HR jumps on a Life Fitness treadmill

I regularly run on a variety of treadmills (all Life Fitness) at the gym.  I use my Polar HR watch and chest strap and that works fine on the LF machines. However I consistently see a jump of around 30bpm after I have been running for anything between 1 and 3 miles.

I am currently following Hadd training which for me means doing 4-6 miles at 125 HR and my wrist monitor and LF console both agree on my HR and then with a few seconds the LF console jumps from 125 to around 166 and generally stays consistent so that whereas my HR might go to 128 (both on what I believe it is and what the wrist monitor is telling me) whereas the console will go to 168. That remains high on the console until I finish the run. 

 I can even take off the chest strap or hold the hand rail pulse sensors and it will still not lose the 168 reading.

 Recently  I was doing a faster session and it showed a consistent 178 HR on the console which is pretty impossible for me for anything other than a 100% effort for 10 yards. My MHR is 168.

Does anybody have a similar experience?


Recently started blog  -

 Latest Post  - 2.5 weeks into Hadd training


  • I had a weird reading this week on a life fitness cycle. 198 bpm, when I would be in serious pain if it was that high. Should have been in the low 100's which it did eventually go back to. I think they have a problem with cross reading other peoples monitors. Those big muscular guys in the gym can have really high readings from just walking on a treadmill.
  • I thought at first Hadd was a mispelling of hard. Having looked at your blog I see it isn't but I still don't know what it is.
  • Seems to me that the console is getting a false reading. I'd trust what the watch is telling me if they differ.

    Your HR wont suddenly jump. It raises and falls gradually.

    Try it for yourself - jump off the tready and watch the figures on your watch come down gradually.
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    I'm confused - does the treadmill use the hand rail or chest strap for taking the reading?  The reason I ask is, on the odd occasion when I've bothered to check I've found the HR reading from the hand rail to be very intermittent for reliability, seemingly struggling to tell me what's going on especially when my hands get (very) sweaty.  (Which is odd really, since the HR chest straps are supposed to work better when they're wet!)

    Anyway, I'd go with the chest strap/HR monitor info and forget what the treddy is saying.  Also, the more HADD training you do the more you will get a feel for roughly what your HR should be at any one time, and you can completely disregard readings like 168 when you're clearly working at nowhere near maximum.

  • Could it be cross-talk from another runner near you with a HR monitor as well. The other runner might be seeing your HR of 125 and try even harder. He might even think why is it when I run once a week at the gym my HR is 125 and when I run outside it is 160. He might be in a real state......
  • I am sure it is not cross-talk, even though that is the obvious explanation.

    Funnily enough I did a 12 mile easy run today  - 125bpm target and at the end my MHR was 170 although I never saw that appear on the watch when I looked at it. The average was 126

    PS HADD training is all about building a LT threshold and adding base mileage at an easy pace. Documented at

  • Ok it isn't cross talk. Must be .............ALIENS!!
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