I have to admit, it may be my German genes, but I have a love for technology when it comes to running. If there is anything that got added to running in terms of technology, it has been the use of a heart rate monitor.
Before you go out and buy one to compliment your running, I have a few things to suggest for you to consider before adding it to your training. First off, the heart rate monitors itself. Before you go out and paid $300 plus for a heart rate monitor, I would caution against making that kind of investment.
20 years ago, you really only had one manufacturer that did HRM right – Polar. But now, there are more choices from more manufacturers than we count. But for running, I have three that I would recommend – Garmin, Polar, or Timex. These are listed in terms of what size wallet you have. But for pure accuracy, I have used all three side-by-side and all of them are within one beat of each other if not the same beat reading. Suunto is good for a watch that puts style with function, but its user interface doesn't work for you.
Decide what you want (besides a heart rate reading) and buy one. If this is your first watch, keep it under $100, unless you are looking for something that will keep track of your distance also.
Besides going out and buying a watch, I'm going to give you one other item to think about before tomorrow's blog where I will give you a way to have an accurate reading. Don't go with the calculation that you see written on the Fitness Center walls – which are 220 minus your age for your top rate and then multiple times 60% to give you an exercise zone. Tomorrow, we will discuss the Kevorkian formula, which will give you the best way to use your heart rate in your training.