I have been running or trying to run since October 2010 and having a heart rate monitor has helped me achieve my goals. October was the month I decided to quit smoking. At that time I knew a little about running enough to know that I needed help, a trainer if you will. I invested in a watch not just any watch though. It had GPS and heart monitor band to track my increasing heart rate, at the time during those first months I thought my heart was going to explode, of course it didn’t, but it was sure nice to see my heart rate on display and know my heart was working hard but still in the range for aerobic training. I didn’t know enough to know what kind of watch I needed so I enlisted some help from friends that were also runners and so my research began to find the perfect watch.
Check out the HDP store for a great selection of watches Firstly in the field of heart rate monitors there are three players, Timex well known and trusted it must be good because it takes a “lickin’ and keeps on tickin’”. Timex does a nice job with form and function giving the watch a real soft and light feel. Not to mention the easy to read display and great price point. I give it 5 hearts out of a possible 5 hearts!
Secondly, there is Polar another very popular watch in the running field. However the polar watch remains popular I don't like it due to its bad form. Small visual window and large oversized watch makes it feel off balance so I give the watches a heart down.
Finally, there is Garmin which is well known for their GPS products and also make excellent heart rate monitors. My personal favorite is the Garmin 305, it is a nice balance between form and function. It has good features, however remains a little "clunky" and is slow to pick up the GPS compared to the Garmin 405. It makes the mark becaue of the great price point and it forces you to stretch while you wait for the satellites to be picked up. I'll give the Garmin a 3 hearts up!
What you buy is dependant on what you need, so first determine your need. For example, I needed a watch that kept my time, pace and heart rate so when I train; I train in the proper heart zone. Keeping your heart rate in the proper zone for exercise is very important especially if you had some kind of cardiac procedure that limits your ability. By properly monitoring your heart rate you can keep it so that you don’t over work your heart or if you’re like me, to keep it so your heart doesn’t “explode”. Determine if having a heart rate monitor is important to you, if it is then decide if you need a strap or go strapless.
Need more options for Heart rate monitors check out the HDP store
See…decisions, decisions. Now you can determine an effective price point. Do you need to monitor your pace knowing how fast you doing per mile as it is happening. It is important if your racing or doing a marathon or some other long race where pace is key. However it not necessary to go all out and purchase the top of the line GPS tracking heart monitor watch. If you just plan to walk then maybe keep it simple, like everything in life use the K.I.S.S acronym, Keep It Simple Stupid has always worked for me. If not knowing your pace is important to you then you don’t need GPS and the price goes down from there. Having a watch for me was very important and key to my training as of right now, I am currently running 30 minute for 5 kilometers. I am proud of my accomplishments and you will be too as you meet your goals.