Current thoughts on heart rate monitors?

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by Harold Buck, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. Harold Buck

    Harold Buck Guest

    I'm looking to finally get a heart rate monitor. I don't think I need a super-complicated one;
    mostly I want something I can set to tell me if I'm going too hard or--for me, more likely--too
    easy. I'd prefer not to spend more than $100. If I could get one that works at the health club,
    where other people may be using monitors as well, that would be great.

    My understanding from a google search is that the Polars are good, but you have to send them back to
    get the batteries changed--often. Some people had good things to say about Timex. What do you think?

    --Harold Buck

    "I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

    - Homer J. Simpson
     
    Tags:


  2. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Hi Harold-

    I bought a Polar A5 off ebay, basic no frills I've had it about 2 years....I call it my coach. Cost
    about $65, I like mine.

    Good Luck!! Steve

    "Harold Buck" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I'm looking to finally get a heart rate monitor. I don't think I need a super-complicated one;
    > mostly I want something I can set to tell me if I'm going too hard or--for me, more likely--too
    > easy. I'd prefer not to spend more than $100. If I could get one that works at the health club,
    > where other people may be using monitors as well, that would be great.
    >
    > My understanding from a google search is that the Polars are good, but you have to send them
    > back to get the batteries changed--often. Some people had good things to say about Timex. What
    > do you think?
    >
    > --Harold Buck
    >
    >
    > "I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."
    >
    > - Homer J. Simpson
     
  3. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    Harold,

    Spend the money and get a 'fancy' one. The ability to uplink the information to your pc afterword
    and track your workouts over time is priceless.

    I have a polar 610 and wish to all the world I had spent the extra $50 to get the 710 which would
    have also tracked my bike speed, cadence, power, and elevation.

    This may sound fancy now..but I have two years worth of every workout (and race) at my finger tips
    and the abilty to track and compare data. (show me a triathlete that does not like to crunch data!)

    Ameliorate the one time cost over three years and you have an awesome coach (your body response) for
    pennies a day.

    My thoughts,

    Andy

    On Mon, 08 Dec 2003 15:53:41 -0500, Harold Buck <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm looking to finally get a heart rate monitor. I don't think I need a super-complicated one;
    >mostly I want something I can set to tell me if I'm going too hard or--for me, more likely--too
    >easy. I'd prefer not to spend more than $100. If I could get one that works at the health club,
    >where other people may be using monitors as well, that would be great.
    >
    >My understanding from a google search is that the Polars are good, but you have to send them
    >back to get the batteries changed--often. Some people had good things to say about Timex. What
    >do you think?
    >
    >--Harold Buck
    >
    >
    >"I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."
    >
    > - Homer J. Simpson
     
  4. Harold Buck

    Harold Buck Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, andrew <[email protected]> wrote:

    > This may sound fancy now..but I have two years worth of every workout (and race) at my finger
    > tips and the abilty to track and compare data. (show me a triathlete that does not like to
    > crunch data!)

    Ironically, despite my masters degree in statistics, I don't really like to crunch data on my
    workouts. I have tried several times to keep a log, and I just never keep up with it.

    [Here, I use the word ironically as it's intended, since my dislike of crunching numbers is indeed
    the opposite of what you'd expect from a statistician.]

    --Harold Buck

    "I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

    - Homer J. Simpson
     
  5. Gentolm

    Gentolm Guest

    i use polar a1 but i like nike / u can change the battery plodzilla

    Harold Buck wrote:
    >
    > I'm looking to finally get a heart rate monitor. I don't think I need a super-complicated one;
    > mostly I want something I can set to tell me if I'm going too hard or--for me, more likely--too
    > easy. I'd prefer not to spend more than $100. If I could get one that works at the health club,
    > where other people may be using monitors as well, that would be great.
    >
    > My understanding from a google search is that the Polars are good, but you have to send them
    > back to get the batteries changed--often. Some people had good things to say about Timex. What
    > do you think?
    >
    > --Harold Buck
    >
    > "I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."
    >
    > - Homer J. Simpson
     
  6. Harold Buck <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > My understanding from a google search is that the Polars are good, but you have to send them back
    > to get the batteries changed--often.

    Every 2+ years is often? Opinions vary.-)

    FWIW I rather quickly found that it would be nice, desirable and/or convenient to have an interval
    session function and a light, and if I hand´t bought my first hRM second-hand I´d probably have felt
    rather stupid about having to upgrade to a S210 so soon.

    OTOH although I was 100% convinced I´d *never* have any wish for the "fancy charts and graphs", I
    now have a more high-end model on my Christmas gift list...

    Anders
     
  7. Witheld

    Witheld Guest

    Harold Buck <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<no_one_knows-
    > My understanding from a google search is that the Polars are good, but you have to send them
    > back to get the batteries changed--often. Some people had good things to say about Timex. What
    > do you think?
    >
    > --Harold Buck

    BINGO, Harold. I have had both Timex and Polar.

    I do like to log my workouts, but as you alluded later, that can take on a life of it's own. What
    has made sense for me is to track VERY limited information about each workout. I am looking for
    general trending, not "microanalysis" of every workout attribute.

    That has led me to prefer a) lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO); b)no need for bells and whistles
    ($$$). For me, that has been the Timex HRM (not with the GPS gizmo).

    I have replaced the Timex watch and strap batteries once, with no fuss at all. If you can turn a
    screw, you can do this.

    Another approach is to check out the really low end Polars. They can be had for about a third less
    than the cost of the Timex. Then, if it suits you, toss the Polar whenever the battery dies and buy
    a new one.

    You know your consumer tenedencies better than we do. Some folks like to change every so often, just
    to update the scenery. Others make a purchase and keep it running as long as it makes sense.

    rsquared
     
  8. Dt

    Dt Guest

    I've also used a low cost Timex as well. If I were to spend more I would get one that can upload
    data to the PC.

    "Witheld" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Harold Buck <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<no_one_knows-
    > > My understanding from a google search is that the Polars are good, but you have to send them
    > > back to get the batteries changed--often. Some people had good things to say about Timex. What
    > > do you think?
    > >
    > > --Harold Buck
    >
    >
    > BINGO, Harold. I have had both Timex and Polar.
    >
    > I do like to log my workouts, but as you alluded later, that can take on a life of it's own. What
    > has made sense for me is to track VERY limited information about each workout. I am looking for
    > general trending, not "microanalysis" of every workout attribute.
    >
    > That has led me to prefer a) lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO); b)no need for bells and whistles
    > ($$$). For me, that has been the Timex HRM (not with the GPS gizmo).
    >
    > I have replaced the Timex watch and strap batteries once, with no fuss at all. If you can turn a
    > screw, you can do this.
    >
    > Another approach is to check out the really low end Polars. They can be had for about a third less
    > than the cost of the Timex. Then, if it suits you, toss the Polar whenever the battery dies and
    > buy a new one.
    >
    > You know your consumer tenedencies better than we do. Some folks like to change every so often,
    > just to update the scenery. Others make a purchase and keep it running as long as it makes sense.
    >
    > rsquared
     
  9. IMKen

    IMKen Guest

    I use the bottom of the line Polar. It gives me current HR and average HR after I am finished. For
    me that is all I need. I used to have one slightly more sophisticated but found I did not use it's
    range of features. I tried to for the better part of a season but found my performance fell off as
    it kept indicating that I was going way too hard. I reduced effort hoping to find that I was over
    training and in the end lost overall speed and endurance.

    I am sure I was doing something incorrectly but just went back to doing my very hard and long work-
    outs. I now primarily use the HRM to keep myself in easy mode on my recovery days and for
    entertainment on my normal hard days. When I reach perceived "Puke Level" and look at the monitor it
    tells me what I already knew. I do record the average rate in my log just for info. It seldom
    provides a surprise.

    The HRM will tell me when I am overstressed. Now and then I go out for my road stuff and the effort
    might feel a bit higher than it should. The HRM verifies my perception that it's time for an easy
    day or day off.

    Crunching the numbers might be interesting but I would not use that function. It would just
    complicate the simple pleasure of knowing your self well enough to do your best. I do believe that
    you should own one of some sort. Then, I also don't believe that us amateurs should use a coach. I
    like to do my own race and not the race of some one else.

    A few years ago most of the HRM's I tried did not last very long. Some were problems from day 1. My
    current $45 Polar has been running flawlessly for 3 years.

    Ken @ Kauai

    "Harold Buck" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:no_one_knows-
    [email protected]
    > I'm looking to finally get a heart rate monitor. I don't think I need a super-complicated one;
    > mostly I want something I can set to tell me if I'm going too hard or--for me, more likely--too
    > easy. I'd prefer not to spend more than $100. If I could get one that works at the health club,
    > where other people may be using monitors as well, that would be great.
    >
    > My understanding from a google search is that the Polars are good, but you have to send them
    > back to get the batteries changed--often. Some people had good things to say about Timex. What
    > do you think?
    >
    > --Harold Buck
    >
    >
    > "I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."
    >
    > - Homer J. Simpson
     
  10. "IMKen" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > (...) I tried to for the better part of a season but found my performance fell off as it kept
    > indicating that I was going way too hard. I reduced effort hoping to find that I was over training
    > and in the end lost overall speed and endurance.

    I have to nitpick and jump on this: your HRM never tells you anything apart from your HR. What you
    infer from that info and what you tell yourself is entirely your own doing!

    The various training zones have their best use when 1) one has a real HRmax or HRR(eserve) as a
    basis, 2) when one´s aerobic and lactate thresholds happen to be near the norm (which is why one may
    have to find out one´s own), and
    3) when training in the low and the high intensity zones are in the right proportion (which may well
    vary depending on event, person and amount of training).

    But, in principle, it greatly surprises me that someone´s hard sessions were too hard "according to
    the HRM", whereas it´s not at all uncommon for easy sessions to be too hard...

    > My current $45 Polar has been running flawlessly for 3 years.

    Haven´t had a need to change either battery yet, then?

    Anders
     
  11. Nexus .

    Nexus . Guest

    Check out Ekho. They have a nice range of monitors for less than the Polars with the same features.
    I think they are also a little more geared towardes the triathlete. The transmiters are also
    compatible with Polars. Meaning the Ekho receiver (watch unit) will pick up your Pollar transmiter,
    and vise versa. www.ekho.us

    On Wed, 10 Dec 2003 17:06:46 -0600, DT wrote (in message
    <aGNBb.37557$r%[email protected]>):

    > I've also used a low cost Timex as well. If I were to spend more I would get one that can upload
    > data to the PC.
    >
    > "Witheld" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >> Harold Buck <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<no_one_knows-
    >>> My understanding from a google search is that the Polars are good, but you have to send them
    >>> back to get the batteries changed--often. Some people had good things to say about Timex. What
    >>> do you think?
    >>>
    >>> --Harold Buck
    >>
    >>
    >> BINGO, Harold. I have had both Timex and Polar.
    >>
    >> I do like to log my workouts, but as you alluded later, that can take on a life of it's own. What
    >> has made sense for me is to track VERY limited information about each workout. I am looking for
    >> general trending, not "microanalysis" of every workout attribute.
    >>
    >> That has led me to prefer a) lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO); b)no need for bells and
    >> whistles ($$$). For me, that has been the Timex HRM (not with the GPS gizmo).
    >>
    >> I have replaced the Timex watch and strap batteries once, with no fuss at all. If you can turn a
    >> screw, you can do this.
    >>
    >> Another approach is to check out the really low end Polars. They can be had for about a third
    >> less than the cost of the Timex. Then, if it suits you, toss the Polar whenever the battery dies
    >> and buy a new one.
    >>
    >> You know your consumer tenedencies better than we do. Some folks like to change every so often,
    >> just to update the scenery. Others make a purchase and keep it running as long as it makes sense.
    >>
    >> rsquared
     
  12. Harold Buck

    Harold Buck Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "IMKen" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I use the bottom of the line Polar. It gives me current HR and average HR after I am finished. For
    > me that is all I need. I used to have one slightly more sophisticated but found I did not use it's
    > range of features.

    I think the other feature I'd really use is an alarm to tell me if I was out of my target zone.

    --Harold Buck

    "I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

    - Homer J. Simpson
     
  13. Sam

    Sam Guest

    Harold, I have seen you here a few times and over at the triathlon group when I lurked there. Why
    the HRM? Seriously? Can't you tell when you are going too hard by getting in touch with your body?

    I have become less and less enamored with HRMs over the past couple of years. I actually think that
    they make training more complicated.

    "Harold Buck" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:no_one_knows-
    [email protected]
    > I'm looking to finally get a heart rate monitor. I don't think I need a super-complicated one;
    > mostly I want something I can set to tell me if I'm going too hard or--for me, more likely--too
    > easy. I'd prefer not to spend more than $100. If I could get one that works at the health club,
    > where other people may be using monitors as well, that would be great.
    >
    > My understanding from a google search is that the Polars are good, but you have to send them
    > back to get the batteries changed--often. Some people had good things to say about Timex. What
    > do you think?
    >
    > --Harold Buck
    >
    >
    > "I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."
    >
    > - Homer J. Simpson
     
  14. Harold Buck

    Harold Buck Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Sam" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Harold, I have seen you here a few times and over at the triathlon group when I lurked there. Why
    > the HRM? Seriously? Can't you tell when you are going too hard by getting in touch with your body?
    >

    My problem is just the opposite: I run too easy too often, and I want something to help kick me in
    the butt and make me run harder. I know I *can* run faster than I have been, so I'm figuring if I
    can set the target heart rate a little higher than where I've been running I'll get some better
    quality workouts. We'll see how it works.

    I just bought one today: Galyan's had 20% all of their Timex stuff, plus there was a 10% off coupon
    in the paper good for the morning, so I ended up only spending about $80.

    --Harold Buck

    "I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

    - Homer J. Simpson
     
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