Heart Rate Monitors anyone?

I was told by someone in the know that these things are especially good for more accurate training regimes, I.e. As everyone's body is different one can train according to how ones own body is behaving. So.... I was wondering whether anyone else out there is using one and whether they find it useful and reliable. I have an Android phone so it would nice to be able to link to a suitable app....

Thanks for all replies and Happy Running!

16 Replies

  • I got a cheap running watch and heart monitor from Aldi in their current cycling promo. It plots heart rate , distance, etc and all for 60. I think you need a pc or laptop though.....

  • Does that ALDI watch monitor and display continuous heartrate?? I read some where that many/most/all watch type HRMs need to have a button pushed to read a single instantaneous reading???

    Many HRMs have a chest belt that talks to its own watch display. The problem with the HRMs that talk to Android phones and their Apps is that the phone MUST have Bluetooth Version4 ( often called Bluetooth Smart) to work. Unless you already own a very latest and expensive Android phone with Bluetooth 4 , and then have to but the HRM itself, it becomes an expensive exercise to go down that route.

    I have a cheapish chest belt type HRM with its own watch - I found it very handy to have in the early days of my running to give me an idea of what my heart was doing under different levels of exertion ( as I was nervous of overcooking myself). I find that I don't really need it now. .

  • Thanks Bazza. Luckily I do have a phone with Bluetooth v4 compatibility so I guess that is still an option to investigate.

  • The aldi watch lets you customise the display and gives a continuous reading of heart rate through the strap. I have it set up to show distance, heart rate and calories - one setting slowly cycles through all the recorded data on each screen if you want to. Connecting it to the pc allows you to customise what you see and then uploads the data to an interface that shows google earth mapping. You can see where you were on the run and what your heart rate was and all manner of data - distance, heart rate, altitude!, average lap time, time above, below and in the heart rate zone you've chosen....it seems to do all the things a garmin etc would do.

  • What strap are you talking about? - the watch strap or a chest type strap??

  • It's a wireless chest strap that connects to the watch...

  • I have an inexpensive HRM made by Polar. It consists of a watch and chest strap. My cardiologist suggested this, as I am being monitored for an arrhythmia. I basically use the chest strap only when I am on the cardios at my gym, as they interface with the machines and I don't need to hold on to the hand sensors. This makes sense because when your are running outdoors you don't hold on to anything. I get a more natural running experience indoors and can monitor my heart rate.

  • I use one all the time. I got one to use with my treadmill and I also bought a more fancy one when I bought myself a new Garmin watch.

    Some people like to train using heart rate zones and a HR monitor etc. I bought one initially because when I was training at a gym a couple of years ago (whilst I was on long term sick), the instructor mentioned that he felt my heart rate was a little on the high side. I subsequently visited my GP who said everything was fine. However, I wanted a way of monitoring my heart rate during c25k so I bought the heart rate monitor.

    The one I have now for my Garmin watch gives me loads more data and information on a lot of other things other than heart rate monitoring which I wouldn't have access to without it.

  • That sounds interesting Paul. Which model do you have and how long have you had it?

  • I bought a Garmin Forerunner 620 watch and the heart rate monitor is specific to that watch (and possibly the Garmin 220) in order to access the extra features on these watches. If you bought a different watch then you wouldn't need this type of heart rate monitor. You can get must cheaper watches/HR monitors depending on what you want. I've had mine for about a month now. Here's a link to the watch/HR monitor I have:



  • Wow! That looks like an impressive piece of kit. Do you find yourself using all the functions or just a few of the main ones?

  • I'm using a fair few and really like studying the data after runs and comparing my progress ie VO max data, recovery/rest info, race time predictor etc.

    I also find the extra features offered by pairing this HR monitor to the watch interesting and helpful ie cadence, vertical oscillation, ground contact time etc.

    There are other features such as the virtual traing partner and setting upper/lower limits for pace/heart rate etc, that I haven't used but will do as and when my training changes and they will become useful. In other words, I'll use more/different features as my running/training develops.

  • I have a HRM which came as a pack with my Garmin Forerunner 110, its easy to use and works well. I didn't use it on every run but because I have a heart problem its reassuring to check HR every now and again. Aftabs (on here) used/uses one a lot with his running training and I believe he sets his rate not to exceed a certain level etc. He would be able to advise better than me on their benefits I'm sure.

    Good luck with your research. Oh by the way the HRM I have is compatible with my VivoFit (Garmin) but I'm lead to believe you can Pair most HRM with many other devices.

  • Thanks Oldgirl. I guess I am not into spending hundreds of pounds just yet until I know what I want (and equally what I don't need)! I suspect that what I am after is something that gives real time feedback on which heart rate zone I am in when running. That way I can avoid stressing the heart to much and get the most out of my training....

  • I like the Wahoo app as the heart rate display is nice and big and easy to see if I wear the armband on my forearm. I have also just discovered the Argus app which is a pretty good alround app and can link to hrms.

  • One problem I found with heart rate training -- I hate having to look at the watch all the time so I can and have set mine to beep if I am running too fast or too slow. HOWEVER - depending on where I am running (for example where there is traffic close by) I have some difficulty hearing the beeps coming out of the watch .

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