Hi! My name is Kareen. You might remember me from my blog post last year as the crazy sports lady :). I recently joined the Instabeat team for an internship and it’s been so exciting to finally use the device during my swims! Part of my internship assignment is to swim with Instabeat (imagine how cool that is!!), to test it under different conditions (different lights, pools, strokes, speeds, etc.) and analyze the test results so the engineering team can use my data to improve on the accuracy of the heart rate.
When fitting Instabeat on my goggles for the first time, I put the flexible strap on the rubber. As soon as I put my head underwater, the goggles were leaking from the right side. I was very disappointed: it is impossible for me to change my Speedo Vanquisher goggles since I have myopia and I had to buy these from the US on my summer trip. I quickly ruled out using them with Instabeat. However, I still wanted to experience the feel of Instabeat while swimming, so I mounted it on different goggles (the Aquasphere Kayenne junior) and they were very comfortable. Although I could not see the end of the pool, I could see the lights properly and it was a very unique experience. But since clear vision is such an important element of my swim, I couldn’t use the Aquasphere in the rest of my workouts.
The second time I went swimming, I was determined to make Instabeat work with my Vanquishers no matter what. I pulled the flexible strap and fixed it on the glass, not on the rubber like last time. I was nervous at first, I really wanted it to be well positioned and I was hoping it would not leak. If needed, I was ready to wear them so tight it would pull my eyes out. Luckily, I did not need to do that. I went underwater, I started swimming and I did not feel one drop of water inside my goggles!! I was so happy I swam non-stop for an hour. Seeing the blue and green lights was such an amazing feeling. It was even cooler seeing the red LED and feeling appreciated for my hard effort 🙂 . For me, seeing the lights is the real magic: it makes you want to train harder and see more red lights to become better.
One day, I went to the pool with my colleagues and I was not expecting to swim so I didn’t have my own Instabeat with me. I borrowed Alex’s device (Alex is our Quality control manager, you can check his review here) and swam with it. At some point, when I saw 3 green lights, I was so motivated to reach the red one that I sprinted and did my best to accelerate my heart rate. This included swimming a 50m butterfly real fast. But I still could not see the red light. I was barely able to breathe but still wasn’t seeing a red light. At first, I thought it was a bug and that my Instabeat was not working properly. But then, looking at the results, I realized that the heart rate values were correct, and that my heart rate zones were much lower than Alex’s, and this is why my maximum corresponds to the upper limit of Alex’s fitness zone. I guess this means that Alex should be swimming more 😉 but also, I learned that in order to see accurate results, I should swim with my own Instabeat and configure my own training zones.
I’ve been reading the other users’ reviews on Instabeat’s blog, and some had a pretty similar experience with the goggle fitting. My advice to them and all of you who are expecting their Instabeat soon, is to stretch the flexible strap and try fixing it in different positions. Instabeat is made flexible to fit most pairs of goggles, so you will find the appropriate fitting with some tweaking.
Finally, each and every one of us has different heartbeats, different maximums, and different minimums. So I advise you to read a bit more about your resting heart rate and on how to configure your heart rate zones carefully as well as to learn how to properly sync your device before swimming, because Instabeat is meant to be a device that is personal to your specific training goals.