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Gigantic Purple Slug

Heart Rte Monitors

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OK. So I know I've posted a lot on health and fitness recently. Hopefully this will be my last.

A few months ago someone I knew at uni died while running. Don't know the exact details but probably some sort of heart failure. That got me thinking a bit.

When I exercise I like to push myself pretty hard sometimes. Finally figured out that maybe this isn't the smartest thing to do in the world.

According to wikipedia, 220-age is a good estimate of maximum heart rate that you should subject yourself to. So I thought, get one of those heart rate monitors, then you can see the consequences of pushing yourself and whether you are safe.

So any recommendations ? I'd like one that could download to the PC so I can see how the heart rate varies per session. Also I see many use chest straps. This looks like a bit of a pain. Are there any which work without the chest strap (say wrist strap instead) ?

Of course you can see loads of stuff on Amazon, but if anyone has anything they particularly like ...

Thanks.

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Depends how much you wish to buy.

IMPO don't buy a Polar one as many of them have watches and/or belts that you can't change the batteries on.

I foolishly bought the update to my previous Polar - which I could change the batteries on - a few months ago and the update model needs to be sent back to Polar to change the batteries. This was a £90 HRM which, thankfully, was down to £50 on Amazon but when the batteries go I have to send them off to Polar and the cost turns out to be about £45 including postage... for a £3 battery... so I will not be buying Polar again...

(I wrote a review of this on Amazon but Amazon did not publish it)

So Garmin is the make that many people go for nowadays. A friend has a £250 one that has built in GPS and tells him where he is, can download stuff into his PC, etc, but they sell a good one on Amazon for about £50 that is basic but does enough IMPO and it gets good reviews. I will buy that next time.

I bought a cheap one from Lidl last year when my original Polar wnet - cost £18 but it was a waste of £18.

Keeping to heart rates is very important IMPO. Make sure you take some magnesium.

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I wouldn't worry about it. People die all the time. If you are going to pop your clogs due to working hard exercising, there is a good chance you have something wrong in there anyway - and you may well pop it down the local Tescos. Go out in style instead.

Personally I think the body is pretty good at self regulating/warning. I reckon you will feel faint or actually collapse well before your heart is in any serious danger.

Of course, on a rare occasion, a very fit person out running at a steady and unremarkable pace will simply collapse and die. No reason is required. Just like on occasion a brand new spanking 100% tested and verified Volkswagen will break down 50m after it leaves the forecourt.

No point worrying about it IMO. Shit happens. Pushing yourself (within reason) will bring your more positives than negatives. Enjoy it.

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That's what this is about for me. Finding out what "within reason" is.

You will know. When you go over the limit your body will give you a warning seign - your face will be on the pavement. :)

Or you will be physically sick. That is a sure sign that you are pushing the limits. Unless you have a heart condition I would not worry about it (Although I am not a Doctor so don't take my word for it).

Do less people die today out running than 20 years ago when heart monitors were not available ? I doubt it. Just a nice way to make money.

I do fancy getting one myself though - just to track what happens, recovery times and all. Would be interesting to log the details.

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I do fancy getting one myself though - just to track what happens, recovery times and all. Would be interesting to log the details.

15:25 - walking briskly down Rose St - heart rate 125bpm

15:30 - enters the Salt'n Sauce massage parlour - 170 bpm

15:32 - enters the fish pie - 245 bpm

15:33 - 0 bpm

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15:25 - walking briskly down Rose St - heart rate 125bpm

15:30 - enters the Salt'n Sauce massage parlour - 170 bpm

15:32 - enters the fish pie - 245 bpm

15:33 - 0 bpm

How did you know !! I actually did go through a wee period of visiting these establishments a few years back. Although being wasted at the time I usually used up the full half hour and still wasn't done :)

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Oh good - my second favourite topic after shoes :-)

I have a Garmin Forerunner 50, which I bought about 3 years ago - it came with an HRM, but I also bought the Foot Pod to measure distances (it has no GPS).

I purchased it because I am rubbish at determining how hard I am working - my heart rate could be 145 & I'd be thinking the end is nigh & I can't go on. The HRM tells me how hard I am working & to stop being a paranoid tw4t. So as a way to judge effort, I think they are the bees knackers. An article in Runners World last year said the same thing, as it tells you exactly how hard you are working, so allowing you to 'train smarter' or some such lingo.

With that in mind, I bought mine from heartratemonitors.co.uk, as they had the best prices. They also send you a wee book on how to judge your heart rate, zones of exertion etc.

This website is handy too, as it has an Excel calculator for the different zones and explains clearly what they mean:

http://www.brianmac.co.uk/hrm1.htm

In terms of brands, my Garmin Forerunner 50 is a good HRM (battery is replaceable in the HRM unit too), but the Foot Pod is starting to go a bit haywire, and is only accurate on and off now.

Forget Polar, as you cannot change the battery in the HRM strap, so need to chuck it after a year or so & buy another for about £15 (I think - but may be different models now).

The daddy Garmin of them all, the 405, is a wonderful gadget but IMPO, only good if you are a 'serious' runner, training for a marathon, or do a lot of hills. My mate runs in the Lake District, so it ticks all the boxes for him & he loves it. I basically run along the Thames Embankment & in Hertfordshire, so it would be wasted on me. It also has limited battery life (about 8 hours I think in GPS mode), hence why it comes with a charging dock.

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The Garmin Forerunner 50 is IMO an okay piece of kit, especially if you want to record and upload your HRM to PC.

I've got one but sometimes is decides not to wireless sync. I recently started using mine again for spin classes and maybe the battery is going but if I leave it for a week it completely turns off, requiring a date/time reset when woken up again. It's also been noted on the forums that as the strap is a molded part of the watch which is subject to cracking and if it breaks it's whole new watch time. If you're looking for just a simple HR monitor at this price point it's great value. If you plan on getting a footpod to measure distance then don't, pay the cash upfront now and get a:

Garmin Forerunner 305, this is my fave training toy. I got this before the FR50 (which was purchase for the GF so we could compare workout profiles) and is so much more useful. It's GPS enabled but is available for only slightly more than the FR50+footpod, so if you want to work out by speed/pace instead of HR its easy. It has alerts for pace & HR zones. It has a bike & other sport mode allowing it to display speed rather than pace and optional Cadence sensor. It's got got a virtual race partner to compare your self over previous routes/laps. Auto stop/start on speed. Navigation routes that can be uploaded (they are line drawing rather than full on maps) The displays can be configured in each sport mode, to show on of 3 screen, each containing up to four bits of data (Speed, max pace, lap time, time, cadence, HR, alt, distance etc etc).

Downsides: it's bigger than the FR50 and Forerunner 405 Garybug mentions, it's slower at getting a GPS lock as it's previous model to the FR405. Battery last for 8 hours but it has dock for data transfer/charging. You can't swim in it and if you ever do the Liverpool Tunnel 10k then the GPS doesn't work under the Mersey :lol:

For geek points the output via garmin connect looks a lot better with maps than just the HR track.

On a slightly difference note; If you have an ipod then the Nike+ sensor is a cheap way to measure distance and I believe polar?? have just release a Nike+ HR sensor. Personally I didn't like using the Nike+ stuff, probably because the website is sucky and I'm used to having GPS tracks to analysis over. Best bit is hearing Lance Armstrong tell you that you've set a new PB once your finish B)

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Forget Polar, as you cannot change the battery in the HRM strap, so need to chuck it after a year or so & buy another for about £15 (I think - but may be different models now).

I have just bought my second Polar (first one lasted 10 years - still works but looks battered and bruised) and in both models the battery in the belt and the monitor can be changed. I've never needed to change the battery in the monitor, but the battery in the belt needs changing very 18 months or so depending on use.

I looked at the Garmin range but I have the Polar 'bits' on my bike so went with them again and got a discontinued 725x for half normal price.

I like using an HRM as I can monitor the improvement, or otherwise, in my fitness. I have spreadsheets going back 10 years :)

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I wouldn't worry about it. People die all the time. If you are going to pop your clogs due to working hard exercising, there is a good chance you have something wrong in there anyway - and you may well pop it down the local Tescos.

... or, far more likely, having a shag.

Of course, now I've ruined Steve's sex life. What time he doesn't spend doing the 13 times table (he's a young guy, we've all been there :P ), he'll spend watching his heart rate tick up, sending himself floppy every time he hits 90. You've gotta feel sorry for the girl. :D

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... or, far more likely, having a shag.

Of course, now I've ruined Steve's sex life. What time he doesn't spend doing the 13 times table (he's a young guy, we've all been there :P ), he'll spend watching his heart rate tick up, sending himself floppy every time he hits 90. You've gotta feel sorry for the girl. :D

No chance of that. I've been mentally scarred by an encounter with a psychopath. I did think about starting a poll on women vs .w****ing but I though it was a bit OTT for a family forum.

To everyone who posted helpful comments, thanks for the very useful advice. I haven't made my mind up yet ...

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No chance of that. I've been mentally scarred by an encounter with a psychopath. I did think about starting a poll on women vs .w****ing

... yeah, about those handy shadies ... how can I put this ... maybe you might not want to rate your pulse during those either. :(

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  • 141 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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