New Garmin HRM-RUN – For the Forerunner 630


Having confidently predicted earlier this year that the strap upgrade to the old HRM-RUN was all we were going to get I was delighted to see the new, red HRM4-RUN. Wrong on that front!

Lovers of HRMs will no doubt have already spotted the similarity to the HRM-TRI and HRM-SWIM (surely for the 2016 SWIM 2 watch!).

What can we take from all of this?

Firstly, there’s no need to upgrade your existing HRM for 99.9% of you who do not own a Garmin 630.

Next, those of you wanting to buy the Garmin Forerunner 630 and upgrade from your existing 620 might be wondering if you NEED to get the new strap for all the fancy new stuff. Will your existing HRM-RUN suffice?

Looking at the official specs, below, what stands out is that it is NOT a caching HRM like the HRM-SWIM/TRI. That just means it IS different inside from the caching ones rather than just a pretty red colour on the outside.

  1. The new strap MAY be required for the additional RUNNING DYNAMICS metrics. 
  2. It seems that a guided test can determine your LTHR on the 630. Well yes but that is possible with simple math and a very basic HRM – one that does not even have HRV (which all Garmin HRM’s have). So it seems unlikely that a new HRM-RUN is really required for that. Commercially it might be required that you spend the money. I don’t know.
  3. dcrainmaker also points out that LTHR can be estimated during usage in some circumstances and that he was not sure what those circumstances are. Taking a guess, it’s probably an extended, medium-to-high level run. Unlike the VO2max estimates which seem to come from low-to-medium level runs/rides. I have heard of other HRM manufacturers who are doing clever things with very precise measurements to estimate LTHR (Ambiotex), so it is possible I suppose that the new strap could provide the source info for that. But as I indicated before, most any old strap can do HRV.
  4. Regarding the new Performance Condition & Stress Score. This will come from HRV. So I can’t see why you should NEED a new HRM.
  5. The HRM-TRI is not especially comfortable or uncomfortable. So there would be no benefit from upgrading the HRM-RUN from that point of view.
  6.  My understanding is that there will be a firmware upgrade for your old HRM (re a Garmin moderator post on their forums, see also point 1, above).

Anyway. It looks nice. I’m just not sure if you need it. It’s probably just a commercial thing where all the straps look similar and none have replaceable pods requiring the whole thing to be replaced if it breaks.

Press Release Info Follows —————————

Proof of Your Potential

HRM-Run uses extended physiological metrics to help you get the most out of your workouts so you feel confident with what you can accomplish when you toe the line. Once HRM-Run learns your lactate threshold through a guided test, you can apply it to your heart rate training when setting up zones. Overall training load, sleep, nutrition and general life stress play a role in how you will perform in a tough workout. To give you a better idea of what days you should aim for a tough workout or use as a recovery day, HRM-Run provides you with a stress score based off your heart rate. Performance condition is another feature that gives you an idea of how you will fare in workout. As you run, this feature analyzes your pace, heart rate and heart rate variability to make a real-time assessment of your ability to perform.

When planning a strategy for your next race, HRM-Run measures your VO2 max² and can predict your race times for several distances, providing you with a time target. It also lets you know when to back off your training after a grueling (sic) workout or race with its built-in recovery advisor.

Physical Specifications

  • Unit dimensions (LxWxD): 23.5”-56.0” x 1.2” x 0.5” (60.0 – 142.0 x 3.0 x 1.2 cm)
  • Weight: 2.1 oz (59 g)
  • Module size: 29.4 x 51.4 x 8.5 mm
  • Module weight: 1.7 oz (49 g)
  • Size adjustment: Bi-fold
  • Sizing range: 23.5”-56.0” (60.0 – 142.0 cm)
  • Battery: CR2032
  • Battery life: Up to 1 year (approx. 1 hour per day)
  • Water rating: 5 ATM


  • ANT+® heart rate: yes
  • Supports heart rate variability and advanced heart rate features: yes
  • 2.4 GHz ANT wireless communication protocol: yes
  • Running dynamics: yes
  • Stores and forwards heart rate: no
  • Swim interval heart rate statistics: no
  • Non-slip design for pool swimming: no
  • Pool chemical resistant: no

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2 thoughts on “New Garmin HRM-RUN – For the Forerunner 630

  1. Will the “new” (red) HRM-run work with an “old” 620? (I imagine HR data works well. How about the Running Dynamics?)

    1. I haven’t got a red hrm run or a 620 at the moment. i’d say it is backwards compatible. ie nothing new to add to the 620 but will do what the orig hrm-run does. i’m a hrm-tri person myself 🙂

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