your VO changes after 10k seems pointless in isolation, but could be very interesting when you match it to you pace. Maybe you will find a scenario where you manage to maintain the same pace for 2k after your running dynamic show that your running style has gone out of whack before finally succumbing to slowdown, and maybe that can be a useful indicator that you are risking injury or over exertion but assuming it’s all good because your pace is consistent when really you are struggling to force the speed out of your body in the wrong way.

    I haven’t got my 920xt and HRM-RUN yet, and I’m not sure how much I will use the running dynamics initially (though I will likely record and ignore), but that’s not to say that for a more experienced athlete there isn’t potentially really good info in the metrics when you step back and take a wider view.

  57. Hi Ray,

    with the new FR920XT there are newer softstraps delivered.
    a image can be seen here.
    Not yet had a option to run with it.

    regards,
    guido

    • The soft strap is the same (was at launch), however, at some point Garmin is slightly changing the strap design itself – but there’s no impact on the technology in it. It was advertised when the Fenix3 came out, but I haven’t seen it included in any boxes quite yet.

    • On the new FR920 boxes they shipped the new version.
      Fenix 3 is not shipped in EU.

      I will keep a eye on the fenix 3 boxes once they shipped.

    • Dan Wilkinson

      The strap with my (new today) 920XT has 4 “pads” and the grey material is covered in a tyre tread like chevron pattern laminated over it, not the plain grey as in the pictures above.

    • Interesting, good to know. Must have started in the last 45 or so days. I know the first batch of Fenix3’s didn’t have the new HR straps yet. So we’ll see if the newest batches end up getting them.

    • Radim

      It would interested me, if the pads are differently placed on the strap than on the original one. I found out, that I need to wear the strap shifted to left so the sensor is not centered but directly over my heart. It is a bit less comfortable to wear but at least it works reliably all the time. It would be nice to have a strap with pads shifted to left while keeping the HRM centered.

    • Dan Wilkinson

      link to twitter.com

      I put a pic up on Twitter here for info

  58. Alex

    Hi Ray,
    Do you think this tech could be adapted for use when cycling? I’m wondering if you can use the accelerometer to record things like whether you are sitting vs. standing and how much movement you are doing while in either position? I know the Vector can do sitting vs. standing but there is probably a fair amount of people that are interested in other power meters and have no interest in a vector.

  59. Craig

    is there any other heartrate straps available that work under water and collect heartrate data for later analysis like Suunto store and sync? It would be good to look at after a hard training session or triathlon and see how hard you were actually working. Also if any of wrist straps might work underwater with this functionality so it doesnt fall off when turning and pushing off the wall

    Thanks

  60. Ted W

    What is the order of precedence for Fenix 3? is it the same as 920xt?
    FR920XT/FR620 Run Pace: Footpod (if no GPS found), GPS, WDR (Outdoor Run mode)

    • Yes, today it’s the same. It sounds like there may be some slight changes coming down the road shortly on this though.

    • Ted W

      Cool. can you give a glimpse to the possible changes coming…

    • They’re still getting the exact plans to me, but it’s around the footpod calibration and speed source pieces and how current generation watches work. It’s been part of a much larger (and longer) conversation I’ve been having with them about it.

    • Are they keeping the fenix and the epix as superset watches? As in it sounds like if there is a change it would be to the base 920xt functionality which is also in the other two watches so the change would be made to all 3. Correct?

  61. generall

    I wonder that you never mentioned the trouble with the accuracy of the heart rate readings in the first 5 minutes of running or trail run with this heart rate belt – with the fenix2, the xt´s and so on… – as many other users complain and garmin could not solve this problem until now!!

    in my opinion this heart rate belt is completely scrap and not usable for serious heart controlled training.

    Can you please compare it once with the polar v800 – especially mentioning the accuracy of the heart rate belt ??

    Thank Stefan Vienna/Austria

    • I didn’t discuss it, mostly because it’s largely fixed with the HRM3/HRM-RUN. If you’re still having it in the first 5 minutes, you’ll usually see the same thing with other HR straps. It’s just a moisture item. Both Polar and Garmin straps tell you to wet the strap before starting (it says it right on the strap).

  62. Yanick

    Thanks for clearing out what are the hardware source for each metric. Helps a lot to under stand what is going on under the hood and being able to take a clear decision on what hardware technology I want to use.

  63. Omar

    Hi there – Absolutely love the website. Now that I know that purchasing throught the links will support your work – will certainly do it.

    Quick one – Having trouble pairing my HRM-RUN with my SRM PC7 head unit. Ironically, a previous generation Garmin HR unit pairs fine. What gives? Is ANT+ not created equally with the HRM-RUN?

    • Hmm, weird (though, not terribly surprising to be honest). There’s been a handful of units out there that the HRM-RUN seems to have trouble pairing with (like, 2). That’s the first I’ve heard of on the SRM front.

      SRM’s had a long history of having ANT+ quirks (implementation), but, over the last 1-2 years they’ve largely addressed the outstanding ones. In theory the PC7 should just pickup the ‘clean’ ANT+ HR channel, per the spec. It looks like it might be trying to decode the private part, and stumbling there. I wish I had some advice there, but unfortunately I’m a bit at a loss for what to suggest.

  64. Herve

    Hi there
    A quite specific question : I had a rupture of my Achilles tendon and had surgery to fix it. I’ll be lame for a while and would like to monitor how my pace will become symetric again during my recovery.
    Is there any means to do it using HRM-RUN ?

    Hervé

  65. Thanks for (yet another) great in-depth analysis.

    I’m in a position which I’m guessing is not unique. Like many others I’ve had terrible luck with maintaining any consistency in measuring HR using both the HRM1 and now the HRM3 which came with me 910XT. Moisture sometimes helps, sometimes not.

    At one point in my life I weighed around 250. I became an adult-onset athlete and dropped 90 lbs to a much more fit ~160. Currently I’m closer to 180 (sad face) but here’s the problem. Even at my fittest my 49 yr old body never fully resorbed my extra skin — so I am a bit Sharpei-like. I have a lot of trouble keeping the HRM in place since my SKIN’s VO is so dramatic, and this throws off the HRM’s connectivity, I think.

    I’ve tried wearing it ABOVE the nipple line so that (despite the fact that it still bounces significantly) at least it does not fall down to my waist line.

    Here’s my question: any ideas for me to increase accuracy? I’ve not bought actual HR electrode gel, but am willing — if you think it will help. I’m leaning toward thinking the HRM is just not for us Sharpei body types? If it helps me run slow enough to stay aerobic, I’d like to use the HRM to re-hone my weight loss and lose some fat. And if I go optical, I’d lose the HRV data which will help along those lines as well.

    PS — I love my BC-1000 ANT+ scale. Any idea why oh why Garmin would discontinue support for this with the 920XT and Fenix3? I’ll be plunking down some bonus $ soon on a Fenix3 and would sure love to keep using my BC-1000…

    ~ Keith

    • Hmm, hard to tell on what might work with the strap, I think you’ve tried much of the right things. I’d honestly go optical. I find so little true benefit in many of the HRV-driven applications, especially the variance I see today with them. But…that’s just me.

      As for the scale, Tanita has announced via Twitter that they’ll be releasing a Connect IQ app for their scales, which will work on the 920XT & Fenix3.

      As for why Gamrin discontinued native support – the reason is simple: Almost nobody actually buys the scales and then uses them with their Garmin devices. I heard numbers well under 1% of users. It’s simply a development resources focus kind of thing.

    • Thanks Ray — in re-reading the ‘care and feeding of your HRM’ pamphlet from Garmin I now realize I may have, at some point, violated 1 or 2 of the guidelines. Specifically, I know I have not rinsed the HRM after every use. And I also have not washed it after every 7th use.
      And (drumroll please) I fear it may have gone through a dryer cycle at some point.

      When I receive my new HRM-RUN I bought to go with my Fenix3 sapphire (expected delivery for both is mid-April) it will be well cared-for and I will try some electrode gel as well. Hopefully my sharpei-skin was the real main culprit — and hopefully once I get a working HRM again I can see if that really gets in the way.

      and if so, going optical will at least help me stay in the right ranges.

      Thanks for getting back to me!

      ~ Keith

  66. David

    Thanks for the thorough review. It is very useful.

    I have an old FR305 with HR unit. Would a fenix 3 read the old HR Monitor? If I can avoid paying for the HRM-RUN I think I can live without VO and GCT

  67. Stefan Requat

    After more than 8 Months of getting very useless results with my HRM-Run Premium Heart Rate Belt, several attempts of repairing it by the Garmin Support i found a solution by myself (not throwing it away – !!)

    When i by force reconnect the belt with my watch (Fenix2) directly before i start an Activity as running or trailrun, it works completely as it should! Really!!

    Other Useres, whom i gave this advice report the same – as written in an long thread in the forum.runnersword.de

    Garmin has lost its speech since – they can not understand their own bad product! (nor they can deliver a working product – sorry to this miserable company)

    Thers is now other designated sports watch on the market which has the same troubles with the heart rate monitoring – its really a shame!!

  68. kate delaney

    can I take the new forerunner 620 HR in the pool ( I know the watch is waterproof)
    Thanks
    k

  69. Chris

    Does this HRM give you Cadence on the bike as well?

  70. Leo

    Does the Garmin 220 have a metric on the watch to show cadence as the 620 does?

    I understand that the 220 does not support Vertical Oscillation and Ground Contact Time. My question is specifically about cadence, does the 220 supply a metric for cadence?

    I currently own a 210 shows cadence only on the garmin website but not on the actual watch (even when I’m wearing the footpod.)
    Is the 220 similar to the 210 in that regard?
    Please advise.
    Thanks for a great website.
    Best, Leo

  71. Hi again Ray (and others)

    Any ideas re: my questions above from 3/14 (#157) re: my Sharpei skin and also the BC-1000 no longer being supported?

    Keith

  72. FabLuna

    Hi Ray –et al–: Got my Garmin forerunner 620 with HRM-Run (bought them separately because I already owned an Ant+ HRM from Timex). I’ve been using it for up to 3 months now (I previously owned a Timex GPS Iron Man 1.0 HRM and foot pod included — good start up unit –).

    For me, running dynamics is about comparision. That´s the key. Tecnique is what drives to perfection. As an electromechanical engineer, I live by that.

    Check the link and compare (and obviously, enjoy): link to youtube.com

    We´re merely humans — we, the normal runners — and obviously we may never get the running dynamics from elite runners, but, hey, we can try !!!

    Cheers from Mexico.

  73. Martin

    Hello, thanks for the great review
    I have a question about the HRM Run, as skiffrower I like to know my strokes per minute so what I like to know is, do I have to buy a HRM Run when purchasing a fenix3 or does the “Cadence from wrist” on Fenix3 do the job coz I have acceleration with hands forward and backwards when rowing and with the HRM run on, he should count my for- and backwards movement of my upperbody
    I already own a HRM strap from my 310 xt so I do not realy have to buy an extra one, only if I realy do need the HRM Run for the strokes per minute

    Grtz, Martin

  74. Martin

    Oke, thanks, I shall first connect it on the footboard of skiff and when not work well I try the HRM Run

  75. Sylvester Jakubowski

    Ray, my Fenix 2 has switch to wrist cadence when using my HRM-RUN based on the data sampling rate (wrist looks very poor compared to HRM-RUN data), any thoughts? GCT and VO still seem to be present. I don’t see a setting for this and all documentation says HRM-RUN should take precedence.

    Example:

    link to connect.garmin.com (looks to be wrist cadence)
    link to connect.garmin.com (looks to be proper)

    Not sure if anyone else has come across this.

  76. Don Montalvo

    OMG, this article made me lethargic. So much brain food. I can’t stop eating it. I’m going to regret this in the morning.

  77. Budy

    Hello, does anyone have try this for freediving ? does the altimeter works below the sea level (-10 meters ? )

    • No, it wouldn’t save the data, nor would it connect it to the watch since the unit is too far away when underwater. Also, the strap doesn’t have an altimeter in it.

  78. Greg

    Hi, is it possible to share the hrm across two different garmins (fr 620 & 220)? We have one hrm and just trying to avoid doubling up.

    Thanks

    Greg

  79. John

    I know there are a ton of variables, but I could use some advice on choosing a hrm. My only previous hrm experience was with a polar ft7 which was reliable and seemed accurate.

    I recently got a fenix 3 and am currently training for my first triathlon. I’m not sure which metrics would be the most useful to monitor, but I figure at a minimum I’d like to get heart rate. I’m currently trying to decide between the garmin hrm-run and the scosche rhythm+ (although if there’s a better option let me know).

    Although using a chest strap with the polar was not an issue, I kind of like the idea of an armband. GCT and VO sound cool, but I’m not sure if they should factor in my decision.

    If you were only going to buy one of them which would you recommend?

  80. Wendy

    Great write up as usual

  81. Paul

    Is the strap itself (as opposed to the transmitter module) the same as the old HRM3 strap?

  82. Don Montalvo

    I have a Garmin Forerunner 920XT and a Garmin Edge 510. Can I use my HRM-Run with both at the same time?

  83. Chrystos Minot

    Hey, Amigo, great article, you forgot about the female version put out by Garmin, in 4/9/15 – the sink is functional on the Isle of Woman. Just checking if you are reading! :-D
    So yea I got the Fenix 3 recently and am thrilled to see mine has the accelerameter — since I have lumbar disc issues & am practicing smooth, gliding “Aikido” ambulation, the vertical oscillation is a Godsend (less bounce = less disc pounding = more road training 4 the Bolder Boulder.) I’m a big hiker (eg 14’ers) & am transferring my hiking chops into faster twitch fibers for road running w no pack on my back. So yea, I’m going from a Snowcat ==> motorcycle, somatically speaking…. PS just want to say I traded in my Suunto Ambit for the Fenix3 because I never got comfortable with S’s interface, altho’ I loved the accurate GPS altitude function…). Love REI’s return policy! So: GO aerobic training! GO hiking & mountaineering! GO geeky metrics ! GO robot watch companionship for storm warnings & barometric drops! Thanks for the article, DirectCurrent! Keep up the great work!

  84. I already commented above (@ 9 am ET, 7 am MT) . ps what’s the best place to get apps for the Fenix 3, like display configurations?

  85. Jay Williams

    Hi Ray,

    Do you still think the Magellan HRM/chest strap is the best one out there with all of the HRM straps and center modules out there?

    One of my Magellan HRM hard plastic center modules took a nasty bounce and now I need to replace it…

    I only need the heart rate monitoring, nothing else, but am open to more functionality.

    Primarily I’m looking for reliability (1st), and comfort (2nd).

    Thanks for always geeking out this tech, you’ve saved me a lot of time in research and product use!

    Jay
    ====

  86. Chappo

    My Garmin HRM-Run has been giving overstated heart rates of late (not just spikes but over a period of time, say 20+ bpm higher than expected). Other information from the HRM-Run has been consistent. My Fenix2 hasn’t indicated that there is a low battery and I regularly wash the strap. Any other ideas as to why the heart rate might be off?

  87. Douglas Adler

    How is the battery life of the HRM RUN strap vs. the regular HRM strap?

  88. Travis Warner

    great read as always—-

    will vo2 max data correlate between two devices?
    what i mean is this: will new vo2 max obtained on a 920xt be updated on the fenix 3 after both devices are synched?

  89. Jeremy

    Do you know how long these HRM-RUN straps last before needing replacing?
    After the wriststrap on my Timex TRT 1.0 broke I bought the fr620 back in Nov 2014.
    The HRM strap worked fine to about a month ago when it started acting up, completely dropping data.
    At first I thought it had slipped down so I cinched it tighter.
    But this morning on a run my HR went from 115 to 90:
    link to connect.garmin.com
    Then this afternoon on a ride it looks like it completely died:
    link to connect.garmin.com

    So I tried washing the strap and soaking it while I showered, but it still wouldn’t pick up a heart beat.
    Next I tried to replace the battery but couldn’t budge the itsy bitsy screws with the smallest screwdriver in my eyeglass set.
    Then I remembered the 2.5-yr-old strap from my TRT. So I snapped the Garmin transmitter on to the TRT strap and it immediately picked up my HR which matched that reported by my phone HR app.

    So, is 5-6 months of life about what one can expect from the Garmin strap? While it worked, it gave smooth readings, but if it only lasts 5-6 months maybe there are better straps which last longer? There’s nothing visibly broken on the strap, no fraying, no delamination — it still looks brand new — just doesn’t work anymore.

    • It’ll usually vary by person and how much they sweat, as well as other random factors. But usually it’s well beyond 5-6 months. Ensuring that you use soap and water once a week to clean it, does go a long way.

  90. Jeremy

    Did some more digging and found out that I’m not the only one experiencing problems with Garmin’s premium soft strap. Apparently there’s a problem with the conductive threads woven into the soft fabric leading to a short between the two snaps. Washing/soaking doesn’t help. The “fix” is to cut the strap between the two snaps in order to break the short circuit. I haven’t tried this myself yet though. I had thought about getting a replacement strap under warranty although others report that the same problem inevitably happens after 4-6 months. One person even asked to get the older hard strap instead which always worked flawlessly for him for 5+ years. So I might do the same or try cutting this strap which I guess would void the warranty.
    link to runworks.com

    • Sam

      I recently took the plunge and cut my HRM-run strap between the buttons. Most of the information out there is about erroneous measurements due to lack of moisture, but I am running in Houston so moisture isn’t a problem. After cutting the strap it has worked flawlessly for my past three runs, even without washing between runs. Prior to cutting it I tried various methods of washing and soaking about 10-20 times, with only moderate success. This seems like a design flaw. I attached a picture that shows how I cut the strap. Ultimately I decided that the risk of no HR data was better than the guaranteed bad data. Note – I also purchased a Polar H1 strap that I am told works with the Garmin sensor but I haven’t tried it out yet.

  91. Edgar J

    My fenix 2 is not tracking the VO and GCT anymore. I’ve used it maybe 6 times. It only did it once. Whenever I have the HRM it only tracks the heart rate and thats it. Even without the HRM, when the watch is still supposed to track the cadence, it does not. I tried to sync the HRM again but it didn’t work. I’m going to try a hard reset on the watch.

    Any idea of what it might be causing this situation?

  92. Francesco

    If I take the HRM pod and I’ll use it with another strap (for example an Outbet Heartbeat tshirt) I could have the cadence, the heart rate and the VO ad usually?

  93. grbi

    Hello DC.

    Also from Paris, i got a issue with my HRM-Run straps. I can connect it to the watch. “Connected” is displayed but, i got no data for the heart rate sensor… I tried with a old straps and it’s works great. Is the new one delicate ?

    Thanks

  94. Talis

    I am using Fenix 3 + HRM-Run. However, I am not able to update HRM-RUN firmware through Garmin Express connecting Fenix 3 to USB port. So at this moment I am still stuck at 4.0 version. Could you tell me how is it possible to upgrade my HRM-RUN firmware?

  95. Adrien

    Hi Ray,
    I have a 3 months old 920xt with HRM run & use it paired with a polar strap (less spikes and more comfortable).
    Everything worked perfect until my tri race (swimming in the sea) last Sunday.
    I started having spikes on the bike (220+ :-/) and then a continuous drop while running (130-). Since then neither my edge 500 nor my 920xt can detect the HRM. I tried swapping straps and using an old Garmin HRM unit : the polar strap is always ok , the run unit is always ko.
    Could it be a conception problem? Or due to the sea water i was swimming in? Any advice except buying a new one?
    Thx
    Adrien

    • That’s a tough one. Typically speaking if you’re seeing drops during a workout that’s heavily sweaty, I adjust my strap upwards or downwards slightly. If possible, wipe the sweat out from under it (just slide your hand under and wipe left/right). Obviously, that’s much easier for guys than gals.

  96. Chris C.

    Hi Adrien,
    You may want to swap the battery. Even if it s just 3 months old, you may have bad surprises with those.
    It usually does the trick for me.

  97. Spud bullet

    Hi DC, apologies if this has been covered in the comments already, just wondering if you are aware of any potential firmware update on the run hrm. It seems Garmin are missing a trick with swim hr and could update the hr run in order for the unit to be able to store hr information and snyc this info with the watch post swim, as you have explained with the sunnto. Or do you think a hrm Triathlon may be on the cards in future? Covering everything!

  98. juan

    link to buy.garmin.com is this the best model actually? i had read that this one have 4 electrodes, which in theory allow better acurracy but im a litle confuse aobut the models. Im about to buy the 920 xt with hrm and i found two models of hear strap for that watch. thanks in advance

  99. Christian

    Hi, I can not update my firmware on HRM RUN from version 4.0 to 6.3, I have af 920XT, but the HRM RUN came from a 620 or a fenix 2 back in april/may 2014.
    Have you heared/solved this problem before? My watch just keep saying “Updating”, lately for more than 30 min.

  100. Rosie

    Hi, love your site and the really useful reviews you do. I have a question – is the HRM-RUN waterproof? I realise it won’t transmit underwater but I am planning on doing a lot of aqua running (injured – boo :-( ) so would be running in waist deep water, so it might pick up my cadence and heart rate. But I might fall over, splash myself a lot etc, do I risk breaking my HRM-RUN if I wear it in the pool? Thank you.

  101. bryan

    Ray, do you detail anywhere on how to replace the battery in Garmin’s HRM-run’s strap? I’m getting an error on my watch saying the HRM’s battery is low.

  102. Michael Sizemore

    Fantastic article. I was in the process of bidding on an HRM-Run on EBay, but considering there is no training guidance for vertical oscillation and ground contact time , I will stick with the regular Garmin heart rate monitor.

  103. PJ Walstrom

    I had problems with my HRM Run, with battery corrosion after a salt-water swim (as described here: link to forums.garmin.com)

    Was in contact with Garmin Support and they claimed that the HRM Run is NOT Waterproof and that I had to buy a new one…

    • Adrien Penders

      Same problem with my HRM run delivered with my 920xt.
      Battery & inner corrsion and my HRM is totaly dead after only 6 months :-/
      Swapped batteries 2 weeks ago, worked fin until battery is corroded again.
      I also have some kind of brown “glue” on the left contact clip…

    • This HRM/HRM Run V1 just can’t handle salty sweat and hard workouts like trail running with lots of umidity and temperature changes. I’ve had 4 and all of them stopped working well. So I decided to buy the new HRM Run (red). I’ll try it tomorrow. Let’s see.

    • Trying to save two of my old friends from death… :(

    • Maurício Bahia

      Finally, a better solution to my HRM-Run V1: the new HRM-Run!

      Probably the V1 hás a project problema where it can’t deal with hot temperatures and/or humid weather.

  104. PJ Walstrom

    the HRM RUN has a Water Rating of 3 ATM according to the manual. According to Garmin, unsuitable activities are “Swimming and water-related activities”. Hence, it is not guaranteed water proof.

    references:
    link to support.garmin.com
    link to garmin.com

  105. Hello,

    is it true that unplugging the small pod from the belt might save battery life ? Thanks

  106. Krzysztof

    Hi

    Just a quick one. Will Garmin Fenix 3 pair with Suunto ANT HR sensor ?

    Thanks

  107. Elliot

    Ray,

    When running outdoors with a Fenix 3 and HRM-RUN is there any point in using the Footpod as well? Does it add any value to the data recorded?

    Thanks!

    • Only if you’re having pace smoothing type issues, in which case the footpod can now be used with the Fenix3 instead of GPS pace (outdoors).

    • Elliot

      Thanks Ray! I’ll give it a try because the pace was jumping around a lot yesterday between 3:30min/km to 6:30min/km (with a clear view of the sky). Otherwise I’ll put it on eBay!

  108. Ray, you might be interested to know (though I’m sure you already do) that they completely changed the design of the HRM-RUN. It now looks more like the HRM-TRI except its a red pod (non-removable) on a black strap. I had the original version and it stopped working so this is what I got as a replacement.

  109. Adam

    Was there ever a follow up post to this one regarding the variance between an optical HR monitor and the HRM run for VO2 max? Thanks!

  110. Jonathan

    Do you know if the HRM-Run strap or any heart rate strap will transmit any sleep data if worn over night?

  111. Jonathan

    You mentioned above about the HRM-Run being firmware updatable…is this an automatic update through the watch to do i have to prompt it to do an update? I just received my Fenix 3, HRM-Run, footpad and tempe and i’m trying to learn as much as possible right now.

    • It’ll ask you to update it, once you’ve updated your watch (the watch does the updating).

    • August

      I have a Fenix 3 with HRM-Run. The Fenix 3 is at V5.10, the HRM-Run at V6.3.
      I am not getting any update notice for V6.6 = Advanced running dynamics. Not sure how to trigger it other than wearing the HRM-Run, connecting it to the watch?

    • August

      Fixed it manually, found the following info on the Garmin Forum:
      Download the 6.19 Beta Firmware, we’ll only be using the update file for the strap.
      link to navigation-professionell.de

      The zip file has the HRM-Run update as HRM-Run_6B175201.rgn. Attach your F3 to your computer. Copy this rgn file to the \Garmin\RemoteSW folder. Rename it 6B175201.rgn. Have your HRM-Run close by and undock your F3. Go to F3 sensors and connect the HRM-Run. F3 will now update the HRM-Run.

  112. I have a Garmin 920 w/ quick release and a hrm-run. I would have though I could leave the 920 on the treadmill and get my cadence from the hrm-run, but unless the 920 is on my arm, I don’t get any cadence data. Is there any way to fix this?

    • That’s weird. You should get cadence in that scenario, since it comes from the HRM-RUN (or TRI). I’m honestly not sure why. Might be worth asking on the Garmin Forums too.

  113. Frank

    Ray, Thank you for your review. I have been using my FR15 since June to monitor my soccer refereeing. Now that the season has moved us indoors (futsal), I’m thinking about getting a foot pod. (I already have an HRM strap from my trusty Edge 305.) Would the HRM-RUN be a good all-in-one package or am I better off just buying the foot pod?

    I’m interested in the convenience vs. accuracy trade-off.

  114. I’m going to the isle of man TT in June will it record my heart rate as i run my bike on its side around the veranda at 160 mph? and how do i strap the kitchen sink on?

    (could better support for this strap be added to Garmin vivoactive via software updates do you think?)

    Does the HRM-RUN also include the Kitchen Sink?

    Only in certain markets, most notably the Isle of Man when purchased as part of the sink bundle. Just seeing if anyone is actually reading…

  115. Rebecca C

    What are your thoughts on the added features with the latest update? It looks like it added a few data points.

    • Frank

      When I updated my fenix3 to 6.5 yesterday, it allowed me to update my HRM-RUN to (I think 6.60). It has not worked since. It has become invisible to my f3. I replaced the battery in the HRM-RUN. Deleted it from the F3’s sensor pool and attempted to re-add it. I have not yet figured out how to recover from this.

    • Frank

      Then I discovered that my f3 was not communicating with any Ant+ sensors nor my iPhone. Turning the f3 off and on again solved all of these problems.

  116. Janyne Kizer

    I see that the HRM-Run was updated to firmware. I noticed it because my run dynamics stopped showing up in Garmin Connect. I don’t see a way to download the update to my watch. Any pointers?

    • Yup, to get the update you’ll want to update your watch, which in turn grabs the firmware for the strap. The easiest way to validate it grabs it that I find, is to use the Garmin Webupdater with USB to your watch. After it does the initial firmware check, it’ll look for the sensor firmware.

    • Bruno

      Hi Dc,

      thanks for input. I haven’t been able to update the watch and the HRM – run. But it is strange. Garmin Express as well as the Garmin Webupdater and the watch say that I have the latest version of the software, 6.20. No updates available. On Garmin Connect I have a pending update v. 6.60 that I can send to the watch but nothing happens. Garmin Express makes the sync and again it says “You’re up to date” with the 6.20 version.
      However, on my 920xt I see that I have a new data field with the 3 new running dynamics information.

      Any idea?!

      Thanks.

    • eli

      6.20 is the latest non beta firmware fit the 920xt nowhttps://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=7249

    • Bruno

      Yeah, but how do I update the HRM-run then?

      Thanks!

    • Tom

      I have the same problem. I think the update was sent to my FR620 but it never told me it was successful or anything. First my HRM wouldn’t connect, but then after my run it connected and said there was an update ready. I told it to update and for around 1 minute it said it was updating but then said it was disconnected and refused to reconnect. I’ve since tried this update several times and the same thing happens over and over… Has anyone got this update working so they can show a screen shot of what’s different?

  117. Kim Loane

    Ray – really appreciate your reviews etc. I recently was prompted to update the firmware in my HRM Run to V6.6 (via my FR620) which I successfully completed. Everything is working fine. Do you know what the content of V6.6 is. I’ve searched everywhere and can’t find any list or even description of what is in V6.6. Thanks in advance.

  118. Stefan

    Hey, I am loving this website and your great, detailed information!
    My fenix 3 is suddenly no longer showing efficiency information. Since I did not change anything, my first guess is that the HRM run accelerating sensor might be defect? Or affected by low battery (only 6 months old!?)
    Does anybody have any comparable experience?
    best
    Stefan

  119. Hi
    We have purchased a forerunner 620 for the yard. We are interested in trying to measure horses stats with it if it is possible. The major things we hope to get are time distance speed and heart rate recovery. However we are also very interested in stride length (does the 620 do this or just the 630) and the other run dynamics.

    Thank you david

  120. S. Shapiro

    I have a Garmin forerunner 920xt with the heart rate monitor. Can I use the heart rate monitor on the garmin fenix 3? How do I connect it up and will it catch all the relevant data as well?
    Thank you for your help

  121. Wolf

    My original Garmin strap is disintegrating, so I ordered a Polar strap to replace it. However the sensor did not fit.. Looks like Polar has changed something. Has anyone else made the same experience? This is very annoying, as it used to work in the past and the Polar strap is also much cheaper than the Garmin strap.

    • Michal Wozniak

      You need to cut off excess of rubber on strap connectors. Razor blade is good tool to do that.

    • Dana

      I’ve been using this Polar knockoff from Heart Rate Monitors USA: link to smile.amazon.com Very similar to the older Polar straps, very slightly more lightweight, no modification needed to use with the Garmin modules. Also, at least this one unit is much more durable than either the OEM Garmin or Polar straps. I was very surprised to notice I’ve got almost 500 miles on mine and it barely shows any wear.

  122. Gerome

    Hi Ray and folks!

    I wonder if Ray or any of you guys could answer my quick couple of questions:

    In the FAQ it says:
    “Does the HRM-RUN provide pace and/or distance?

    No, it does not. It only provides cadence, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation.”

    1. What about 2nd Gen Running Dynamics: Ground Contact Time Balance, Stride Length, and Vertical Ratio? Can the chest strap that’s in the pictures of this very review provide those metrics, as well, or are they exclusive to the new red-module HRM-Run and the HRM-Tri? If it does provide those metrics, maybe Ray should consider updating this page’s FAQ for posterity’s sake.

    2. Is the new red-module HRM-Run more comfortable to wear than the one reviewed on this page? If so, how much more comfortable?

    3. How fast does the reviewed HRM-Run’s strap wear? What does wear even mean? Does it snap in half, does it stretch beyond usability, do the electrodes become inaccurate or stop working altogether or something else? Is the new red-module HRM-Run’s strap more durable than the one reviewed on this page? If so, how much more?

    4. Is it worth losing the replaceability of the strap on the reviewed HRM-Run in favor of getting the new red-module one? Why?

    5. Everything (especially you guys’ experience) considered, if you had to choose at this very moment, then which HRM-Run would you purchase: the reviewed one or the new red-module one? Why?

    Thanks a lot!

    • 1) Yes, the HRM-TRI & HRM-RUN do. Good call on updating it for new metrics. Will add to my list, thanks!

      2) Some will find it more comfortable, specifically if you got any ‘cuts’/rash on the inside of your chest. It happens to some people (including me, during certain times of the year). I’ve had zero issues with that with the new pod design.

      3) Typically ‘wear’ is about the strap, not the pod (if you ‘wear’ your pod down, you’re doing something horribly wrong). Further, it’s often about cleaning it. If you wear it daily and never clean it, then sometimes oils on the skin will build up and effectively corrode the strap so it’s less accurate. Some folks can go years without issues, while others seem to burn through straps in 6 months (very rare). There’s zero difference between the new and old straps in this regard.

      4) Personally, I like the new pod design. I’ve kinda switched over to wearing it, since I know it won’t cut/chaff me. I personally use the HRM-TRI, simply because if I decide to go for an OW swim, I have one strap. Oh, and because I can’t figure out where I put the new red HRM-RUN strap of mine.

      5) I’d personally go red.

    • Gerome

      Thank you for your reply!

      Does the old HRM-Run record everything that the new red HRM-Run does, including Gen2 Running Dynamics (Ground Contact Time Balance, Stride Length, and Vertical Ratio)?

      Sorry, it was the only thing that wasn’t 100% clear to me from your reply.

    • Yes, from a stats/metrics perspective all three straps are identical:

      Garmin HRM-RUN (Gen 1, Black pod)
      Garmin HRM-RUN (Gen 2, Red pod)
      Garmin HRM-TRI (Blue pod)

    • Will

      Ray, any change to your opinion from February?

      I got my new Fenix 3 gray bundle from Clever Training today – thank you for advertising the sale! However, I was surprised to see the HRM4-Run (red) instead of the HRM-Run (black pod) since the picture on Clever Training indicated the bundle came with the 1st gen HRM-Run.

      Here are my concerns – I’d love to hear from anyone who has used either or both straps:

      1. I’m a bigger guy (6′ 2″, 210 lb) and the strap is almost maxed out on me. I’m concerned about longevity of the HRM4 strap elastic. I’d rather use the 1st generation if the elastic is going to be giving out on me on any kind of regular basis (more frequently than once a year). Can anyone speak to elastic longevity on either strap?

      2. Along with being a bigger guy, I tend to sweat a fair amount, especially in the heat wave we’re having right now. I’d prefer to be able to machine wash the strap to keep the stink down, and being able to detach the sensor would give me some peace of mind since being able to kill a $100 piece of kit in the sink isn’t comforting. Can any other folks who don’t mind self-identifying themselves as sweaters speak to your ability to keep the stink down on the HRM4, or do you prefer the HRM machine washable band?

      I appreciate your time and responses!

    • Crocodil

      Hi,

      I’ve recently bought Fenix 3 HR and I would like to get a HRM-Run strap for it, but I’m not sure if I should choose the old (“HRM-RUN”, detachable) or the new (“HRM4-RUN”, red) one.

      Up until now I’ve had 910xt and I were using HRM2 pod with a couple of different straps that I would rotate for easier management and cleaning. Unfortunately I’m one of the people that “burn” straps after some usage. The Garmin straps would usually last 6-10 months and start giving bogus reading but a Polar one is still working well after 2 years. Because of that I have a small collection of different textile straps that I still could use. Fortunately I’ve never experience any chaffing problems.

      After almost a year, would you still recommend using the new (red) HRM-Run? How is its longevity? Do you experience any problems with it (or with its “sibling”, HRM-Tri)?

      Best regards,
      Crocodil

  123. Ted W

    After reading some of these comments, it got me to thinking what are the TRUE differences between the HRM-SWIM, HRM-TRI, and the HRM-RUN (either the black or blue). specs on the swim suggest its ok with pool chemicals. But whats the true practical diference in them. why would someone buy one an not the other?

    • HRM-RUN: Does Running Dynamics (Gen1/Gen2)
      HRM-TRI: Does Running Dynamics, also records HR while swimming, strap not designed for lots of chlorine pool use
      HRM-SWIM: Does NOT Running Dynamics, records HR while swimming, but sticks on on body for pushing off wall in a pool

      So the reason you can’t really use the HRM-TRI in the pool is that for men (not wearing a top), it’ll slide down your body most times you push off the wall hard (flip or open turn). Whereas the HRM-SWIM won’t, it stays put.

    • Gerome

      From what I understand:

      HRM-Swim: water resistant, resistant to pool chemicals, wider and stickier strap (keeps the strap from sliding down your chest when you do pool wall push-offs), can store data, does not record running dynamics, non-removable pod, non-replaceable strap, less comfortable for some people

      HRM-Tri: water resistant, not resistant to pool chemicals, standard strap width, can store data, records running dynamics, non-removable pod, non-replaceable strap

      HRM-Run Red: water resistant, not resistant to pool chemicals, standard strap width, cannot store data, records running dynamics, non-removable pod, non-replaceable strap

      HRM-Run Black: water resistant, not resistant to pool chemicals, standard strap width, cannot store data, records running dynamics, removable pod, replaceable strap, less comfortable for some people

    • Ted W

      Thanks for the quick feedback. So the HRM-TRI and new HRM-RUN is really the ability to save data (is the practical usage for storing data only during swim?). Would you say the comfort level of the RED (TRI) and BLUE (RUN) are the same? Guess my Tri days are behind me. Mostly a runner. but I might get myself into the pool on occasion. Then again, I heard the F3HR works for some (HR monitoring) in the pool also.

    • Gerome

      Sorry, you got it all mixed up! Please, read the posts again:

      HRM-Tri and HRM-Swim save data, HRM-Run doesn’t.

      Red is the updated HRM-Run, blue are both the HRM-Tri and the HRM-Swim, black is the old HRM-Run.

      F3HR oHRM does not work during a Pool Swim activity.

    • Gerome

      Practical usage of data storage extends to sports where you are forbidden to wear a watch (football, soccer, baseball, etc.). You put the strap on, go play your game, sync up data with your watch later.

      I would also like to know which strap is more comfortable: the red HRM-Run or the HRM-Tri. Based on the design, I would say about the same, but I have no personal experience with comparing them. We need to ask Ray about it.

    • Gabe

      lol It doesn’t work that way.

      You still need to pair the heart rate strap (TRI or SWIM) to the watch.

      Doubtful you can start the activity and leave the watch behind then repair out of ANT+ range. And definitely you cannot just wear the strap and expect to have heart rate data stored without starting the activity.

      The HRM SWIM Heart rate data does show up btw when you pop your chest out of the water.

      The HRM-run & TRI are the same straps. it’s more comfortable than the previous hrm straps because it’s more cloth like.

      Regarding the HRM Swim – it works well in the pool but it will still stip at times – at least i have to tighten mine down more :)

    • Gerome

      Hey Gabe.

      Some people have reported pairing the strap, starting an activity, tossing their watch into their sportsbag, throwing the bag by the sidelines, playing a game of soccer or whatever for over an hour, well out of range of the watch, slapping the watch on after the game, syncing the data without trouble, so I don’t know…

      Also, think about it: When you swim with your HRM-Tri/Swim, the strap can be (and often times is) effectively out of your watch’s ANT+ range during the entire activity if it’s continuous.

    • Gabe

      Gerome – I’ll give that a test! But yes i agreed the activity must be started first.

      it’s strange because in any activity (bike, run, hike, etc.) aside form swimming the heart rate is active and no pop ups occur at the end of the workout to transfer the data from the HRM-SWIM/TRI to the watch.

      For example after a swim – there are notifications of the heart rate being uploaded etc .

    • RE: Comfort between HRM-TRI (blue) & new HRM-RUN (red).

      I refer you to this: link to youtube.com

      In reality, there’s zero difference in comfort – it’s just the color of the plastic that’s different (and the firmware). :)

    • Jose DeLasHeras

      Ray,

      Apologies if you have already answered this:
      Will HRM-Run from FR620 work with Fenix 3 and recording Running Dynamics Gen. 2?

      Thanks for your help!

  124. Gabe Chavez

    Any updates on the new red HRM-RUN that can be found on Garmin’s website? It’s got 3 additional running dynamics metrics and looks more like the swim one.

    link to buy.garmin.com

  125. David Smoot

    Actually read the comments and this question is not clearly answered as far as I can see. Garmin is selling two products called the HRM-RUN at the same price point with slightly different specs. What is not clear is if the specs are truly different or Garmin just did not bother to update their website.

    “Old” HRM Run (detachable black oval pod that snaps on a strap): (link to buy.garmin.com), That page states it can measure Cadence, vertical oscillation, and ground contact time.

    “New” HRM Run (electronics molded to strap, red trim around edge) (link to buy.garmin.com). That page states it can measure Cadence, Vertical Oscillation, ground contact time, AND Ground Contact Time Balance, stride length, and vertical ratio.

    Now scrolling through your replies, you state in one place that the HRM-Run version functionality is identical but you also say thanks for pointing out the new metrics. Does this mean the old HRM-Run should be capable of the new metrics?

    If not, why would they sell a product at the same price point whose features are a superset of the others?

    • Gerome

      Garmin have not bothered to update their website.

      Both HRM-Runs are the electronically identical.

      They exhibit purely aesthetic and functional (detachability vs comfort) differences.

  126. Steve

    My original battery bit the dust. It almost end lasted a year with 4-5 activities every week.

    I replaced the battery and now I’m receiving bad data. My HR is way off, too high.

    My resting HR is around 45 and right now it’s 123. Has anyone had this problem and how did you fix it?

    • Janyne Kizer

      Did you get a low battery warning? It could be the band itself, not the battery. My bands (the elastic part) last 10-12 months on average.

    • Stuart

      I have the same problem. He reads artificially high with increasing frequency the device stops working / will not synch. I got no battery warning but changed it anyway. After a week, same problem. Restarting the Fenix 3 solved the synch problem a few times. Then checked battery to see if there was a water leak – everything worked okay after that for another few activities and it’s dead again now after a few activities where I saw the excessive HR readings. I have never had a battery warning.

  127. Salomon

    In the hrm-run… Is it possible to change the the battery? If so… How?

  128. Paul

    Will an older Garmin Forerunner HRM work with the new Forerunner 220 Watch?

  129. Nate

    Just connected my HRM (older style not HRM Run) to my fenix 3 it seems to detect my HR but won’t keep the info displayed on my watch. Should this keep a constant reading on my watch or is cutting out normal?? I have a forerunner 235 and that is a constant display, I just assumed they were all like that…

  130. Philip

    Hi Ray,

    you write: “the HRM-RUN is NOT REQUIRED to get any VO2Max estimates, Recovery Advisor, Race Predictor, or Training Effect metrics. Any ANT+ HR strap will gather these metrics (thus any Garmin HR strap). That’s because these metrics depends on heart rate variability (HRV), which is a required transmission attribute of any ANT+ heart rate strap. They have no dependency on the HRM-RUN itself. So you can use any older Garmin strap you might have in your collection and still get these metrics.”

    I am still stuck with my good old Garmin Forerunner 305, but now it’s time to move on: I want to get the Forerunner 230. As it is much cheaper if purchased without chest strap, I would like to keep using the “Standard Garmin HRM” (“HRM 1g”). Do you, Ray or anyone else, know for sure that it measures those R-R-intervals accurately enough to derive usable HRV values from these data?

    Thanks!

  131. Ryan

    I’ve been using the HRM-Run with my Fenix 3HR. I got the combo package a few months ago. I am disappointed with the sample frequency of the heart rate even with the strap. It seems to update at an average of about 6 seconds, but varies between 1 second and 10 seconds. I think it tires to vary the sampling rate with changes in the heart rate, so that a faster changing heart rate would have a higher sampling frequency. But it doesn’t seem to work well.

    The result is a rough heart-rate curve that doesn’t capture the work efforts when it is plotted in Connect. I compared this with an 2 year old Polar strap and the Polar strap appears to sample regularly at 2 seconds. I prefer the regular, high-frequency sampling. It seems to capture true variability in my heart-rate. The HRM-Run doesn’t quite correspond with the beginning and end of my efforts, say in an interval workout, and is more variable throughout.

    Is there a way to increase the sample frequency on the HRM-Run strap or make it regular? Seems like a Garmin internal thing, but it would be nice.

    • @Ryan. You may want to try load this workout data into the online SportTracks app. There is actually a bug in how Garmin Connect imports FIT files recorded from the HRM- series that causes downsampling in the heart rate data. In SportTracks you’ll see 1 second sampling if the HRM strap recorded it.

      link to sporttracks.mobi

      As a side note, the HRM strap series records R-R data – the millisecond intervals between heart rate beats. Calculation of HR BPM is up to the app and how the data is imported.

      I’d be interested to hear if you see the same issue in SportTracks.

    • Ryan

      Aaron, thanks for the info and suggestion. I tried what you said. Interestingly and a little oddly, sporttracks.mobi seems to put the heart rate in distance terms. I shows bpm/0.01 miles, which means the time averaging of the bpm depends on pace. I’d still prefer the sampling at a simple 1 sec intervals or even better some options or the raw data file to play with.

    • Aaron

      Hey Ryan,

      Sorry I just got back to this cleaning out my inbox.

      I’m not sure what you mean about pace / time averaging, that doesn’t make sense.

      The strap records R-R intervals, and we store per-second BPM rate in our system. You can use TCX export, or our API to extract data, or if you want “raw data file” you can download the FIT file from Garmin Connect and write or find an open source parser.

      As mentioned, Garmin Connect FIT file import downsamples the data when it’s displayed, but if you select Export > FIT, you’ll get the original file as-is, including R-R data, if you want to play with that.

      Good luck.

    • Ryan

      Hi Aaron,

      Thanks for the insights on how to download the raw data. I’ll play around with it and see what I can do. I’ll post any scripts I find or more unlikely produce.

      Seems each app plots heartrate differently – by time, distance or optionally both. Each app also seems to read the garmin file slightly differently, too, which makes the curve more or less smooth. I did figure out how to turn off smart sampling and set the watch to sample every second. This is under Settings -> System -> Data Recording -> Every Second. I wasn’t aware this was an option. The Garmin Connect heartrate plot looks quite a bit better this way and more like my old polar plot, which I preferred. A bpm data point is plotted every 2 seconds consistently rather than 4-10 seconds as it was with smart data recording.

    • Aaron

      Yup that’s the bug. When processing a file, the HRM strap R-R data is merged into the existing recorded data at the original sampling frequency. Even though the strap has detailed data, it will drop any beats there aren’t GPS samples for. 1 second recording is the way to go.

  132. Sam

    For those of you out there that are having problems with HR measurements drifting low late in runs (with excess sweat) I think I may have found a solution. I was having this problem and decided to cut the strap in half between the buttons. This fixed the problem for me. I posted a reply to Jeremy’s comment from May 20, 2015 (currently comment #219) with some more info and a pic. I’m surprised by how little information there is on the interweb about this problem — which seems pretty common.

  133. Juan Pablo Olivares

    Hi! I just started using 920xt with HRM-Tri and, analyzing my data in Garmin Connect I find that the ground contact time balance shows 0%/0% as well as my vertical ratio (0%). I do get GCT, VO and stride length so I’m not sure why wouldn’t I get the other metrics. Any ideas?
    Thanks!

    • Dana

      First thing I’d check would be your firmware versions (both watch and HRM), since the absent metrics were added after release of the 920, anyway (not sure about the strap).

  134. Alex

    Is the Vivoactive HR comparable to the Vivoactive from a HRM-Run compatability standpoint? Or are we able to get VO/GCT/Cadence from the chest strap with the newer Vivoactive HR?

  135. HA Lima

    Would the older Garmin HRM work with the new Forerunner 630 – for the running dynamics info?

  136. Dave

    I am really looking for something to track my distances and HR during soccer games. Sounds like this strap will only do the HR piece. Obviously I can’t wear my giant fenix 3 on the field. Any suggestions?

    If my watch disconnects from the strap will it stop recording data?

  137. Will Smith

    I have a Garmin D2 Bravo. Is it supported? What is the difference between the HRM-tri and HRM-swim besides the chemical resistance in the strap. What is a tri-kit? See link to buy.garmin.com for the -Swim.

  138. Chris G

    I just read a review of tech to record data while spinning in doors. The Wahoo Tickr X will record cadence from the chest strap. Is it possible to get the HRM-RUN to do the same thing?

  139. faisal

    i got lil problem with my hrm..
    when i want to connect the hrm, the watch response “hr monitor must be worn to connect”
    should i replace the battery?? or what should i do?
    please help

  140. Paul

    I just got my Fenix 3 Bundle (didn”t had proper time to play with it yet) and it came with this strap: link to i.imgur.com

    Does it show same metrics as the one in your review? On the website from where I bought it the strap was like yours, should I send it for a replacement? :) Thanks

  141. Goliath Actual

    I want to use my HRM Run with my Fenix 3HR not just for my runs, but in cross training as well. How do I get the HRM Run to transmit the data to the Fenix 3 without an activity program running?

  142. Nathan

    So, I’ve seen some Fenix 3 bundles that come with this color HR strap. Then I have seen others that come with a strap that is all black with the HR piece outlined in red. Whats with the deference? Thanks!

  143. stephen

    i replaced my 2032 battery on the hrm. now that its new the readings im getting are all over the place. my normal runs would be average 160bpm now im holding 130!
    is there anyway or calibrating it with a new battery?

  144. Pat

    In addition to the special offer by Garmin to residents of the Isle of Man, Garmin also has a special package for Canadians. This is for dog-sled athletes who need to track heart rates of their dog teams. This includes 8 extra-long chew-proof straps, an 8-channel ANT+ multiplexer, and goggle-mounted heads up display for the sled driver showing average team heart rate, or heart rates for individual dogs. This is, of course, is a response to the unit Polar has been selling in the Great White North for years.

  145. Mars

    Hi, can you give me a tip? i can’t select a device.
    I need the following functionality.

    -Real-Time heart rate display when i run and at the gym.
    -24×7 heart rate monitoring
    -Heart rate monitoring through sleep
    -good battery life
    -waterproof

    i’ve ended up only with one option ‘MiO FUSE’ but battery life is bad. Any suggestions on other devices?
    i’ve haven’t found any info on real-time heart rate display capability with strap for this devices

    1. Vivofi 2 + STRAP
    -Real-Time heart rate display -Yes/No?
    -24×7 Heart rate monitoring -Yes/No?
    -heart rate monitoring trough sleep -Yes/No?

    2. Gamin Fenix 3 + STRAP – NOT HR
    -Real-Time heart rate display -Yes/No?
    -24×7 Heart rate monitoring -Yes/No?
    -heart rate monitoring trough sleep -Yes/No?

    Please Help.

  146. Noah Weisberg

    I just bought the Fenix 3 HR and it came with the HRM (the one with the red around it). Is there anything new with the most recent HRM that you are aware of?

  147. Duane Bird Bird Bear

    Greetings,

    Can I stash the HRM-Run in my pocket, receive the running specific data, and use the Scosche Rhythm+ instead for HR? The Garmin strap is BOGUS….

    Thanks

    DJ BB

    • No, for two different reasons:

      A) The Garmin strap will shut off once it detects a lack of HR signal (to save battery as if you removed it)
      B) The Garmin watches can only concurrently pair to a single HR strap device, so by pairing to the Scosche it’d cancel out the HRM-RUN data.

      Sorry!

  148. Noah Weisberg

    Does the new HRM-RUN record the same data when choosing the walking app vs running app on the fenix 3 HR?

  149. Clint

    How do you connect the Garmin HRM-Run to the treadmill? The treadmills are not ANT+LINK approved but my wife’s polar watch does sink with them fine. I used it today and could not get it to link up.

  150. Paul Gilbert

    I have the new HRM-RUN but the data from the running dynamics are not showing on the watch or garmin connect. I can see the heart rate working but nothing else. I have a 920XT. What could be happening?

    • Double-check that your FR920XT and strap are up to date. The easiest/quickest way to do this is to use the Garmin WebUpdater software, and connect your FR920XT. Then it’ll update that and see any updates for the HRM-RUN as well.

  151. Johnny

    I currently have this version of the HRM-Run, but in the UK, it seems that they are becoming harder to find. I have several straps as i train twice a day, so something is usually washing / wet / drying so it’s good to be able to swap the monitor to a fresh strap.

    Is this version consciously being phased out by Garmin in favour of the new version which is fixed i think? Frustrating if so.

    • Crocodil

      Yes, unfortunately the original HRM-Run is being replaced by HRM4-Run… Possibly it’s even no longer produced.

    • There are basically two HRM-RUN’s out there.

      Gen1: The one shown in this post
      Gen2: It’s a red-pod one, which looks to minimize chest shaffing issues. It came out about 18 months ago, and is almost identical to the blue-pod HRM-TRI.

      Both versions use/have the same software (assuming you’ve updated it anytime in the last year or so).

      One word of caution – I wouldn’t be doing much in terms of constant (every time) washing of your strap. Rinsing off with water is fine, but if you’re giving it a strong soap each time, my bet is that’ll reduce the lifespan pretty quickly.

  152. Balaji

    Hi,
    Do we need to have a Garmin watch to get all the running dynamics or it can be seen using Garmin mobile app?

  153. HLM

    What size screws are in the HRM-RUN? Let’s say someone was trying to replace the battery and stripped two of them and wanted to replace them with new ones?

  154. Saeyorn Sivanesan

    Hi – just wondering whether you are looking at reviewing the new run strap?

  155. Finn askew

    Can you use the RUN-HRM in salt water?

  156. s

    does it function without A smatrwatch on my rist?

  157. Ricardo Resende

    I lost one of the screws on the HRM when chnging the batery. Does anyone know where I can order a new one? Thanks!

  158. Sean

    I cant help but wonder whats the difference between the black hrm run with the white running figure against the red hrm run? Are they equal in general? Some reading seems to indicate 3 metrics for black vs 6 for red. Any insight will be helpful as I’m deciding between the two, potentially a used one for black.

    • Maciej

      @Sean: With the latest update, they’re functionally identical. The new, red one is smaller and more comfortable, while the old one (black with white runner) allows you to easily use replaceable chest straps.

    • Sean

      @Maciej: That’s an invaluable insight. It’s been hard trying to get that bit of information from the web. Testament to how great this forum is!

  159. Christopher Guimaraens

    Ray (folllowing a twitter question earlier today)

    I Use HRM3 with fnx 3 for 2 years now. Todays race gave me a first: At 5km mark got warning my heartbeat was at 180 then ascended to 190. I lifted strap further up and readings went to normal 160. This happened again 2km later. Strap was no tighter or looser than normal.

    Unsure if it was electronic or my heart(!) I slowed down to the end, no crisis.

    Now, this has never happend before. Should I replace strap only or unit as well? Is it a age related malfunction?

    Curious side note: I had a forerunner 405, the hrm (plastic, must be original dinosaur) gave reading of 220 bpm. Told my doctor and had to have a full heart analysis and stress test and to find out the strap was mischievious. After that episode decide to invest in new watch. Found your site and took your advice and after taking second mortgae on house brought the Fenix 3. Been a big fan ever since. Thankyou :)

    • Christopher Guimaraens

      edit: strap is HRM-Run not HRM 3

    • Maciej

      I’m guessing you’re using the older HRM-Run, the one with detachable pod. If so, it has the same problem as HRM3 – after some time it starts to show erroneous heart rate. The best solution is to replace the material strap from Garmin with some other. I recommend the Soft Strap from Polar (link to polar.com), I’ve been using one for well over 3 years and it still has no problems.

    • Christopher Guimaraens

      Thank you. Do you thing the Polar is better regarding chaffing as well? I am beginning to get a permanent chaffing scar from the Garmin strap :(

    • Maciej

      I’ve never had any problems with chaffing but the Polar Soft Strap really is “soft”, especially compared to the original Garmin strap, so I think it should be better for you :)

      Some people had to cut out a bit of the plastic around the connectors on Polar strap but I didn’t and it works just fine.