HRM - Which One? Polar?


I've been running for 6 months now (upto 30 miles a week) and now find that i fancy a HRM? Are they worth it? Which one? Is the belt restrictive around your chest? Any info would be much appreciated!



  • hi , i had the same problem, but opted for a polar m71ti, which has been v good so far, chest strap is no problem, only problem with mine has been at night as it's doifficult to see readout light function is crap!
    found mine a good training tool in conjunction with sally edwards hrm book, which i got from amazon.
    helps motivate a bit too which is always a problem for lazy me!
    best of luck
  • I find that a HRM is a fantastic training tool. Can really make the most of your training sessions by doing the right amount of work.

    I've got the Timex one - have had no problems with it.

  • GOMW,
    This subject keeps on cropping up in these forums. Try doing a search on 'HRM', there is plenty of good advice to be found. I have a Polar M51 and have had no problems so far apart from the odd erractic reading, which is also a separate thread (search for 'erratic').
  • I would generally recommend Polar HRM's as they seem well liked by their owners. I've got a M71ti which I wouldn't recommend. Although it looks nice it lacks basic features like average HR and peak HR. If you opt for one of the titanium models spend the extra and get the M91 ti instead.
  • Thanks for the responses, have gone with a polar 51, after reading through some old threads.

  • nope just about to buy it from sportshoes? whats URWFRC? how much will it cost me?
  • thanks for that!
  • I've just replaced my old Polar Edge (Excellent but basic) with a new Sigma 61 for the same price as a chest strap for the Polar. It promised lots - equivalent to M51/2, but I regret it already, with weedy bleep and small display, complicated to use. At least it is a cheap waste of money!
  • Recently bought a Polar S410 - excellent! Love it to bits. Definitely well worth the extra, since you can download all date to PC and check out how you've been improving... or not... hmm..! :)
  • I bought a Ciclosport HRM & I'm very impressed. Even the most basic model, which I have, shows max HR, which I couldn't find on any other cheap HRM.
  • Santa brought me the M52, easy to use and the belts not restrictive. The own zone function and fitness test work a treat, although i think it is more geared up to weight loss. So far very happy, just looking to buy a book from sally whats her face!
  • I'll back LaaLaa,

    The Polar S410 (though a bit pricey at around £140) is the cheapest model in the range from which you can download data onto your PC. It comes with its own software, and probably has enough features to keep you entertained for quite a while if you're technologically minded. You'll need a good book on heart rate training though since, as you'll gather from various threads, it can get a little complicated. I guess you're at that stage where you will really benefit from heart rate training...
  • OOh... know of any decent books, Nick?
    Bought the S410 purely because I'm a techno-freak and visit the gym 5-6 times per week. If it's not there, then it's treading the streets, so to speak.. :)
    Really wanted to be sure I wasn't overdoing it and keeping to my suggested percentages and so on.
  • I reckon the Cardiosport range knocks spots of anything else. I have had the Excel for 7 years and it's never let me down and hardly ever needs batteries
  • LaaLaa,

    Yes, "Precision Heart Rate Training", Edmund R. Burke Editor; published by Human Kinetics is fairly decent. The advise is clear and easy to follow. It's also the 'unofficial' Polar manual.
    Good luck with the training.

    P.S. Don't you just love downloading your HR data onto your computer, and printing those graphs... I give them as presents to my wife... It's just like that scene in The Big Blue.
  • Nick... are you sure you're alright???!
    Tried showing the other half my charts first time I used it... he wasn't all that excited, I have to say. Are you SURE she likes them?? ;-)
    p.s Thanks for advice about the book. Also been to that like you suggested, which is all very good advice. Ta much!
  • Nick's wife here!: Yes! I like them all right! OK. The graph in itself is not much to get high about; but with a little imagination... I wouldn't enjoy any other present half as much!
  • Hmmm... methinks...
    Nah! :)
    Personally, I'm just ever so pleased that you're both so much into figures... ;-)
  • My wife Flatlines as soon as i mention my heart rate....might as well forget the graph's!
  • LaaLaa and Nick (and Nick's wife) - what port do you use to download to the PC? I have just been reading up on all the models and it says you need a microphone and speakers for the S410. Surely not? Please explain!
  • Ratcatcher,

    With the S410, you do download via a microphone... surprisingly, it works quite well... Ithink the S610 uses a USB port (or a microphone).
  • Ratcatcher,
    I've also just found (after a month of using it daily) the recovery heart rate function too. This thing has more doo dahs than you could ever become bored with. It's great! plus, if you're really into laps, then you'll get not only an average HR for EACH lap you do, but also the max. Good luck with your choice!
  • Thanks, LaaLaa and Nick. I have just about set my mind on the S210. The microphone bit sounds weird to me (what if I cough while I'm downloading? what if the phone rings?) but my other half says he is happy to do without the little graphs :-)
  • Ratcatcher,

    I personnaly think you are making a mistake. The downloading feature on the S410 has got to be its main selling point (the ability for ex. to review your HR data after a race minute by minute -or rather every 15secs or so). The downloading only takes 5/10 secs or so, and if you get it wrong (which is easy to do) you can try again as many times as you want... The thing also works both way: you can download sample sessions from your PC onto your HRM, and I have found that this was MUCH easier to do than programming the watch directly.
    I can't remember what the price difference is, but if I were you, I would seriously reconsider.

    Having written all that, after the initial excitement, I now very seldom use my HRM, and a £40 model (or even no HRM at all) would have all the features I need... But this all depends on whether you're a techno buff at all, and whether you actually intend to use your HRM for specific jogs, tempo runs and speed sessions (in which case, as I said, I would go for the S410). In hindsight, for the kind of runner I am, I probably would have benefitted more from a SDM.

    Sorry to confuse the issue,
    Happy shopping!
  • Also, There's a thread by Pete Dowling here somewhere, who is selling a S610 for the price of a S410. Well worth a look at if you ask me, though maybe a bit overpriced....
  • NickJ,
    Thanks for that. I can't remember what the price comparison between the S210 and S410 is, but I promised myself the S410 if it was £20 or less more than the S210 and it was over that. My problem is I don't need a new HRM - I have a perfectly good one, it is just very old. I have already had to do battle with my conscience, and it might just win on this one. I will give it some more serious thought now though.
  • Ratcatcher,

    Check Start Fitness: Polar S210: £115 ; Polar S410: £135
    (and no, I do not have any shares in Polar, in case you wondered ;-) )
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