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Discussion Starter #1
Hi I am new to the realm of HRMs. I think I need one which will monitor zones, but am not sure if everything else is just marketing froth?

I love inexpensive, but hate cheap. What are my best options please? Do I go branded, or a Decathlon own brand?

Thanks!
 

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Do you use a GPS watch or smartphone currently? If so, a dual Bluetooth and ANT+ heart rate strap like the Wahoo TICKR will sync with that, and give you heart rate data both at the time, and also recorded against your activities. Having a history of your HR can be very useful when comparing your current performance to previous runs, as well as seeing where you went right/wrong in races, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you use a GPS watch or smartphone currently? If so, a dual Bluetooth and ANT+ heart rate strap like the Wahoo TICKR will sync with that, and give you heart rate data both at the time, and also recorded against your activities. Having a history of your HR can be very useful when comparing your current performance to previous runs, as well as seeing where you went right/wrong in races, etc.
Interesting option, thanks. I imagine that there are heart rate zone apps out there with audible alarms?! Will investigate...
 

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A HRM seems like an odd thing to want in isolation. Almost all running watches have the capability of connecting to an HRM in some form or another, and lots of them also have a built in optical HRM. They will all display current HR and zones.

A large part of the value in a HRM is being able to see your HR data correlated with pace, elevation, etc after the fact. You won't get that with a standalone thing.

If you already have a running watch then what James suggested will work well. If you are currently using a smartphone or nothing at all then I would strongly suggest looking at getting a running watch. Phones are OK for tracking what you've done, but are completely useless for displaying information while you're actually running. If you want to use HR zones for training then you will need to be able to see it while running.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Heart rate zones on the fly are my target. For training purposes. My thinking therefore was a wrist device or a link to a phone app with an audible alarm?
 

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Heart rate zones on the fly are my target. For training purposes. My thinking therefore was a wrist device or a link to a phone app with an audible alarm?
A standalone HRM on your wrist or linking to your phone are both options that will work, but they are far from the optimal solution to the problem. I think that you will be much better served by a watch. Not just for what you think you need now, but also for things you don't know you need yet but will start to discover as you train more.

I love my Garmin Forerunner 235 (review here). The cheaper option for Garmin with optical HR is the Forerunner 35 (review here).

TomTom is another option that's generally cheaper and a bit more consumery. A review of a slightly older model than current is here, but the latest models will be quite similar so it should give you a good enough idea. I used to have a TomTom and found it extremely frustrating for training with, but I know a few people that like them.

Those are the main two brands that I see people using all the time at training and races. You sometimes see Polar watches. The site I linked for the other reviews will probably have some for Polar gear too, I just didn't link them because I have no experience with Polar so not sure what best to link to.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks. Garmin models look great. While I start saving, I may have to make do with a chest strap and phone app...!
 

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Thanks. Garmin models look great. While I start saving, I may have to make do with a chest strap and phone app...!
If you do that then make sure you get one that has both ANT+ and Bluetooth, such as the one that James suggested. Some watches (notably Garmin) only support ANT+ for sensors, and others (notably Polar) only support Bluetooth. Garmin does have Bluetooth as well, but it's only used for pairing to your phone.
 
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