Heart rate monitors

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Heart rate monitors

Postby mcdonnellms » Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:38 am

I've just finished reading
"CLIMBING: Training for peak performance" By Clyde Soles.
I really want to get back in the shape I was in while a Marine. :D

It sounds like a heart rate monitor could be a very useful tool to help with that goal. I plan to climb Ranier in the spring of 2009 and would love to also do Aconcagua. Endurance and stamina are my goals obviously. I was in my best shape in my early 30's (sub 20 minute 5K's :shock: ) but that was almost 20 years ago.

Can anyone recommend a good monitor at a reasonable price?


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Postby Gary Brady » Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:42 pm

I have purchased 2 HR Monitors. I purchased a Polar model about 10 years ago. I recently puchased a Nike Triax model from Sports Authority. Both models operate with excellent quality. What you spend is totally dependant on bells and whistles. I also would say the additional options are not worth the money. All I want to know, is what is my heart rate. I really don't need to know all the other additional information concerning rate per lap, average stride length, etc.
You guys have fun climbing this weekend. I can't go. Lumbergh's gonna have me come in on Saturday, I just know it.

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Postby thebeave7 » Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:46 pm

Personally I only find a HRM really useful if I'm trying to train at or near my threshold. If you just want to get into better shape, just go out and jog/run at a pace where you feel you are pushing yourself, but not laboring so hard you are having trouble maintaining a good breathing pattern. I've stopped using my HRM because I don't find that it really benefits me. Just go run and hike, listen to your body, and enjoy the mountains.
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Postby CG_old » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:20 pm

I've had the same Polar (S710i) for about 6 years now. No problems at all with very heavy use (about 15-20 hours a week). I'd highly recommend the brand and will personally purchase another...

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Postby rijaca » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:35 pm

I have a Polar FS1, the 'cheapest' of the Polar HR monitors. No fancy bells or whistles, just HR, ave HR for duration of exercise, and you can set monitoring 'limits'. Works extremely well. I wear it when I train, but leave it at home when I climb.

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Postby UrsaMajor » Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:14 pm

I picked up a Polar S625X earlier this year and have been very happy with it. I was training for Kili and found it to be a big help for showing measurable results. I've used it mostly for running and biking. It can track altitude and has come along for the occasional hike, but not too frequently b/c wearing the chest strap for several hours gets old.

It was pretty pricey, but I waited to pull the trigger until REI sent me a "20% off one item" coupon.

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Postby rollin » Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:46 pm

I like the Polar brand and own the basic model that gives heart rate and time. One plus is that most gym cardio equipment can read the signal from the Polar chest strap.
It definately helps me push myself when training. I keep an eye on the monitor and if my heart rate is below the intesity I want to work out at, I go harder.
Last edited by rollin on Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby mcdonnellms » Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:22 pm

I know the Garmin ones track milage. What about Polar?

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Postby UrsaMajor » Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:39 pm

My Polar came with a "foot pod" that attaches to the top of your shoe and measures distance via that sensor. I have to confess that I don't have a lot of experience using the foot pod thing because it's relatively large and I more often than not use my Nike+ ipod sensor instead.

Here's the foot pod

From what I recall when I was looking at the Forerunner 305, Garmin sells a similar item for when you don't have a GPS signal.

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Postby 2_Salukis » Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:41 pm

I've had about a dozen different Polars over the last dozen years+, and found that they aren't as reliable as I want. The battery dies without warning, erratic measurements, non-user replaceable transmitter battery, etc. It got so bad that I ended up getting "spares" for when they inevitably started acting up. The final straw was when I had zero heartrate for the entire Paris Marathon. Grrrr. But to Polar's credit, their customer service has always been great, and out of the 7-8 times that I've sent them in for repair, I've only been charged once.

I finally tried Garmin (301) and have been happy with them. Plus it has the benefit of GPS to get accurate mileage. The downside is that the rechargeable battery doesn't last much longer than 14 hours. So far that hasn't been a problem for me, once I got in the habit of recharging it as a matter of routine.

The benefit of a HRM is that your body can easily fool you into thinking that you're working harder than you actually are, or visa versa. From most training programs I've seen, most people don't train hard enough on their hard days, or ease off enough on their recovery days. A HRM will help with that.

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Postby newbieMike » Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:25 pm

I would also think about think about what other things you want to do with it. If you want to bike and run look for a heart rate monitor that's included with those activities. I also like the HR monitor with a Garmin Forerunner( I think 201) that way I can use it on climbs to so I have elevation and mileage.

If you are looking for one for all activities, look at the Polars.


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HR monitors

Postby Hobopoet » Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:09 am

I found a good, basic heart rate monitor through one of the mail order bicycle places. (Bike Nashbar?) Can't remember which one, though. But it worked fine until I lost the receiver!


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