Heart rate monitors.

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by bernoulli, Jun 24, 2006.

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  1. I am thinking of getting a heart rate monitor to use while running. Can anyone give me the low down on the benefits to be gained from them, the significance of heart rate zones, etc?
  2. Recently acquired a monitor, so know a little about them.

    Understand they have 2 main roles:

    Firstly, they show you if you are training hard enought to achieve your goal (fat loss, etc), or whether you need to train harder;

    Secondly, they warn you if you are training too hard, and risking a heart attack.

    You can read your heart rate monitor manually, to gauge if you're doing the right training. You can also programme them, so they sound a warning if you need to train harder to achieve your goal, or more easily.

    They also often have stop watches, and can estimate calories burnt.

    They're a nice toy, although I don't think an essential one.
  3. I really don't think you could ask for a better explanation than that other than shop around for a competitive price.
  4. I really don't think you could ask for a better explanation than that other than shop around for a competitive price.
  5. Avoid CICLOSPORT - good price, but the watch casing breaks easily rendering it useless.
  6. Buy polar.
  7. Mine has been a God send. As I don't have anyone to train with I use my heartrate monitor to beep at me when I slack off to remind me I need to pick the pace up. I find it too easy to start daydreaming and ease off without realising it. Also what that man said

    Buy polar.
  8. £30.00 from argos does most the things you need without being distracting.
  9. From a medical perspective the definition from Pork_Pie is probably better than I'd have given you!
  10. i got one a few weeks ago and they are quite funky (in a why is it the size of a divers watch way). they do what they say. and there is a wealth of info on heart rate zones on t'internet.

    i have found since i started using mine that i start my runs of at about 130-140bpm. and starting off that steadily i am not fcuked by about the ten minute mark :lol: . they are user-programmable, so you put your age, height, and weight in and it works out your max heart rate. then you set the heart rate zones accordingly. mine gives the option of three defined zones. "slow", "fast" and "fcuk me! whats this bursting out of my chest" :lol:

    overall: 8/10 as a useful(ish) aid to getting the ticker going, but not at too fast a rate.

    as an added bonus. sprint the last half mile in and try and get your heart going at over your max rate. it's definitely something to impress the chicks with :lol:
  11. For a few years I ran with a Polar Heart Rate monitor - easy to use and very few problems. The battery can be expensive to replace IF you use the Polar service (by post). Replace the battery yourself or get local jeweller to do it and it invalidates the warranty (but saves loads of £).

    What I bought last year is a Garmin Forerunner 301: Heart Rate Monitor and GPS. The watch unit is a little bit bigger than a box of Swan Vestas. It cost £160 through Amazon.

    With the Garmin you can connect it to your PC and download the data from your runs - install a programme from the internet called 'Sporttracks' which is free. it then shows your run route on top of a Satellite photo (from Google Earth) s you can see where you ran. Sporttracks can also give you graphs of weekly distance and splits times. Fantastic fun for techno. Geeks.

    The GPS gives you a pace readout on the watch - eg. minutes per mile.

    The watch also recharges from the computer or from the mains (adaptor provided). The battery in the chest strap for the HRM is very easy to replace.

    Since I bought the Garmin I've used the HRM function less and less and have started to run more on pace - particularly when I trained for the London Mara. this year.

    If you dont want the HRM function, there is a cheaper Garmin available with only GPS.

    Garmin has produced a newer model (the 305) which looks sexy BUT have a look at the Forum's on Runner's World - lots of people have had probs. with the 305 developing faults.

    Have a look at:


    But buy through Amazon !
  12. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    They are excellent if you use them properly, otherwise little more than a gimmick. You can get a basic Polar from www.heartratemonitors.co.uk which will do everything you need, but also buy a copy of 'Heart Rate Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot' (can't remember who wrote it) which explains how to use it.
  13. I won one at a half marathon in 1997(polar edgeNV) have used it, on average, about three times a week since.
    I have had to change the battery just once a very good training aid. One way that I use it is to run around a track until I start to beep(the beep tells you when you have done past your upper limit. I've set mine to about 80% of max heart rate). then I walk until the beep stops, then run a lap from that point. Do that six times, it's very good for improve your recovery rate.
  14. Also try Leisureways - Polar wont supply to anyone who will sell below their inflated Recommended Retail Prices.

    Companies like Sweatshop will give you a Bill Oddie discount but not on Polar products!

    Leisureways seem to get by that somehow - the last 2 I've bought from them have been significantly cheaper :D