I’ve been using a heart rate monitor with Strava (and Zwift) for about 6 months now. One question I had before buying it was ‘what heart rate information will I see in Strava?’
I choose the Wahoo TICKR from Amazon as it’s one of Stravas recommended devices. It’s a chest strap device that’s well reviewed on Amazon and I can use it with Strava for iOS and Zwift. I’ve been pretty pleased with it.
- Personalized Heart Rate Training – Workout efficiently – view real-time heart rate, training zones and calories burned on your smartphone or tablet with compatible training apps. Official HR Monitor of Team Sky, defending champions of the Tour De France.
- Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ compatibility allows TICKR to connect to smartphones and tablets, as well as GPS watches by Garmin, Polar, and more. TICKR works with iPhone 4S and later, and with select Android devices using Android 4.3.
- Works with Wahoo RunFit + 50 Smartphone Apps including Nike+ Running, MapMyFitness, Runkeeper, Strava, Apple Health, Cyclemeter and more.
- Pair with Wahoo RunFit or Wahoo 7 Minute Workout and other compatible third party apps to personalize heart rate training zones and maximize your workout.
- Apple Watch Integration – Pair directly with the Apple Watch to track heart rate or sync heart rate data through the Wahoo 7 Minute Workout app or Wahoo RunFit app.
Using the latest Strava for iOS (20th December 2016), this is the heart rate information that I can see in Strava. (NOTE: This is with Strava PREMIUM membership, I will update this post with non-PREMIUM soon.) :
During an activity
When recording an activity, my current heart rate is shown (top right). From memory, I believe this figure works the same as the speed metric. Meaning that with Strava Premium it’s live, with Strava Basic it’s an average.
After an activity
Heart rate is plotted throughout the activity (this happens to be a ‘Virtual Ride’ as it was on Zwift), with an average and maximum heart rate figure at the bottom. The grey graph you can just make out in the background is the corresponding elevation throughout the activity.
Note the “drops” in the heart rate chart are where I stopped briefly, not disconnects.
Next is the “Suffer Score” for the entire activity. This is presumably calculated based on the time spent in each of the heart rate zones. These bands are illustrated with the coloured circle and the corresponding key at the bottom.
Some of my older activities also show a comment along with the suffer score such as ‘EXTREME’, ‘MODERATE’ etc. These haven’t been appearing for my later activities, so maybe this particular grading idea has been dropped.
Lastly, the segment effort analysis screen plots heart rate throughout the effort.
So, that’s the information you see in Strava when using a heart rate monitor. There may well be some more information available in Strava web interface. It’s possible that the heart rate information may also assist with other metrics such as calories burnt etc.
If you’re considering buying a heart rate monitor and were wondering what information you’d see, I hope this has been some help. Remember, the above screenshots are from Strava for iOS (iPhone SE) and using a Strava PREMIUM account. This could also change in future software versions.
Check out the Wahoo TICKR on Amazon here.