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Heart Rate Monitors

Hi Guys,
in my second year of Triathlon and am hoping to get a heart rate monitor to help improve fitness. There are so may out there and l am getting quite confused

What HRM's do you guys specifically for Tri training?


  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Well you can get them from Tesco and Argos for less than £20

    http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/kit/heart ... s/496.html

    You need to be able set your HR Zones and view your session in terms % of time spent in those zones
    http://www.machinehead-software.co.uk/b ... c_bcf.html

    AS this is tri if you spend more you can get GPS watches with HRM and also cadence so you can plot virtually every aspect of a race or session (except possibly urine output) and download it onto a pc or website

    Garmin 305 is a popular model - about £120 cadence sensor about £40
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    The best hrms are the finish ones. (polar and suunto).

    The best gps that also does hr is garmin.

    If you want to use the HRM in the gym the polar is good as it will be compatible with the machines.

    If you want a lot of gadgets (cadence for bike or run, power meters) or swim analysis as well as HRM then the garmin range is the way to go.

    Quality is important, which is where the finnish brands score.

    Any other make is a compromise of features/quality IMHO

    if you are comfortable with data (eg an engineer by trade) go for a more complex model. If numbers set your head in a whirl, go for something simple. Spending more just gives you more complex options which require more analysis.

    The primary function of an HRM is to slow you down. If you tend to do all your training efforts flat out you will get the most benefits. If you don't you may find that an HRM doesn't give you much over training on feel.

    Hr training is old fashioned now. The state of the art training methods use pace and power.
  • I think you need to look at this as a training package and not just as HR monitor. The best gear in the world is of no use if you are unable to analyse what it is telling you and make modifications to your training. Within this package you could include a training plan, daily diary, diet analysis tool, heart rate monitor, power meter. Without doubt my daily diary or personal bullshit filter/mirror is the most important component here.

    Personally I have a Polar CS400, Polar RS400 with a foot pod, Swimovate Pro and match these up with Polar Pro Trainer and Vida One Diet & Fitness software. I also use a Tacx Fortius Bike Trainer, and am self coached.

    If you gave me the most basic HR monitor, in effect go back 15 years or so I was able to train reasonably effectivly. My training is far more specific today because of the data I collect but you have to be able to understand it, I am writting this with a bookshelf behind me stacked with volumes on training. The essence of good training is knowing why you are doing a session in context, what you are setting out to achieve, knowing if you achieved it and then planning progression. If you want to loose weight and run in a fat burning heart rate zone then a basic HR monitor which bleeps at you when you go too fast will surfice. If you want to be more ambitious decide what you want your training to achieve then find the tools to support you in your training. How 'you' want to train is more important than how I train.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    jeezo Lancsrider...

    all they wanted to know was what HRM to use..... not a training lesson.... :roll:
  • Points I saw on the initial post were, 'second year of triathlon' , 'improve fitness', 'many out there' and 'quite confused'. I was simply trying to say what do you want from the device and using one example, the one I know best and could back up my own to set the context as to how and why I made a choice in this area. I also was trying to explain how choices were limited in the past but that HR monitors have a use at this level.

    Without a context or self reflection of where we are in the sport, the answer to every one of these types of questions would be go buy the most expensive. i.e what bike should I buy answer go buy a £8000 P5 you never know you might want to be good at some point.

    I apreciate that as an individual who has a diagnosis for Asperger's Syndrome which means a lot of my posts will come across as autistic that by nature I will try an answer as fully as I can on every occasion. This does not stop other approaches to the forum and all my answers can be ignored if people wish. If I overstep the mark my appologies. Personally I don't get a lot back if I put up a post but accept that and welcome any responses, it may be the case I am trying to put too much into the forum I will think on it. I have got into the habbit of going to the forum between training sessions and have time on my hand whilst I digest food maybee I am overdoing it.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408

    I was having some craic fella..... holy smoke. this is a forum.... have a laugh fella......
  • I started off with an entry level Polar watch which i had lying around from a few years ago. Was really helpful to start with as i could monitor my fitness getting better each week as my Ave HR got lower but thats about all it did.

    I recently upgraded to the Garmin 305 with a Cadence Sensor and it's awesome. I love being able to analyse my runs/rides in more depth afterwards and adjust for next time.

    But only get one if you like training with one, they take some getting used to to train effectively.
  • Thanks for the tips guys.
    Following the reviews in this months magazine, l have gone for the Polar RS 100. Will let you know how l get on with it.
  • TomTom Multisport is another option. but i will be looking to get a HR monitor built in to the watch next time.


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