I am looking to track time, distance, hear rate, heart zone, calories, etc. I mostly run outdoors, but also lift weights and do cardio indoors. Any suggestions? What you like, don't like?
First of all, great question! It is one that I constantly find myself going back to. While I cannot say one brand is better than the other; I realize this leaves you still in the lurch, as its been several long weeks of research on which watch is better for myself I can at least confidently share some hopefully helpful information. It’s a monumental task to figure out which is perfect for your lifestyle. As a Tri-athlete I still haven’t come to conclusion to make a purchase. Most importantly in today’s economic climate you have to present a budget and try to stick within it. As you look to add additional features to the watch you begin to rack up the net price. I say net price because the base price of most watches isn’t terribly expensive (lets say 200 to 350) but when you want to track miles, mph, calories, speed, distance, GPS maps, heart rate, zone heart rate etc…(the list can go on and on) you can very easily cross the $500. That’s a lot of green for athletic watch! I digress, I would recommend going with a middle range Polar watch one of the FT (stand for Fitness & Cross-Training) models. Buy one from a retailer with an excellent return policy so if you try the watch and hate it you can at the very least return it (obviously before purchasing find out the return policy). As a cheap alternative I would recommend the Nike+ product (runs you about $30 bucks relying on that you already own an ipod) this keeps track of distance, pace, calories, and lets you log your runs/work outs online at nikeplus.com. I purpose this as an alternative way to determine if you really need all that additional data that a watch along with a heavy dollar invest can provide you with. Let me know if you decide to pull the trigger on the watch thing. Good luck with you decision. All the best.
Best device in what? Climbing, running, skiing? For running, the best running shoes I could think of is mizuno. For Skiing, it should be spyder jackets. For basketball, its molten.
Personally I prefer Garmin to Polar. The FR60 is a great intro level heartrate moniter and while it doesn't use GPS is will allow you to track your workouts when indoors (with GPS you can't can pace and distance information on many indoor tracks). If you really want GPS then the 210 with HR moniter is great but their really amazing watch is the new 610. It gets rave reviews and uses a touch screen. This will be my next watch.
Polar recently came out with the first really functional underwater HR moniter and GPS watch but for the price and easy to use features I prefer the Garmin products.
There are two technologies by which to track distance – accelerometers and GPS. We have not been able to conclusively prove over time that one technology is more accurate than the other. Accelerometers track distance running or walking. For cycling you can use either GPS or traditional magnet sensor technology.
Since you lift weights and cross-train the cardio I think you would be best suited to Polar – maybe the FT60 or the FT80 because they have the best heart rate data and gym equipment integration. With either watch you can add the S1 foot pod or the G1 GPS to track distance running. Remember the GPS is only good outdoors whereas the foot pod works indoors or outdoors. Polar also has some great training videos that help you use these watches more advanced features.
The FT80 is the only heart rate monitor we have found that includes an implicit strength training program that helps you recover just the right amount between sets.
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