Speed. Pace. Distance. These words pound through your head as your feet pound the pavement, mile after mile. When training for a marathon or triathlon or any other long distance event, it is important to properly prepare so that, mile after mile, you keep the pace without injuring yourself. A heart rate monitor watch is the perfect tool to track distance, time, pace and, most importantly, your heart rate. Knowing your heart rate during training is essential because specific heart rate zones accomplish different tasks: recovery, weight loss or endurance. By knowing your heart rate and which zone you are in, you can either pick up the pace or slow down.
But how can you choose the best heart rate monitor from the overwhelming selection? That’s where we come in. We’ve picked out the top 10 best heart rate monitor watches and compiled them into a side-by-side matrix to make comparing them easy. We’ve also written articles on heart rate monitor watches to add to your research arsenal.
Picking out a heart rate monitor watch is basically the same for any skill level. The features you prefer may be different, but whether a seasoned athlete or a newbie, you should look at functionality, specifications, features, and help and support. You want a heart rate monitor watch that not only looks good, but will also help you become a faster, stronger performer. Our favorites are the Polar RS100, the Garmin Forerunner 110 and the Soleus GPS 3.0. These watches are equipped with the latest in monitoring technology that will aid in your training and propel you past the competition.
We used the following criteria to compare the top products:
Heart rate monitor watches are essentially tiny computers conveniently located on your wrist. These babies can track the distance you run and the calories you burn during workouts, and they can give accurate readings using your personal stats. The best monitors allow you to enter in height, weight, age, etc., to create specialized heart rate target zones according to what you can handle. An included transmitter wraps around your chest and during your training, when certain heart rate zones are reached, the watch will alert you to either speed up or slow down. After your run, a training summary will be recorded for you to review later. The best heart rate monitors come with an online training program that you can sync your watch to and track your progress.
Because a heart rate monitor watch is your source for tracking training sessions and measuring improvement, it is important for it to have sufficient memory capacity to hold all of your data. Don’t settle for anything less than 20 hours of memory. The same goes for battery life; a reliable watch is only as good as its battery. Remember that with a heart rate monitor, you have the watch and the transmitter’s batteries to worry about. We prefer watches with at least a two-year battery life or the option to be recharged. Most of the heart monitor watches have the same measuring range of 15 to 240 beats per minute and are accurate to within one BPM – this consistency makes it easier to focus on other key elements. Different sizes of watch faces, strap lengths and color are available for men or women.
They say the devil is in the details, and with heart rate monitor watches, they couldn’t be more right. Included features are what set the best watches apart from the pack. We are suckers for handy inclusions like GPS, keylock and a backlight. A GPS option means the watch can more accurately track your distance. But what you really want to look for is a heart rate monitor watch that has data transfer features. These watches connect to your computer and record all of the data from your runs. The best heart rate monitor brands even have training programs available that help you track your progress and tell you how to improve.
Help & Support
As with any electronic device, good help and support from the manufacturer is key. Look for a heart rate monitor watch whose manufacturer backs up the product with at least a one-year warranty, online training programs, tutorial videos and several methods of contact.
With a heart rate monitor watch you no longer need to stress about pace or distance. You’ve put in the hours and hours of training and now you’re ready to finish strong. Let the watch worry about the details while you enjoy the thrill of the race.
At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™