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5036 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Sep 18, 2010 4:22 PM by BowieLinda RSS
Daisydoc Rookie 5 posts since
Dec 29, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 31, 2010 2:29 PM

Best Heart Rate Monitor/ Pace Tracker??

HI All!

 

I've been seriously running for about two years now.  I run a half marathon every 3-4 months and some shorter races in between.  One problem for me has always been pacing myself.  Lately my running partner has been wearing her basic heart rate monitor  which has helped "pace" us.  I use Nike+ (which I am not thrilled about because the distance is not accurate - example: ran a half on sunday and it came out reading 13.55 miles instead of 13.1 so my pace was conpletely inaccurate!  And it has syncing issues sometimes so I have "lost" close to 100 miles worth of runs which don't show up on my Nike+ account) but like having my music.

 

Future plans are to meet my PR and break it and then do a full marathon.  In order to do that I really need to have the help of something pacing me.

 

So which is the best heart rate monitor/ pace tracker out there?  Garmin? Polar? Another company?

 

I'm not interested in altitude or major GPS tracking.  Just want to track heart rate, pace, time, distance, etc... and don't have a ton of money to drop.

 

Thanks for the advice!

  • Surfing_Vol Legend 848 posts since
    Nov 6, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 31, 2010 8:35 PM (in response to Daisydoc)
    Re: Best Heart Rate Monitor/ Pace Tracker??

    You're asking a heart rate monitor to do what a gps does.  An HR monitor measures your exertion, as indicated by your HR.  A GPS shows how fast you are going, regardless of your exertion level.  A combined GPS/heart rate monitor does both.  If you're running where it's really flat, a HR monitor can substitute for a GPS, but only to the extent that your HR remains steady while you run.

     

    There are good reviews of the Garmin 305, which does both HR and GPS work.  A problem with Garmin units, though, are complaints about losing sound due to sweat.  http://community.active.com/thread/108232/garmin-no-sound/0/0





    Presentation1.jpg

    Surfing Vol

    "Victory through attrition!"

    Charleston Half-Marathon 1/15/2011 -- 1:52:03

    The Scream! Half-Marathon 7/16/2011 -- 1:56:00

  • ActiveWatches Dave Legend 207 posts since
    Apr 13, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Sep 1, 2010 4:11 PM (in response to Surfing_Vol)
    Re: Best Heart Rate Monitor/ Pace Tracker??

    I agree with Surfing_Vol.  If you want to track pace and distance accurately, you'll need a GPS.  As Surfing_Vol said, a heart rate monitor may do the trick if you heart rate stays constant, but impossible for your heart rate to remain constant.  Definitely go with the Garmin Forerunner 305.  It will give you the best bang for your buck.  It does everything you're asking for, including syncing with your computer, all for under $150.  You can't beat it.  You may want to look into Polar if heart rate monitoring is the most important feature for you.  The FT4 and FT7 are great options.  But, again, the 305 will do everything those watches do, plus a GPS.

     

    Good luck.





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  • Surfing_Vol Legend 848 posts since
    Nov 6, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Sep 1, 2010 4:24 PM (in response to ActiveWatches Dave)
    Re: Best Heart Rate Monitor/ Pace Tracker??

    ActiveWatcher,

     

    Do you know anything about the complaints about losing sound?

     

    SV





    Presentation1.jpg

    Surfing Vol

    "Victory through attrition!"

    Charleston Half-Marathon 1/15/2011 -- 1:52:03

    The Scream! Half-Marathon 7/16/2011 -- 1:56:00

  • Beer and Cupcakes Legend 970 posts since
    Nov 19, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Sep 1, 2010 9:24 PM (in response to Daisydoc)
    Re: Best Heart Rate Monitor/ Pace Tracker??

    I bought my wife the new Garmin Forerunner 110,  its small, and does everythign you need.    She loves it,  and Ive been borrowing it more and more over using  GPS sw in my big clunky phone.  I plan on getting my own soon.

     

    http://www.heartratemonitorsusa.com/garmin-110bundle.html





    Virtual Racing Antagonist.  I run for beer and cupcakes.kenyan.jpg

    1 Mile PR 6:44

    5K PR 22:21 

    10K PR 48:30

    Half Marathon PR  1:48:43 

    Marathon PR - 4:09:10  

    i before e except after c, weird?

  • ActiveWatches Dave Legend 207 posts since
    Apr 13, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Sep 2, 2010 5:45 AM (in response to Daisydoc)
    Re: Best Heart Rate Monitor/ Pace Tracker??

    Yes, I've heard a few complaints about the sound loss, which may occur due to sweat entering the tiny speaker hole.  It's definitely an issue that you should watch out for.  If you get a lot of sweat on the watch during a workout, you may want to consider simply wiping it down.  Also note that the 305 is water-resistant, not waterproof.  This means that you can get water on it, but it's not ideal for swimming.  And swimming with it will increase the chances of sound loss.

     

    I agree that the 110 is a great option, especially if you're looking for a watch that's smaller than the 110 (the 305 is annoyingly big to some people).  But it lacks many of the features of the 305, plus the heart rate monitor does not come standard.  You'll have to pay extra for the version that comes with a heart rate monitor.





    ActiveWatches.com - The Place for Sports Watches

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  • ActiveWatches Dave Legend 207 posts since
    Apr 13, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Sep 3, 2010 5:28 AM (in response to Daisydoc)
    Re: Best Heart Rate Monitor/ Pace Tracker??

    One of the notable features absent from the 110 is current pace, which tells you, based on the GPS, how fast you are going at any given time.  Instead, the 110 gives you only average pace, which tells you your average pace over an entire workout or timing session.  Many complain about the absence of current pace, but others are fine with it because it smooths out your pace reading. 

     

    Also, Garmin 305 has the following features that the 110 does not have:

     

    -ability to enter favorite routes and locations

    -compatibility with footpods and bike speed sensors

    -Garmin Virtual Partner, which allows you to compete against an imaginary partner based on your target time and pace

    -Courses Function, which allows you to compare against previous workouts

    -Auto-Pause, Auto-Lap, and Auto-Scroll

    -Multi-sport functions

    -Time/Pace alerts

    and much, much more.

     

    Just compare the "Specs" tab on each of the following websites:

     

    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=63511#specsTab

    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=142&pID=349#specsTab

     

    Don't get me wrong though.  The 110 is a great watch, especially for entry-level watch users or someone who strives on simplicity.  But if you're a data and gadget freak, the 305 is a better option.





    ActiveWatches.com - The Place for Sports Watches

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  • Beer and Cupcakes Legend 970 posts since
    Nov 19, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Sep 5, 2010 10:12 AM (in response to ActiveWatches Dave)
    Re: Best Heart Rate Monitor/ Pace Tracker??

    Just  my observation...    My opinion is instantaeous pace on gps is pretty worthless,  it jumps all over from one second to the next.   The 110 gives you average pace over whatever time period is programmed in as a lap.   Set for 1 mile, typical,  it resets pace every mile beep and starts over displaying avg pace. So for the first 100 yards after a mile beep it jumps around for a short bit basically giving you instantaneous pace.    Then it smooths out fine by .1 mile.  So in practice, for example, at .3 mile you see a number, at .4 miles you'll see it either hold constant or creep up or down based if your pace has slowed down slightly or sped up slightly.  So it becomes very obvious if you are holding, or speeding up or down.   This in my opinion is far more useful than instant pace which is pretty untrustworthy.   Ive tried them both,  this is just my observation.    The other features of the 305 or 405 are nice bells and whistles,  but of dubious value.  Again just my opinion but I think youre better off focusing on your own running form, cadence,  etc.  than playing a computer game on your wrist while youre trying to run. In my case I have been using RunKeeper and Sportypal on a Droid phone.  Works absolutely flawless,  but,.... the phone is big, and to check your pace you have to pull the phone out and turn on the display.  PITA after a while.  With the watch you just peek at your wrist, done.   This is why Im getting one.     Another point on the 110.  Its the latest model from Garmin and is the smallest and has the latest GPS chipset, SIRF2,  so has the best sensitivity.  The top of the line 405 model can actually be found slightly cheaper but is bigger and Ive heard and read some reports of issues with the touch bezel, and the RF stick.    Anyway, after a bunch of research and using and trying them all Im going for the 110.  It's slick, small, simple, works perfectly and gives me the 4 functions I'm looking for, and no more.  Pace, Time, Distance, Heartrate.    Less is more sometimes.  For me anyway, and Im an electrical engineer.  Maybe just tired of all the fancy technological bells and whistles that dont add much value and only complicate things.  My wife has to hunt me down to get her 110 back some days.  LOL.

     

    Anyway, even heartrate Im finding of dubious value and dont use anymore after much frustration.   So there's a 110 without heartrate for 199.    Less 10 for the coupon code at heartratemonitorsusa.com.  Down to 190.





    Virtual Racing Antagonist.  I run for beer and cupcakes.kenyan.jpg

    1 Mile PR 6:44

    5K PR 22:21 

    10K PR 48:30

    Half Marathon PR  1:48:43 

    Marathon PR - 4:09:10  

    i before e except after c, weird?

  • elev8torguy Amateur 24 posts since
    Jun 30, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Sep 11, 2010 1:10 AM (in response to Daisydoc)
    Re: Best Heart Rate Monitor/ Pace Tracker??

    http://bit.ly/coHuka  This guy writes an awesome blog. Among many other topics, he gives great advice on all manner of sport technology, and more to the point GPS watches (with heart rate monitors). I love this blog!

     

    Edit: The FR60 is a slim profile, non GPS option that might work for you. It retails on the garmin site for $99 and coupled with the $60 footpod (for pace/distance tracking both outdors AND indors on the treadmill. You would have to buy this anyway if you had a gps watch but ran indoors occasionally.) http://bit.ly/amIp9N  for his in depth review on it.

  • BowieLinda Pro 136 posts since
    Jul 8, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Sep 18, 2010 4:22 PM (in response to elev8torguy)
    Re: Best Heart Rate Monitor/ Pace Tracker??

    I'm feeling the same dilemma as DaisyDoc.  I'm retired -- meaning I'm now on a fixed income, no longer on my IT guru pay, so I can't afford all of the "toys" I once could freely accumulate :-(.  Also, I'm small of stature, and I've spotted the big Garmin units on several in my running club.  I'm not usually running anywhere I can't map the route for on the web, and I think JimDo's point about instantaneous pace info being less useful than averages, is very well-made.  I even went and looked at the idea of simply getting a Timex Ironman (I have relied on either my treadmill's gauges or my regular wristwatch, gasp! for my own training, and my running club does timings for some of its own events).  This feels a lot like buying my last car!  I don't like the choices of "options packages" available very much.  I'd ideally wait until GPS functions were further miniaturized so I didn't feel weighted to one side, or I guess I'm gonna have to purchase several separate units.  I then will look like some Bionic Woman; happily, I'm not wedded to an iPod or other music player when I run!  Anyway, for now I'm buying nothing, because none of the choices seem to fit what I'm aiming to do.  I'll take a look at the 110 soon and maybe it will be my Christmas gift to myself this year.

     

    Linda





    C25K Training begun (Treadmill) 6/1/10); restarted 7/11/12

    First run OUTDOORS - Club Fun Run 1.75 mile circuit time 26:06:72 on 7/29/10

    Proud C25K Grad, 8/7/10

    College Park Cares 5K Sponsored by Vecna Technologies, Inc. 9/25/10 44:04.4

    Fell off of the regular running routine, experienced the DC Derecho Disaster, and now aiming to get back on track!

    Future:

    Jug Bay Run for Wildlife 5K 11/3/12

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