Within the last month I picked up my first GPS watch, a Garmin 310xt.  It’s been great to have the run/bike GPS functionality along with a heart rate strap.

I’ve been learning about the functionality by trial and error, and the lap button has jumped out at me recently.  (I know this might not be too profound, but hey, my other watch is a $9 Timex from Walmart.)

I’ll paint an example:

Here’s a workout I did on Sunday:

15 min warmup to top of L2
3×20 min build fro top of L2 to top of L4 wth 5 min recovery DAS
15 cooldown

Here’s the HR chart for the workout:

HR Screenshot 3x20(For the record, I don’t know what my zones are yet, so if this doesn’t look right, and you know what you’re doing.  I don’t yet.)

This was all one lap on the watch.  (This is because I turned off the autolap at one mile, which is irrelevant anyway since I’m on my bike trainer and don’t have a cadence/speed monitor for it yet.  My Cateye doesn’t count).  The average HR was 121 and the max was 147.

This is how it looks in my Beginner Triathlete chart:

BT HR ShotLame, huh? Obviously there’s no distance data, but a cross-section HR isn’t as interesting as I would like.

What I wish I would have done, and will do in the future, is set a new lap after the warmup, and then a lap for each of the intervals, and another for the cool down. I might even get a little crazy and hit lap for each of my sub-sections in each interval to see if that has meaningful information or not.

Here’s an example of when I did it right.  I did this last Wednesday.

15 min warm up
everything you have for 10 min
cool down and stretch
record max and average HR

I broke it into three laps: one for the warmup, one for the max effort, and another for the rest of the ride.  Here’s what I got:

HR Screenshot Max Effort

1 15m 01s 0.00 miles 121 134
2 10m 00s 0.00 miles 160 175
3 34m 59s 0.00 miles 128 175

Average HR overall was 132, but the data above is more useful.  (Average is on the left, max is on the right).  My average during the max effort was 160, which tells a different story than the general 132.

(This workout hurt, by the way.  I need to bike more, methinks.)

So the moral of the story is that I’m going to try to remember to hit the lap button at interesting points in a workout to see what kind of a story the data will tell me later.