I use them and they re great. I’ve recently gotten back into running (am an absolute slug at the moment) but I used mine when I was at Uni and I have to say they are a great tool to assist in feedback data. However they are just that an additional tool.
I have a nike one, I read a book by John L Parker called "Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot" and although I don't follow it's plans as such, the information I picked up from it is fantastic!!! It allows your training to be a lot more focused (in my opinion of course) and also allows you to monitor your effort levels a lot better - perfect if you're unsure of pacing in a race!
Just as an example, I had a PB of 42:50 which I achieved at Lincoln 10k 2007, a very flat and fast course. Not long after I got my Nike HRM and ran a 10k training run including a number of hills (one particularly bad), ensuring my HR stayed at a constant level (can't remember exactly what this was, but it was as recommended by the book). Anyway, considering it is generally deemed very hard to match race pace on a training run, I was pleasantly suprised to finish it in 42:33!! So HRM's get a big thumbs up from me.
I think it's excellent at telling me that I am making more effort than I think or not training hard enough. What I mean is, sometimes I'll be happily going along with a smile on, but look down and my heart is doing 190, other times I'm frowning and struggling but only beating at 160. Helps me to back off when I am going to hurt myself, or notice when I may be ill and not realise it yet.
Was lucky enough to get one for my 50th birthday last week, and have used it ever since.
Find it very interesting to find how fast my heart is working and encouraged to know how many calories I have burned up, anything that helps is a bonus to me!
Hi few of us (Rylstone Cycling & Running Club) bought Polar watches. Ive found its features very useful and gives pretty accuate information on my training and fitness levels. It may be me but I seem to of improved my fitness since I used this watch . I narrowed my choice down to the CS300 and CS400 in the end went for CS300. So I can use it for Running and Cycling. Have a look at http://www.polar.fi/en/products/cycling/CS300. We struck a deal with an on line stockist and got some good prices http://www.outdoorhuman.co.uk. Hope this helps. Greg.
I have never left a review before, but I just wanted to leave some kind of feedback about my new Polar RS200. Without getting too technical, this device will improve your training and the way you think about it. I bought off polar.fitnessmegastore.co.uk - this company specialise in Polar and their staff were able to talk me through the whole range. They offer a great price, and also a price match (i found it £1 cheaper elsewhere). I will be getting the footpod to go with it for xmas