Adventurer pulse rates in hike mode

Jackie2016 Registered Users Posts: 5
Neophyte Traveler
edited January 24 in TomTom Sports
Have had some high results in unexpected situations
1) descending - sometimes zone 5 despite being relaxed and not worrying about terrain.
2) possible effects of anxiety - errant young dog in the woods and a situation when I was anxious about meeting an old friend with whom misunderstood thoughts had caused conflicts.
3) more worrying on a recent hike ( dog walk) - no stress but watch showed level 5 on the level. A hard push uphill for several hundred meters at maximum speed for the day resulted in a drop to level 2.1. Can anyone explain?


  • tfarabaugh
    tfarabaugh Posts: 16,976
    Spikes in HR are generally from poor blood flow producing weak pulse strength, so the watch reads cadence instead. This is most common in running and is particularly apparent early in a workout or during a non-intense workout when you are not warmed up. You have to think of the optical heart rate as an algorithm that is attempting to track a signal in a set frequency range (30-230 or whatever it uses). If the pulse signal is weak it latches onto the next strongest rhythmic signal, which is your cadence in running and the vibrations of the bike in cycling. For most people who experience this while running it spikes to around 180-200 bpm which is also the average cadence people run at. Additionally, each person has a different HR signal ‘strength’, depending on a range of factors, so some are prone to get it more than others. But usually their signal strength is lower for the first 5-10 minutes until they warm up properly. So in that time, it is prone to latching onto cadence, which is a common fault with all optical HRs, unfortunately. If you notice it while it happening you can try moving the watch a bit or briefly pausing your run so it loses the cadence reading and latches back onto HR, which I find usually corrects it. I generally pause the watch, stand still for 20-30 seconds and will see it immediately start to drop. Once it gets into a more reasonable range and the pulse reading stops dithering (dithering is when it is not getting a good signal and it is a lighter grey in color) I start up again and it stays true for the rest of the run. You can also try switching wrists and the position on the wrist. I find I got better readings on my right wrist over my left and some people find they get better readings if the watch is on the inside of the wrist rather than the outside. It also helps if you warm up a bit to get your blood moving and your HR up so it is producing a strong signal. Play around with it and see if any of this helps you. The challenge for the manufacturers of optical HRs (and this is a common issue with all brands, my Scosche also does it) is to figure out how to factor out the other "noise" that is overriding the pulse signal without also factoring out other important data.

    I hope this helped answer your question. If so, please mark it as a solution so others can look for it if they have the same question.
  • RickK
    RickK Registered Users Posts: 13
    Legendary Explorer
    Hi Jackie, yes I've noticed some oddities too. Hiking maxed out up a hill the adventurer sometimes appears to log my heart rate at 50%.
    It ought to be able to discern a difference, if I suddenly make a miraculous recovery from a sky high rate to suddenly half and then immediately back up high - it ought to figure out that the temporary blip to 50% was a bad reading rather than my own superhuman recovery ability.
  • Jackie2016
    Jackie2016 Registered Users Posts: 5
    Neophyte Traveler
    Thanks for responding. Don’t think cadence is a factor but have tried moving the watch etc. Am a little unnerved at the moment as during a general visit to my doctor she found an irregular heartbeat whilst taking my pulse. After an ecg , I was found to have an occasional extra heartbeat. I was advised to stop fell running several years ago due to muscle tears and took up mountain biking instead. Obviously at 73 I am slower and having finally accepted my gender dysphoria have been on hormones for 12 months. As a friend said recently I am the only cyclist he has heard of taking drugs to reduce performance. My doctor fell it would be safe for me to compete last weekend but other factors intervened.
    Will dig out my old rollers and try to get back into riding them.