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Old 07-18-05, 09:35 PM   #1
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An all-purpose heart rate monitor?

I THINK I want to buy one of these heart rate gadgets. Can you guys tell me what features you REALLY use? I know my heart rate will rise when I pedal faster, harder, or up will seeing this graphically help? I figure some sort of audible alarm to help me figure out which gear causes the least heart rate increase might be informative...still, can't you tell that when you can't breathe? --you just shift to an easier gear when your body says "no more of this!" :-) All joking aside, the only major benefit I can see from reading about these things is to actually keep me from over-training. Is this true? Finally, is there one watch that is useful in running, swimming, and biking...or do you have to get several different ones?

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Old 07-18-05, 10:37 PM   #2
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Polar has a lot of models, I have the A5 model and I like it a lot. It's water resistant so I can wear it while swimming. I wore it my first tri and it was nice to see how my heart rate reacted versus how I was feeling. I haven't worn it in a while mostly because I forget to put it on. But it's nice to know how many calories you burned. I wouldn't go with one that had all the bells just because you don't really need all the features IMO and they are just more expensive. The A5 is about $100 and is really easy to use. My friend has the Polar S520 (about $260) and it has a cycling feature and you can download the info to your pc. Whatever...I wouldn't be able to figure that out anyway!! I can't figure out how to make mine stop beeping at me when I go over my AT!!!!
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Old 07-25-05, 09:19 PM   #3
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The Polar S625X works equally well on the bike as on the run. It is designed as running computer (with pace, elevation, etc.), but with the addition of a speed sensor for the bike, I used for everything. My wife (triathlete) uses her S625x for swimming as well.
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Old 08-06-05, 10:38 PM   #4
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A HR monitor basically tells you what level intensity you're working at. For example if you are training for performance, you wanna be hitting close to 80% and above of your maximum heart rate (which you can estimate or determine doing a maximal aerobic test). If you're going for cardio fitness, somewhere around 60-80%. You can just look at improving your performance by going all out everytime you train, but there is a tendency to sacrifice intensity when you are feeling tired. A HR monitor lets you know whether you are in the "zone" or whether you're taking it too easy. For really long distance activity, you can use a HR to actually control your HR at a level you need to be to complete the activity, say a marathon or a really long ride. You don't wanna be pushing yourself too hard too early. Kinda helps with the pacing.

Or as Princess mentioned, you can calculate your calories burned!
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