Instabeat and the Garmin 945 with oHR – first Swim with the new Betaware


I had a ‘special’ piece of swim kit on today (INSTABEAT) but I’ve not yet managed to get the data off it (doh) so here is the HR chart sans ‘special kit’ and you will also note that this is my first use of the new beta software on the Forerunner 945 which FINALLY enables oHR for any kind of swimming.

I think this is probably my record (5)  for the most number of heart rate monitors worn when swimming and I have to say it was a bit embarrassing but, luckily, they were mostly hidden by various bits of swim gear.

The Polar OH1+ clipped onto my swim cap and the H10 recording onto the Polar Beat app via caching both worked in line with my RPE. As you can see both the Vantage M and Garmin 945 with oHR (beta) were wrong. Incidentally, I had both fully underneath each wetsuit sleeve which I would have thought would help accuracy.

My effort was a 30-minute swim that got progressively harder/faster in fairly warm water. It’s interesting that the Garmin 945 oHR shows a “stable” HR level rather than a rising one…I can’t explain that.

FWIW: Each watch produced a sufficiently acceptable GPS track of my swim.

The Instabeat device has a HUD showing my HR zone and did seem to show the right zone a the right time in a non-intrusive way. So, all is good on that front. I looked at the HR chart on their iOS app afterwards but the data was heavily smoothed so I’m not sure what details the smoothing might be masking. We shall see…



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8 thoughts on “Instabeat and the Garmin 945 with oHR – first Swim with the new Betaware

  1. When using the Polar Vantage and the H10, can you sync both the cached HR data and the GPS trace from the watch to Flow? If you can does it combine them into one activity?

    1. i used the H10 with polar beat.
      i used prime with the vantage.
      no you cannot combine in flow. ie i got multiple sessions. and training load FOR SURE counts them both…so you do NOT want to do that (I only do it as my main personal training data is held elsewhere with no duplicates). you CAN delete duplicates in FLOW and the other things like training load ARE recalc’d.
      yes there are other tools that can combine files (but they are time consuming)
      with garmin if you have a chest strap paired and it intermittently cuts out then readings can be taken from oHR (or at least the fit files say that). perhaps something simialr happens with polar ON THE WATCH.

      1. Yeah, I was wondering about that as the V doesn’t like not having the Stryd around if you go for a run with out it (i.e. no power). It would be great if would default to the onboard sensors if it gets drop out/battery failure.

      2. eesh. not sure about that.
        I thought it does default to the internal power calcs if, at the start of a session, stryd is not present. I could be wrong. IMO that is INcorrect (unwanted) behaviour.

        IDK about the half way battery failure.

        Anyway. you absolutely DO NOT want to mix and match stryd power and polar power.

  2. This is roughly in-line with what I got testing Scosche Rhythm+ vs H7 a few years ago. HR shown by optical could be stroke rate instead, thus more or less stable value.

      1. yes I’ve talked to RK and SlB at Valencell a few times and sometimes specifically about that. all the oHR integrators (watch companies) are aware of it. not all have been able to broadly address it

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