Nike Run Club / AppleWatch / Polar BT HR monitor - experimentation

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by ftaok, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. ftaok, Nov 18, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016

    ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #1
    OK, I've decided to start documenting the nuances of using the NRC app(s) on the Apple Watch while using a BT HR monitor. I've been having inconsistent issues with this set-up, so I'm going to systematically try different configurations to see what works.

    The first trial was this morning where I could get a good 2+ mile run in.

    18NOV2016 (745AM)

    Equipment - Nike+ apple watch (watchOS 3.1); iPhone 6 (iOS 10.0.2); Polar H7 BT HR monitor (Firmware 1.4.0, Software H7 3.1.0)

    I started off by connecting my HR monitor to my AppleWatch. I confirmed that the HR monitor was being used instead of the watch's built in sensor.

    Started the run with my watch. iPhone was in my pocket and I confirmed that it was providing the data (the blue bar showed up at the top of the iphone display).

    Observation #1 - the watch did not show the HR, but the iPhone did.
    Observation #2 - auto pause worked perfectly. I manually pressed the resume button, but I'm not sure I really needed to.

    When I finished the run, I started a workout on the apple watch workout app (outdoor walk). The HR data was still being provided by the BT HR monitor.

    Observation #3 - after the run sync'd to the Nike servers, the iPhone NRC app did not show HR or elevation data. I expected not to see the elevation since I started the run on the watch, but I figured that since the iPhone was showing HR data during the run, that it would show up.

    IMG_7683.PNG IMG_7684.PNG

    Observation #4 - I confirmed that the AppleWatch did transfer the HR data over to the phone by looking at the Health app data.

    IMG_7687.PNG FullSizeRender.jpg

    Observation #5 - this one is interesting. Even though the NRC app did not record/sync the HR data, when I look at the run in the Activity app, the average HR is recorded (no min/max shown).

    IMG_7686.PNG

    Observation #6 - I checked the run on the Nike website and also on SmashRun, neither HR nor elevation was recorded.

    Nike 1.PNG

    Nike 2.PNG

    smash1.PNG

    Observation #7 - GPS data was recorded and sync'd fine. No issues.

    Next run - on my next outdoor run, I'm going to connect the Polar HR monitor to my iPhone instead. I'll still start the run with the watch. My expectation is that HR will be recorded by the NRC app via the iPhone. I'm hoping the NRC app on the watch will display the HR using the watch's sensor.

    Future run - at some point, i'll try a run with the HR monitor connected to the watch and I'll leave the phone at home.

    I'll add some screenshots when I get a chance.
     
  2. Macaddict16 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2002
    #2
    Keep us updated! I have yet to be able to get the HR to show up on the watch from a Bluetooth strap. I am trying to run without the phone though so that may have something to do with it.
     
  3. gsucyclist macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    #3
    I'm using a chest strap as well and I run with my phone and I have never been able to see the HR data on the watch while running.
     
  4. ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #4
    I have seen it once. It was the first time I was running with the app, and I don't remember all of the details, but i think it was as follows

    By strap connected to iPhone. Started run on the watch. I think I remember seeing the watch's sensor light up. I was also messing around with wearing my other hr strap that connects to my iPod nano, but I couldn't get a reading on that run ... Not sure why.
     
  5. ftaok, Nov 23, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016

    ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #5
    It's been cold here in PA, so I haven't gotten to run outside. But I did do an indoor run last night. More NRC weirdness and inconsistencies.

    21NOV2016 (630PM)

    Equipment - Nike+ apple watch (watchOS 3.1); iPhone 6 (iOS 10.1.1); Polar H7 BT HR monitor (Firmware 1.4.0, Software H7 3.1.0) - NRC app (5.2.0) - note that I had updated my iPhone between this run and the previous run

    Like before, I started off by connecting my HR monitor to my AppleWatch. I confirmed that the HR monitor was being used instead of the watch's built in sensor.

    Started the run with my watch. iPhone was in my pocket.

    Observation #1 - the watch did not show the HR, but the iPhone did. The sensor on the apple watch was off.

    IMG_7742.PNG


    Observation #2 - even though the NRC app on the iPhone had HR data during the run, upon syncing with the Nike servers, the HR data was not transferred over. Also note that splits were not recorded, but this is expected behavior as splits do not transfer unless you start the run with the phone.

    IMG_7746.PNG IMG_7747.PNG

    Observation #3 - the HR data that the iPhone was seeing was provided by the apple Watch via the BT strap.

    IMG_7744.PNG FullSizeRender.jpg

    Observation #4 - as seen with the previous run above, the Activity app on the iPhone shows both the HR data and the splits, so the information is available for the NRC app, but they just don't grab/record it. Baffling.

    IMG_7748.PNG IMG_7749.PNG

    Observation #5 - Neither the Nike website nor SmashRun recorded the HR or splits. The Nike website did not record HR or splits. SmashRun didn't record HR, but it did record the splits.

    nike1.PNG

    nike2.PNG

    smash.PNG

    Next Run - I hope that I can get back outside on my next run. Maybe Thanksgiving morning to get the turkey activity achievement. I'll try with the HR monitor connected to the iPhone for that run.
     
  6. ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #6
    BTW, I posted over on the Nike Run Club facebook page.

    They respond quickly, but man, this app really needs work.

    Capture1.PNG
    Capture2.PNG
     
  7. ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #7
    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. I did a morning run to try and get that Turkey Achievement.

    24NOV2016 (931AM)

    Equipment - Nike+ apple watch (watchOS 3.1); iPhone 6 (iOS 10.1.1); Polar H7 BT HR monitor (Firmware 1.4.0, Software H7 3.1.0) - NRC app (5.2.0) - no changes to equipment from the last run

    For this run, I connected my HT monitor to my iPhone and confirmed that the NRC app on the iPhone could see the data.

    I started the run with my watch, iPhone in my pocket. The HR sensor on the AW lit up and the NRC app on the iPhone had HR data too.

    Observation #1 - Both the AW and iPhone NRC apps had HR data available. My guess is that the NRC-AW app was using the watch's sensor and the NRC-iP app was using the BT strap.

    IMG_7752.PNG IMG_7751.PNG

    Observation #2 - Upon completion of the run, the NRC-AW app showed both the route and the HR data as expected.

    IMG_7754.PNG IMG_7755.PNG

    Observation #3 - After syncing with the Nike servers, the NRC-iP app showed everything as expected, which means no elevation changes or splits, since I started the run with the watch.

    IMG_7756.PNG

    Observation #4 - The Activity app on the iPhone showed both the HR and splits.

    IMG_7757.PNG

    Observation #5 - The Nike website recorded maps and HR, but not splits. Smash recorded maps, HR and splits. To me, this is weird ... why does SmashRun record splits, but the Nike website doesn't? SmashRun gets the data from Nike. :(

    Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 11.55.59 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 11.55.50 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 11.54.25 AM.png

    OK, that's enough testing for today. It's really a shame to lose elevation data because I want to start a run on my watch. Who the heck is developing this app at Nike? They need help ... in fact, their apps and webapps/website have needed a lot of help for years and years. I'll volunteer to help them out, ree-tain-er.

    Next run - Connect HR strap to iPhone. Start run on iPhone. See if the NRC-AW app mirrors the NRC-iP app during the run. The only other time I tried this, the NRC-AW app showed nothing, but at least I got HR and elevation data. This is currently my biggest gripe with Nike.
     
  8. Clint1583 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    #8
    Like others I've tried all the various BT heart rate monitors but the only one that has given me almost perfect readings while running is the Polar H7 strap. The standard Apple Watch HRM doesn't do a good job while exercising. I've had many wild readings with it that I know are false readings.

    The H7 simply gets paired to the watch (not the phone) and automatically turns off the standard Apple monitor. It basically just overrides it.

    I was just talking to my doctor about this same issue the other day and he agreed that studies have found that only heart rate chest strap monitors give an accurate reading. Wrist worn HRM like the Apple watch and Fitbit shouldn't be used for medically needed pulse rate monitoring.
     
  9. ftaok, Nov 24, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016

    ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #9
    Unfortunately, Nike doesn't know how to write an app anymore. When the H7 is connected to the AW, the AW turns off its sensor. The NRC app isn't set up to use the hr data from the strap, so the bpm just stays blank. I've verified that the H7 is sending the hr data, but the NRC app just doesn't use it.

    As far as accuracy goes, in my experience, the H7 and the AW sensor are within 3 to4 beats per minute of each other. I'd say that's pretty accurate.

    IMG_7758.PNG IMG_7759.PNG IMG_7760.PNG
     
  10. Long Run Nick macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2016
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    #10
    Good stuff with this thread. Ran a 10K this morning. Gear- Garmin235 with Ant+ HR strap on one wrist and AW2 Nike edition on the other using wrist HR. Garmin showed distance 6.29/ AW2 miles. HR average- Garmin w/ strap 171. AW2 173. That ain't bad. The distance was longer due to over 4,000 runners and I started too far back and had to weave a lot and take some wide corners. Tough that a 73 year old has to weave around a lot of young folks:)
    I tried the Wahoo Tickr with the AW2. POS for me. With results like today's race I think I am forgetting using the BT strap with the AW2. Oh I finished first in the over 70 age group. 8:31 per mile.
     
  11. ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #11
    For an older dude, you can certainly get that HR up. Flat out impressive!

    Great race time.
     
  12. Long Run Nick macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2016
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    #12
    Thank you sir. Max HR today was 181. Back in my 40's early 50's I would routinely hit 205-207 on an all out 5/10K finish. If I really hammer I can get up around 188-190- with HR strap. As I have gotten older, I find it harder to finish with white spots in my eyes and gagging:)Nick
     
  13. ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #13
    Quick 2 Mile Run this morning. My normal route, so nothing out of the ordinary, besides my sucky pace.

    26NOV2016 (1006AM)

    Equipment - Nike+ apple watch (watchOS 3.1); iPhone 6 (iOS 10.1.1); Polar H7 BT HR monitor (Firmware 1.4.0, Software H7 3.1.0) - NRC app (5.2.0) - no changes to equipment from the last run

    For this run, I connected my HT monitor to my iPhone and confirmed that the NRC app on the iPhone could see the data. Everything was setup the same as my previous run, except this time, I started the run on my iPhone. However, I was surprised to see that the AW mirrored the iPhone. The last time I tried this, the AW didn't see what the iPhone was doing. I suspect that this is because I had the NRC-AW app opened when I started the run with the NRC-iP app.

    Either way, both the iPhone and AW was reporting a HR. I suspect that the NRC-AW app was getting the HR from the watch sensor and the NRC-iP app was getting it from the BT HR monitor.

    Observation #1 - I didn't notice this at the time, only after the run when I went through my screenshots. The AW and the iPhone were reporting drastically different HR. I think this is because something weird was going on with the BT monitor. It just cut out after about 2 minutes into the run. Don't know why.

    IMG_7762.PNG IMG_7763.PNG

    Observation #2 - While I started the run with the iPhone, I ended the run with the AW. It was kinda difficult to end the run as I had to hit the pause button several times. I'm not even sure that's how I ended it. Perhaps it was because I came to a complete stop and the app auto-paused. I did notice that the AW screen didn't show the course map after the run.

    IMG_7764.PNG IMG_7765.PNG

    Observation #3 - The weird thing that happened right at the end of the run was that the mileage got wacky. 2.03 miles is correct. As soon as I stopped, the iPhone synced the run as 2.20 miles. The Activity app showed two separate workouts, both tagged as NRC. Both had the HR at 160+, which is my normal.

    IMG_7766.PNG IMG_7768.PNG IMG_7769.PNG

    Observation #4 - The NRC-iP app showed the run at 2.20 miles, but when I logged in on my computer, the Nike website said 2.03 miles. Then when I reloaded the NRC-iP app, the run came in at 2.03 miles. What's weird is the HR was tagged at 99 bpm and flat all the way through the run. The nice thing is that splits and elevation were recorded and sync'd.

    IMG_7772.PNG IMG_7773.PNG

    Observation #6 - Like I said, I didn't realize the BT HR monitor disconnected somehow early in the run. The NRC-iP app was smart enough to use the AW's HR readings, but somehow, it didn't make it through the sync to the Nike servers. You can see in the screenshot below the moment the BT sensor stopped working. The readings between the AW and the BT sensor were not close ... I'm limited to 10 pictures per post, so you'll have to trust me. The sensors were about 10 to 15 bpm's apart.

    IMG_7774.PNG

    So I think I've found the holy grail here, at least for me. I have a way to get elevation, splits and have the run on the AW in realtime. I'm not sure if the issue with the BT monitor was a one time thing or not, but I'll be on the lookout for it if it happens again. Also, I'll try stopping the run with the iPhone, as that might have contributed to the two workouts showing up.

    Hope this is helpful to anyone who might be reading.
     
  14. Long Run Nick macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2016
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    #14
    Thanks for the info, may I comment as a running coach? If you said no, I didn't hear you.
    A couple of things, do you do an ez warmup of a mile or so before you began your 2 mile run?
    Do you know what your maxHR is? That 164 seems awful high- unless your Max is around 220.
    Starting out at 0745 pace and then ending up at 9:00+ minute pace is probably not the most efficient or smartest way to run 2 miles.
    I don't know how old you are or how much you run, but if you would slow down, warm up some and run longer you may well find it more enjoyable.
    One of the biggest mistakes most runners make is running too fast, too soon and too far. If you approach running as a lifetime activity you will learn to love it and 30 minutes of running to complete the Apple circle will become your warm up before you get into your endorfin producing running that, at least for me, has kept me running for more than 40 years. Nick
     
  15. ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #15
    No problem with the advice. Im not a real runner. Just putting in miles to get cardio workout. No really looking to race or improve my time, other than just getting I better shape.

    I'm 43, my max is probably around 195 or so. I hit 203 on a hill a few years ago, but that could have been a glitch.

    As for the other question, I normally don't do a warm up. Just trying to maximize the time I have available as I had the kids waiting. I do typically start out a little fast because of adrenaline and there start of my route is pretty flat. Then I hit the uphill section and I start to slow down.

    Yeah probably not the most efficient way to run 2 miles, but I'm not teaching or preparing for a race.
     
  16. travelling_w/iOS macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi
    #16
    This is a fantastic thread @ftaok

    For consistency with your posts on this topic I thought I would also post my equipment being used, followed by my experiences:

    Equipment: - Apple Watch Sports Series 0 (watchOS 3.1) iPhone 7 (iOS 10.1.1); Jabra Pulse BT Headphones + HR monitor (Firmware v4.1.2, Software 3.0.1.1) - NRC app (5.2.0)

    I have had ongoing issues with various bits not working, but believe my remedy to have as much data as possible flowing is as follows:
    1. Turn on Jabra BT
    2. Ensure that Jabra Pulse is NOT connected to my AWS
    3. Load Jabra Sport software and wait until it announces "Heart rate detected"
    4. Start NRC app on phone and begin run, quickly hitting pause.
    5. Wait for NRC to "see" the HR
    6. Start app on phone and wait for it to catch up with the NRC iPhone app.
    7. Manually unpause the run.
    8. IMPORTANT BIT! Do the actual run.
    I really hope someone from Nike, or the app developers are reading these kind of things and working on feedback. Crikey, even if they say that the NRC app is only compatible with a small set of devices/HR monitors and here's how to use them. That would help set expectations, plus keep people happier than having to fart about before each run.
     
  17. travelling_w/iOS macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi
    #17
    Slight pain I've seen in the watch and phone apps conflicting when giving split times. Also double entry if the run into Apple activity (with different mileage too)
     
  18. ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #18
    I think the double entries with inconsistent mileage happens when you start the run using the iPhone, but end the run using the watch.

    Thinking back on this again, I think the double entry issue is because the NRC app determines a distance, then when it checks against the watch, the distance changes for some unknown reason. This is considered an "edit", so the Activity app will show both distances as separate runs occuring at the same exact time.

    In all cases, the Nike website shows the first distance and subsequent reboots of the NRC apps will show the first distance.

    I typically delete the second (and incorrect) distance from the Activity app. I do make sure to not delete the data, just the entry. (not sure how the dialog box is worded on the iPHone). In either case, I do not get double credit for workout minutes or active calories, so it's not a big deal either way.
     

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