distance, pace, heartrate monitors

I've finally realised that I need to be measuring my pace, distances, heartrate and so on.

I cant just carry on guessing or simply using my stopwatch.

Can anyone advise what products are the best. I've noted that there is a Garmin 305 just being launched which I was looking at.

I dont mind spending money if the product is a good one.

I was impressed that in a recent half marathon, one of the guys had such a tool which gave a breakdown of his pace per mile over the whole course at each mile intervals.

...thats what I want.


  • Dave

    In the world of running equipment this is close to being an emotive subject!

    A lot of people on here appear to have very fixed views about whether a footpod system is better or worse than a GPS based system, even though very few people have ever tried both.

    I have never tried a Garmin, but do have a Polar 625x which does everything you require, but does so via a footpod on my shoes rather than by GPS.

    This works for me perfectly, but there are many other alternatives which lots of other people seem to like.

    The only other one I personally would buy (say if I lost my Polar) would be the Suunto T6.

    Good luck with your decision!
  • Dave

    You need to decide on what features you want.

    As an aside, only some tools automatically record your mile split i.e. without you have to press a button every mile.

    I have been using a gps tool from timex which has been fine. However I recently decided I wanted a heart rate monitor as well, so without spending £150+ on a new combined tool, I got a hrm for under £40.

    I am also getting the book
    Heart monitor training for the compleat idiot by Parker. There have been a great number of recommendations for this book on these boards.

    Oh I prefer the gps tool because with the footpod things, I think you need to have a constant stride length, especially going up/down hills, which I certainly don't.
    But with the gps, if you lose the signal (i.e. in area with tall buildings/trees), then the distance measured and hence speed will be less than the true total. I can live with that as I know I have done as a minimum what is recorded on the monitor.
  • thanks Guys, much appreciated.

    I'll take a look at the details that you advise and see what suits best.

    I guess the basic aim for me is to start monitoring my heart rate to ensure that I am training right.

    Secondly I'd like to be able to monitor my pace during a race such that I'll reach my target end time for a half marathon, without all the guesswork of last weekend.

    thanks anyway.
  • Certainly agree with GoldenOldie,

    I've used the Timex and my wife has the POlar RS200SD, I've also used the POlar 625X. I haven't used the Garmin or Navman...

    They all have pros and cons.

    I rarely find anyone who seriously uses their Speed part of the SDM in a race. It's not difficult to click your watch every mile as you go past the marker... This and your heart rate is enough to get your race stuff right... If you know how you heart responds in training this is the most valuable thing to my mind. E.g. I know I can maintain 179-182 bpm for a 10K, but only about 175 for 10 mile... I can record my splits each mile, but I can't go any faster if I am not reaching my target time of 6:05 each mile in a 10K or 6:20 for a 10 miler, for example if I'm at these limits.

    However, for training I find the SDM invaluable... This is where you can pick up the kind of pace information and HR information without a measured course...
  • I've had a Garmin 301, which since I bought it back in April last year, have used for pretty much every run I have done since.

    Its great for showing where you've run, logging speed HR etc... And is the perfect way of logging your improvement as it records everything.
  • I was looking at the Garmin 305, but its a lot of money, what?

    These things sound very useful, I dont know why I've just found out about them.
  • I'm going to have trouble switching between an SDM and HRM from now on. The HRM is useful, but I was intrigued by the SDM (Garmin) and got one. I don't want to neglect one over the other though, as both are fairly new and great kit - what can I do!?
  • boing again!
  • DB2 .. I do use the speed part of the SDM in races, especially at the start. I know what pace I should be doing for the time I want to do, and I use the SDM to make sure I don't get carried away and hare off at an unsustainably fast pace. After that I use it to make sure I don't drop below my target pace (or at least too far below it!)

    I don't find the heartrate that informative during races, but that's because it's usually heading up towards the max pretty soon after the start. I don't think I'm as fit and I know I'm not as fast as you- my pace is a minute per mile slower than yours - so I suspect there's less of a dynamic range in my heartrate compared to yours.
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