Autarchy of the Private Cave

Tiny bits of bioinformatics, [web-]programming etc

    Archive for March, 2016

    Choosing a budget heart-rate monitor for an amateur/casual runner

    26th March 2016

    Beurer PM 25Sigma PC 25.10Polar FT60FPolar M400

    Since 2014 I am participating in a local 5km mass-run (with over 15k participants). My time is between nothing special and fairly good. I will run this year as well.

    Previously, I did not train systematically. I would start only when it was comfortably warm (mid-late April), running 4-6km 1-3 times a week.
    I would also stop training very soon after the run, and definitely stop if it was getting colder (early October).
    After every winter, it actually felt like I am starting my training from scratch.

    Eventually, I have adopted an 18-session training regimen, which I found to be very easy for me, and also very efficient.
    I had also tried to keep training for longer after the run (which is in summer).

    This year, thanks to highly-enthusiastic co-workers, we started light jogging already in January.
    One of my co-workers has a nearly-full set of gadgets, including a heart-rate monitor, and was keeping his pulse under a certain threshold.
    I have only used a very basic Xiaomi Mi Band fitness/sleep tracker before, and got interested in a more quantified self.
    After some reading, I have decided to buy a heart-rate monitor.

    Here are my requirements for a heart-rate monitor:

    • should measure heart-rate well; based on some reading, I’d prefer to have a chest strap: optical pulse measuring is a tad less precise, it may work worse with hairy (man’s) hands, and (for now) I only plan measuring my heart rate when I’m actually running/bicycling, not all day long;
    • should be convenient to use – a wrist display is fine, but carrying a smartphone during a run isn’t;
    • should not be expensive: I do not know yet how useful it will be to me, so I do not want to spend more than 150 EUR on it, so the likes of Polar V800 are, unfortunately, outside the scope of my comparison…

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