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  1. #1
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    What to do with an EKG?

    I've got a $10 hockey puck thing that snoops 5.3kHz analog, polar, and coded signals off heart rate monitor bands and uploads the running spot rates to software that generates full EKG graphs from the running data. Really it's just a glorified tape recorder, there's no voodoo magic in here.

    Now what do I do with it?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member CaptainHaddock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    I've got a $10 hockey puck thing that snoops 5.3kHz analog, polar, and coded signals off heart rate monitor bands and uploads the running spot rates to software that generates full EKG graphs from the running data. Really it's just a glorified tape recorder, there's no voodoo magic in here.
    Now what do I do with it?
    Forgive me my moment of pedantry and I'm not the doc (that would be my wife) but I can't imagine how it's going to output true EKG data. HRM chest straps only monitor the beat of the heat, not it's "function" per-se.

    That being said, if you don't have a live output, I guess you could use the data as a review of performance? To compare perceived effort with actual effort?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainHaddock View Post
    Forgive me my moment of pedantry and I'm not the doc (that would be my wife) but I can't imagine how it's going to output true EKG data. HRM chest straps only monitor the beat of the heat, not it's "function" per-se.

    That being said, if you don't have a live output, I guess you could use the data as a review of performance? To compare perceived effort with actual effort?
    I guess, I don't know. Most of the literature says EKG, which I thought was a measure of heart rate against time--in a medical situation my understanding is they make you run on a treadmill and measure stress (via grade) against heart rate against time, and then send that graph out to an analyst that makes sense of the chart. Maybe someone is overstating their product.

    HRMs seem popular here anyway, this is just a glorified HRM that generates historical data. Oh well, I guess it'll provide interesting charts anyway. It's too bad I can't also graph blood oxygen concentration (there are tools to measure this too) and heat output.
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  4. #4
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Here ya go:
    http://www.the-ekg-site.com/about.htm

    For what you want, Polar and Garmin and maybe others make a receiver that will download HR information to your computer, where their proprietary software analyses that and other information such as time, speed, elevation, elevation gain, cadence, etc. Much of this also displays in real time. That's the most important training tool I own. I'd have that before I bought a lighter or nicer bike.

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    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    ECG does not equal HR rate

    from mayo clinic http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ele...iogram/MY00086

    "An electrocardiogram is used to monitor your heart. Each beat of your heart is triggered by an electrical impulse generated from special cells in the upper right chamber of your heart. An electrocardiogram — also called an ECG or EKG — records these electrical signals as they travel through your heart. Your doctor can use an electrocardiogram to look for patterns among these heartbeats and rhythms to diagnose various heart conditions. "


    to get these signals you need to have multiple sensors place in different locations on the chest.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member CaptainHaddock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    I guess, I don't know. Most of the literature says EKG, which I thought was a measure of heart rate against time--in a medical situation my understanding is they make you run on a treadmill and measure stress (via grade) against heart rate against time, and then send that graph out to an analyst that makes sense of the chart. Maybe someone is overstating their product.
    HRMs seem popular here anyway, this is just a glorified HRM that generates historical data. Oh well, I guess it'll provide interesting charts anyway. It's too bad I can't also graph blood oxygen concentration (there are tools to measure this too) and heat output.
    So the thing is HRM devices are a version of an EKG, however as I and others said, a HRM is simply unable to monitor full heart function which is what is generally meant when someone says EKG. EKG's are used in stress tests, but they are also used in passive situations, such as when a patient is admitted to the ER and is suffering from Tachycardia; they attach a full EKG to that person, and monitor the heart function, while at the same time trying to address the cause of the high-heart beat.

    HRM's are popular here as a live/real-time training tool, I use one daily in fact.

    Finally, I too wish my HRM would also work as a pulse-ox, and if I had my way, I'd tack on a glucose monitor.
    Last edited by CaptainHaddock; 04-10-12 at 02:21 PM. Reason: more info...

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    Senior Member CaptainHaddock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    That's the most important training tool I own. I'd have that before I bought a lighter or nicer bike.
    The thing that always amazes me, is how people think that that lighter / newer bike toys are somehow going to solve their problems, that they'll move from a cat 4, to a cat 2 by buying a carbon bike or some **** like that. I mean, sure a fool and his money are soon to part and all that, but it still drives me crazy!

  8. #8
    Senior Member locolobo13's Avatar
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    Well, just 'cuz I'm curious, how DO you analyze the data from an HRM? Max HR? Total number of beats = KW?

    My current HRM is my thumb and a watch.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by locolobo13 View Post
    Well, just 'cuz I'm curious, how DO you analyze the data from an HRM? Max HR? Total number of beats = KW?

    My current HRM is my thumb and a watch.
    It's mostly time-in-zone, and average HR as far as HR is concerned. Software can multiply minutes spent in each zone by some number and add all that up to quantify training stimulus, called a TRIMP. Since elevation data is also downloaded, one can measure gradient, feet per hour climbing, examine HR response to gradient, etc.

  10. #10
    Senior Member CaptainHaddock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by locolobo13 View Post
    Well, just 'cuz I'm curious, how DO you analyze the data from an HRM? Max HR? Total number of beats = KW?
    My current HRM is my thumb and a watch.
    I do not monitor my KW, while it is possible to get that info, I just don't think it is valid enough when measured from heart-rate. I use it to monitor my "hr zones", and combine that info with my perceived effort to guide my workouts, especially when riding into strong-continuous headwinds or climbing.

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    Well the watch reports 170-176bpm when I'm cruising at 15-16mph. Pushing 20 or pushing up hills, my heart might reach 180; but it seems to climb REALLY FAST until it breaks 165-170 and then slow down, hitting asymptotic inflection at 174. It rarely passes 174, and it's really hard to nudge it even 1bpm higher even under heavy load.

    Don't know how to interpret that. Unless I'm maxing it out, my heart rate slides up and down rapidly. Start pedaling easier? I lose 15bpm in 2 seconds, I'll crash down 30bpm in under 10, and when I come to a stop at a light I drop right to around 115-125bpm in under 10 seconds. It looks like my lower bound hovers around 110... I'll float above that until I've rested for a minute, then it just slowly starts counting back... it doesn't immediately drop lower.

    So it looks like once my body's operating, it idles around 110-115, redlines around 170-175, and just revs in between basically on demand with no stability. My normal resting is around 70-75 before I go do any work, by the way.

    Odd.
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  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you're out of shape.

    You need to get out there and ride more than the 6 miles you've done so far this year.

  13. #13
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    Well the watch reports 170-176bpm when I'm cruising at 15-16mph. Pushing 20 or pushing up hills, my heart might reach 180; but it seems to climb REALLY FAST until it breaks 165-170 and then slow down, hitting asymptotic inflection at 174. It rarely passes 174, and it's really hard to nudge it even 1bpm higher even under heavy load.

    Don't know how to interpret that. Unless I'm maxing it out, my heart rate slides up and down rapidly. Start pedaling easier? I lose 15bpm in 2 seconds, I'll crash down 30bpm in under 10, and when I come to a stop at a light I drop right to around 115-125bpm in under 10 seconds. It looks like my lower bound hovers around 110... I'll float above that until I've rested for a minute, then it just slowly starts counting back... it doesn't immediately drop lower.

    So it looks like once my body's operating, it idles around 110-115, redlines around 170-175, and just revs in between basically on demand with no stability. My normal resting is around 70-75 before I go do any work, by the way.

    Odd.
    No, not odd. You're just a typical American, totally out of shape. My normal standing heart rate is 55-65, my sitting resting is around 50. Cruising at 18 mph, it's around 120. It's all about the mileage, like Machka says. Get out and ride. Ride 100 miles/week for 3 months and you'll see a definite difference. You should see what womens' legs look like in countries where the bicycle is the normal means of locomotion. Heck, you should see my wife's legs and she's 63. The USA is physically corrupt.

  14. #14
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    I finally bothered to set it up. This is a ride out, sit in Barnes & Noble Starbucks eating pizza stuffed pretzels and drinking a caramel macciato double espresso shot while studying Hiragana (I just had the Katakana and Kanji books' bindings broke and rebound with spiral at Fedex Kinko's), then ride back. The ride back is an uphill climb, and you can see it. The final spike is actually a gentler upgrade, but I was pedaling extremely hard trying to ride at speed with traffic on a major road.

    The sudden heart rate drop is where I sat down and started drinking the coffee (and stuffing greasy food in my face). That whole valley is me studying pretty much.

    This is ... interesting. Maybe not useful (unless I want to do a sleep study on myself, which would be a nightmare--the only thing worse than a self-diagnosis is a self-diagnosed sleep study), but interesting. Apparently 220 - $AGE is your theoretical maximum heart rate, mine being 194. Given Zone 5 at 90% being that place you don't want to be, I should redline at 175--I generally can't get past 174, but I do push close to 220 (my peak is 217!) when I want to. And of course under any physical stress I rev right to 155-172, which is my anaerobic zone--in theory.

    Basically I'm a ricer.

    You know, it samples whenever you tell it (mine's set to every 2.0 seconds), and has an internal RTC... if you set the internal clock on your helmet cam (or check your watch at the beginning to get a time sync) and use a Garmin (with an internal RTC), you could produce a video file with running tallies up the side for cadence, speed, heart rate, and even power output if you have a power meter that'll log those stats. You could even write a small script to calculate speed vs cadence to guess the gear, though with a freewheel that's unreliable. You could calculate acceleration stats pretty easily though (dv/dt). The only other interesting things to meter would be blood-oxygen content (finger clip or an LED in the wrist strap of a watch) and temperature.

    I know, you'd look at the video and be like, "This is so impressive." That's about it. Not "With this I could..." because no you can't, it's a bunch of useless data. I mean unless you're training for a big ride like the Tour de France and they let you train by running the route for weeks, so you can do a complete stress analysis and see what your body's doing... but that's insane, and probably still way too much info.
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