Following these guidelines will help you select the best heart rate monitor watch for you.
A heart rate monitor watch is a great tool for any runner, and will help you to train smarter and improve more quickly. Tracking and monitoring your heart rate while running, biking or other types of training is a very helpful way to make sure that you are training with the right amount of effort for the workout. Some runners tend to run too slowly all the time, so for them a heart rate monitor will let them know that their body can handle more than it is doing. For others, it is the opposite problem that they have. They tend to push too hard on intervals or threshold runs, and the heart rate lets them know that they are pushing too close to max and they need to slow down. It is very common for runners to “discover” that when they start going uphill their heart rate goes up a lot if they try to maintain the same speed. The HR monitor helps them to figure out how to adjust pace for uphills and downhills.
There are a number of kinds of heart rate monitors available to you. Most athletes and non-athletes alike prefer the kind that can be worn like a watch around the wrist. Even if you do not intend to exercise with it, a heart rate watch is the most convenient for many people.
There are a few different main brands of heart rate monitors. Polar is the most famous, and in fact this company invented the first wireless EKG heart rate monitor in 1977. Other important brands are Timex and Garmin. For a high-quality, low frills heart rate monitor you can expect to pay around $100. For that you can expect a fairly comfortable chest strap, and a watch that is a little bigger than a normal wristwatch, but not overly bulky. It will monitor your heart rate and intensity level throughout your workout and record a continuous flow of data. It will calculate the amount of total exercise time spent in your personal target zone or zones. Most of them are water resistant to 25 or 50m, and include a watch and alarm. They will usually include a heart rate alarm, too, which lets you know when your heart rate goes over, or under, a certain heart rate zone that you specify. The better brands will allow you to set up a couple heart rate zones – a maximum and a minimum.
If you want to get more fancy, you can get a GPS running watch with heart rate monitor included. This is an excellent choice for a higher-end heart rate watch, as it includes all of the benefits of GPS tracking of your workouts as well. I own one such watch and it is by far the best running watch I’ve ever owned. Even if you are only interested in the basic heart rate monitor functionality, you may still want to consider this watch as its heart rate monitoring capabilities are top –quality and very reliable. Plus, when you get feedback afterwards that shows your heart rate throughout the workout alongside information on your running pace and the course elevation changes you get so much more information that will help you in planning out future workouts.
Whichever type of heart rate monitor watch you choose, I suggest ordering it online, as you are generally going to find lower prices. And, if you order from the right places, like Amazon.com, you can usually get the watch you want with free shipping, so it saves you the hassle of having to go out and find the right one. And you can read through all the reviews and see what other peoples experiences have been like, which is always a smart way to go before making a purchase.