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  1. #1
    mac
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    Heart Rate Monitor for Running + some Bicycling?

    I notice that when I'm running, I can easily get my HR up to over 80% by taking longer and faster strides - H.I.I.T. Run hard, rest, run hard, rest, etc. I breathe a lot harder and feel like I had a great workout. However, when I'm cycling, I can't seem to / don't know how to push myself harder to get the same effect as a running. So I was thinking of getting a HRM to try to get the same intensity from cycling as from running.

    Any recommendations on some of the top-of-the-life HRMs for running that can also be used for bicycling and possibly swimming? I'd like to import the data into an Excel spreadsheet after my workout to plot charts, etc.

    Also, how does a HRM work? Is there a wireless connection between the device and whatever is attached to my body? And what is attached to my body, a band around the chest? How does it stay in place and not fall when running, swimming, and cycling?
    Last edited by mac; 10-18-06 at 02:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac
    I notice that when I'm running, I can easily get my HR up to over 80% by taking longer and faster strides - H.I.I.T. Run hard, rest, run hard, rest, etc. I breathe a lot harder and feel like I had a great workout. However, when I'm cycling, I can't seem to / don't know how to push myself harder to get the same effect as a running. So I was thinking of getting a HRM to try to get the same intensity from cycling as from running.

    Any recommendations on some of the top-of-the-life HRMs for running that can also be used for bicycling and possibly swimming? I'd like to import the data into an Excel spreadsheet after my workout to plot charts, etc.

    Also, how does a HRM work? Is there a wireless connection between the device and whatever is attached to my body? And what is attached to my body, a band around the chest? How does it stay in place and not fall when running, swimming, and cycling?
    You can't get you heart rate up cycling? That seems...odd (not meaning to be critical as that sounds). Could it be a matter of concentration? In which case a HRM would help tremendously.

    I don't know enough to recommend a brand, but a HRM with zone alarms (too high, too low) would be nice (my HRM only does instantaneous, and I have to look down frequently to see if I'm still in the right zone). With mine, there is a chest strap that measures the electrical pulses in your chest (really) and sends the info wirelessly to the receiving unit. The strap is elastic -- never had trouble with it slipping (while riding).

  3. #3
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    I've found that my HR is a solid 15+ BPM higher for any percieved effort running than it is cycling. It's due to having to support your bodyweight completely while running, whereas cycling you have only the movement of your legs to drive your HR up.

    It also took me a good season of real, dedicated training to be able to get my HR up in cycling. I'm not sure whether it was due to needing that much training to build leg muscles that were capable of needing that much blood/oxygen or if it took me that long to develop the mental focus needed to sugger enough to drive my HR up.

  4. #4
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    You don't really need a HRM for swimming, not even if you're training for Ironman distance. Swim training consists of plenty of L3-L4 intervals between 100M and 400M. You do one long IM day (or distance swim if you're not a competitive swimmer) each week.

    A good one to get would be the Timex Speed and Distance system with datalink. You want the trail runner version with altitude.

    Either that or get the Garmin 305, but you can't wear it around like a watch. That'll be ubergeeky.

  5. #5
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    I have a Sigma Sport and can use it for running and cycling. And as others have mentioned, your HR will be a bit higher for running. But that doesn't mean you aren't getting a good workout from cycling.

    So basically there are two parts to a HRM. There is a chest strap and a receiver that looks like a large dorky watch. The chest strap shouldn't move around at all if you have it adjusted right. It is surprisingly comfortable. The watch part can be put on your bike with the included mounting device or can be worn as a watch. The Sigma sport can be worn in the pool, but NOT after you change the battery. It WILL leak. You have to take it to a watch shop or jeweler to get it changed.

    And if you aren't getting a hard workout on the bike you aren't going fast enough. Do some hills, go longer, or do some intervals...or do all three!

    What do you currently ride? Time, distance, average speed, cadence, terrain, wind conditions, etc...?
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
    mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcl8a
    You can't get you heart rate up cycling? Could it be a matter of concentration?
    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    What do you currently ride? Time, distance, average speed, cadence, terrain, wind conditions, etc...?
    When I'm in the street, my main concentration is the traffic: cars, trucks, 18-wheelers, etc. It's hard to focus on anything else. But when I'm on my trainer, I can focus, but need some guidance.

    I find that I can ride for a couple hours or so and still feel like I have some energy left, but when I'm pushing myself to run in bursts for an hour, I'm really spent. I'd like to get that same feeling from riding, even on a stationary bike.

  7. #7
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac
    When I'm in the street, my main concentration is the traffic: cars, trucks, 18-wheelers, etc. It's hard to focus on anything else. But when I'm on my trainer, I can focus, but need some guidance.
    No, no. Don't go getting yourself run over -- it's terrible for your heart rate. A monitor seems like just the solution: something to remind you how hard you need to go so you can focus on other things.

  8. #8
    Scottish Canuck in the US blue_nose's Avatar
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    I use a Garmin Forerunner 305 for both cycling and running. The FR305 is a GPS based training device and is a good cycling computer - includes a heart-rate monitor. I highly recommend, but it is a bit pricey:

    http://www.garmin.com/products/forerunner305/


    In terms of your observation about your heart rate, as you alluded to, you are probably not exerting yourself enough. Cycle harder and your heart rate will climb.

    Personally, the easiest way to do this is to go a find some hills and climb. I find my perceived effort for an average run to be “harder” than an average cycle. However, throw some climbing in the mix and cycling can easily produce the same amount (or higher) level of exertion.

  9. #9
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    Polar makes watch styles that can be used both as a cycle computer and an independent HRM. I have the 720i, which is great, but you're in a pretty pricey price range - $250+.

    As for getting your heart rate high enough, I would bet that your cadence is low. If you are riding a cadence in the 70 RPM range (or lower), it will be hard to get your heart rate up. If you ride at a higher cadence, you should have little trouble getting your heart rate up high. You can count revolutions for 10 seconds and multiply by 6 to get your cadence, or some computers will measure it for you (it's an option on the 720i).
    Eric

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    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
    Like climbing? Goto http://www.bicycleclimbs.com

  10. #10
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    I am also considering getting a hrm.According to consumerreview,roadbike, and mountain bike review,the Sigma brand is a good choice.The people who owned them were very happy with them, they cost less and you can change the batteries yourself.I have read that polar and some other brands have to be sent back to the manafacturer for battery changes.

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