Friday, April 1, 2011

I'm going to waste my money on an HRM

A heart rate monitor, depending on who you listen to, is an indespensible piece of training equiptment, or useless deadweight on your run.

Polar FT1
I debated for awhile, as I don't think it's going to be a huge boost to my training, and I didn't want to spend $100, but I found the Polar FT1 has a chest strap, is highly rated for accuracy, measures current, average, and maximum HR in a workout, and is only $59.99 at a store near me

Timex Zone Trainer
Reviews critique the one button interface and the cheap wristband, but I'm not complaining at $60.  The $100 Timex with more buttons and a nice strap does not have a maximum HR per workout function, runs it's calculations a bit off, and has quality control issues.  (Seems every so many are just not put together right and have to be returned.)

If you're not insisting on a chest strap/target zone training, there's a $20 finger contact one with pedometer included at Sam's Club in the vitamin/med/weight loss section.  I didn't consider this an option, as if I just wanted a fingertip test while not running, I can use the wall mounted one at the track for free.
I expect to not use the HRM much after transitioning from run/walk to all running, but might use occasionally for pacing when trying to increase endurance.

I dowloaded a book sample on heart rate training and couldn't stand the author.  He was making assumptions about me as an athelete that were not true, which led me to believe that buying the full book wouldn't benefit me much. 

With no concrete training goals, I can adjust my HR target values based on preceved level of effort remembered after the workout.  My goal is to increase duration and regularity of my workouts.  If I need a day off after a workout, that's too hard.

Several formulas that give me MHR from 177-189 (turning 33 this month)

Helpful zone calculators