Advice and Opinions Please. Apple Watch or Garmin Vivoactive 4S for HR monitoring and pacing?

livinglighter

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I've finally managed to shortlist the devices I want to buy for helping me to pace. So far, I'm considering the Garmin 4s and Apple Watch Series 5 or 6.

I'm keen to hear other peoples opinions about how helpful the devices are for pacing and what settings they use to monitor when they go over their maximum heart rate.

The most important feature of each device is that it has an alarm that will instantly alert me when I go over my chosen beats per minute. Ideally, that's 95 bpm. It would also be helpful if the tracking is continuously displayed on the watch's screen, so I'm more likely to be aware that I'm approaching my limit.

From reading various reviews, I believe both Garmin vivoactive 4 and Apple watches can provide alerts but only in a training/workout mode.

Can anyone give me more insight into how straightforward and feasible it is to select your own maximum heart rate in workout/training mode to monitor and be alerted all day? Or do you use the setting each time you are carrying out an activity?

I also need to know if the watches use vibration or audio alarms to alert you when you go above your selected heart rate in training/workout mode?

If there is any other workaround that makes the devices alert you instantly, please can you let me know how to do it?
 
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BrightCandle

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I have a Garmin vicoactive HR before and the exercise mode wasn't all that practical as a watch because it didn't show the time and only really lasted for about 8 hours. But it could have an alarm set for exceeding heart rate and that worked and it could track heart rate the entire time. What it lacked was the HRV "body battery" feature which I tested with welltory and found fairly useful.

What I use now is an Amazfit GTR3e and it has a body battery/HRC/stress tracker along with every few minutes checking heart rate outside of exercise mode and it also comes with an alarm for heart rate that applies all the time, which means it works as a watch and has the limit. Unfortunately it has two flaws, the first is the minimum of 100 BPM for the alarm and the second is it checks it only every 10 minutes, so you can exceed for a while before it kicks in. I am yet to investigate whether the watch OS apps that claim to do continuous heart rate monitoring outside of exercise can do what I want but if they don't I will be writing something that does, its android and I have written for it before. So I certainly intend to have this watch do all I need it to, Garmin's API doesn't seem to have the service model to allow me to implement it there which is why I never got it working on the vivoactive HR.

I can't say much to the Apple watch I have never owned them, but the extremely short battery life put me off alongside the HRV feature having a subscription price on top of what is a very expensive watch. Especially since it didn't seem to do notably better than Garmin or Polar in terms of the fundamental features I wanted.
 

livinglighter

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Thanks for the feedback @BrightCandle

I have a Garmin vicoactive HR before and the exercise mode wasn't all that practical as a watch because it didn't show the time and only really lasted for about 8 hours. But it could have an alarm set for exceeding heart rate and that worked and it could track heart rate the entire time. What it lacked was the HRV "body battery" feature which I tested with welltory and found fairly useful.
Was it the vivoactive 4? I’ve read the 4 can do what your Amazfit GTR3e does.

I am yet to investigate whether the watch OS apps that claim to do continuous heart rate monitoring outside of exercise can do what I want but if they don't I will be writing something that does, its android and I have written for it before. So I certainly intend to have this watch do all I need it to, Garmin's API doesn't seem to have the service model to allow me to implement it there which is why I never got it working on the vivoactive HR.
Sounds like it's the best way to go as in terms or being able to display the time on the watch and still receive immediate alerts.
 
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I don't have Apple Watch experience but if you already have iPhones and other Apple gadgets, stick with Apple Watch. I believe a FB group on pacing keeps a list of tech combo's that can be used to monitor your HR with Apple Watch. See link at end of my post.

I have Garmin VivoActive 4s but rely on its integration with my Android phone, and then on an Android app (Pulsometer RR and/or RunnerUp) which actually does the audible alarms. The VA 4 or 4s does have alarm settings but has the same limitations mentioned above: minimum heart rate limit is 100 and only alarms when the limit is exceeded for 10 mins. This is much too long for me as it only takes me 4 mins on a good day and 1 minute on a bad day to exceed my anaerobic threshold, as measured in 2 day cpet.

I also have Whoop 3.0, the subscription for which I was going to allow to lapse. However Whoop 4.0 will be sent to me next month, with a bunch of added features I wanted like O2, skin temp, and haptic feedback for wake alarm, so I might continue using it, too.

See also: https://forums.phoenixrising.me/thr...d-wrist-heart-rate-monitor.48922/post-2354820
 

livinglighter

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I don't have Apple Watch experience but if you already have iPhones and other Apple gadgets, stick with Apple Watch. I believe a FB group on pacing keeps a list of tech combo's that can be used to monitor your HR with Apple Watch. See link at end of my post.
Thanks for pointing this out! I almost opted for the Garmin due to the longer battery life, but all my devices are Apple. The pacing group spreadsheet confirms the Apple watch can also be paired with apps for instant heart rate alerts. It kind of sucks that you don't get a body battery feature with it, though......

I have Garmin VivoActive 4s but rely on its integration with my Android phone, and then on an Android app (Pulsometer RR and/or RunnerUp) which actually does the audible alarms. The VA 4 or 4s does have alarm settings but has the same limitations mentioned above: minimum heart rate limit is 100 and only alarms when the limit is exceeded for 10 mins. This is much too long for me as it only takes me 4 mins on a good day and 1 minute on a bad day to exceed my anaerobic threshold, as measured in 2 day cpet.
Yep Exceeding 100 bpm for 10 minutes is far too long.

Thanks for pointing out that both watches can do the job when paired with apps, and I'm sure your advice will help many others keen on instant heart rate alerts. :thumbsup: