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FeO2
03-29-2008, 12:22
Hi All,


Any recommendations for a monitor that is comfortable to hike with?

I am a cubical dweller by trade, typically I get on the trail from early spring to late fall, weekends and any other time my wife will let me out!:D

This year I am planning a 175 miler, the AT through NH.

I want to train this spring with a heart rate monitor.

I looked at what was available on Amazon; there are many, all targeting specific sports with tons of comments and ratings. Lots of stuff to plow through, after looking I didn't find anything that stuck out as an obvious winner for distance hiking. Actually, I more confused as to what would "fit the bill" now than before I looked.

Thanks;)

take-a-knee
03-29-2008, 12:29
FE:
You shouldn't need a heart rate monitor on your hike. I wouldn't want to wear that chest strap all day. I do reccomend you train with one. After you've trained with one for a while you can estimate you HR, IE, you know what a HR of 150 or 170 feels like. I just use the basic Polar, there are several brands out there now.

FeO2
03-29-2008, 12:39
FE:
You shouldn't need a heart rate monitor on your hike. I wouldn't want to wear that chest strap all day. I do reccomend you train with one. After you've trained with one for a while you can estimate you HR, IE, you know what a HR of 150 or 170 feels like. I just use the basic Polar, there are several brands out there now.

Exactly, I want to train with one so I estimate my performance. Typically I go out and hike hard for the first couple hours, rest, then hammer away the rest of the planned mile for the day.

I want to better understand and be able to identify my level of effort and how that translates over to my performance over the day.

So, any Polar product will work? They have quite a few.
Anybody have opinions about one over the other for any particular reason?

Thanks,

take-a-knee
03-29-2008, 13:30
Exactly, I want to train with one so I estimate my performance. Typically I go out and hike hard for the first couple hours, rest, then hammer away the rest of the planned mile for the day.

I want to better understand and be able to identify my level of effort and how that translates over to my performance over the day.

So, any Polar product will work? They have quite a few.
Anybody have opinions about one over the other for any particular reason?

Thanks,

It all depends what you want from a HR monitor, if you are planning on running competitively and want to keep computer files of training data you need one you can download from, if you don't plan to do this then the basic model should be fine. If you train in a gym that has Stairmaster or Precor cardio machines all you need is the transmitter belt. The machine will read your HR and give you your average for the workout at the end. All you need do then is write down you workout and HR. This is what I do on a Stairmaster Stepmill PT 7000 periodically, the machine doesn' lie and you can't lie to it. If you are walking the same profile, IE "rolling hills on level 7" and your HR is lower than it was last time, your fitness level is improving. The NYC Fire Dept uses this machine in a similar manner for their PT test.

FFTorched
03-29-2008, 14:01
You can use your index and middle fingers to get your radial pulse. Count it for 30 seconds and then multiply it by two and you have how many beats a minute. The best part is it's the cheapest on the market.

take-a-knee
03-29-2008, 14:11
You can use your index and middle fingers to get your radial pulse. Count it for 30 seconds and then multiply it by two and you have how many beats a minute. The best part is it's the cheapest on the market.

Yes, you certainly can, if you stop exercising, that defeats the purpose. How do you propose you would ascertain your avg HR during a Crossfit style workout when you have something in your hand the entire workout, like a medicine ball, kettlebell etc.? It is a useful tool, especially as you age. I knew a lot of people during my army days with a similar mindset, I could usually smoke them at PT, they'd think nothing of dropping a C-note on Hay street but would spend nothing to improve their bodies or improve their health.

FFTorched
03-29-2008, 14:50
Yes, you certainly can, if you stop exercising, that defeats the purpose. How do you propose you would ascertain your avg HR during a Crossfit style workout when you have something in your hand the entire workout, like a medicine ball, kettlebell etc.? It is a useful tool, especially as you age. I knew a lot of people during my army days with a similar mindset, I could usually smoke them at PT, they'd think nothing of dropping a C-note on Hay street but would spend nothing to improve their bodies or improve their health.

You have me there. I guess the difference in my opinion is that I'm young so monitoring my heart is not of importance to me yet. I work out knowing my heart rate is elevated from resting because I can feel it but I never think to wonder how high it goes. I'm not saying that monitoring your heart isn't important, and I know what you mean about spending all types of money at the bar but nothing on physical improvement. I have friends who spend money on protein mixes, and million pills whereas at the moment my I think an MP3 player, a good pair of running shoes, a multivitamin, and a camelback is all I need. I run on a regular basis and sporadically go to the gym. I am far from perfect with physical training this I know but I'm working to improve myself. I guess my earlier response was just ignorant of what some people are trying to attain and I compared it to my goals.

Grinder
03-29-2008, 15:14
Using a heart rate monitor is an interesting concept.

From my own perspective, it would be over kill.

I used to run a lot. 55 miles a week year round. I've run 5 marathons.

The only time I checked pulse then was during speed work and as I awoke each morning.

During a 10 K race, you learned to juggle along just below the aerobic limit.

When I first hiked, in the mountains, with a full pack, I was so far into anaerobic that I needed no pulse check. I just had to notice my tongue dragging.

Maybe if you were close to being in trail shape it would help.

take-a-knee
03-29-2008, 19:16
Using a heart rate monitor is an interesting concept.

From my own perspective, it would be over kill.

I used to run a lot. 55 miles a week year round. I've run 5 marathons.

The only time I checked pulse then was during speed work and as I awoke each morning.

During a 10 K race, you learned to juggle along just below the aerobic limit.

When I first hiked, in the mountains, with a full pack, I was so far into anaerobic that I needed no pulse check. I just had to notice my tongue dragging.

Maybe if you were close to being in trail shape it would help.

Like I said in a earlier post, you can use a timed run or an exercise machine profile to evaluate your current fitness level and also evaluate whether your training regimine is working. If your HR on a given profile isn't dropping, your fitness isn't improving.

Wilson
03-29-2008, 19:31
I knew a lot of people during my army days with a similar mindset, I could usually smoke them at PT, they'd think nothing of dropping a C-note on Hay street but would spend nothing to improve their bodies or improve their health.

I knew those guys too, would give them a ride down there before I went home for the weekend.
I've heard the town cleaned up Hay st....The infamous Ricks bar is gone.

take-a-knee
03-29-2008, 19:36
I knew those guys too, would give them a ride down there before I went home for the weekend.
I've heard the town cleaned up Hay st....The infamous Ricks bar is gone.

Rick's is history, I wonder where the young paratroopers find strippers to marry since Rick's is no longer?

Wilson
03-29-2008, 19:50
Ha, I was there from 82 to 86 (82nd 1/325 Inf and 1/320 FA) and never set foot on Hay st...Kinda wish now that I would have at least took a look around.
Did check out the strip outside Ft. Sill, the sights seen that one night was enuff for a lifetime.
When were you at Bragg?
Sorry for the Hijack, I'm actually interested in this heart monitor thing.

FFTorched
03-29-2008, 20:37
Bragg Boulevard is the home of strip clubs now. Hay street not so much. I am currently in 1/325. Most people go to strip clubs, dance clubs, or Paddy's Irish pub on Raeford RD. Paddy's is a decent place where the owner also heads an Irish band that does a bunch of dirty limericks, Irish Folk, and a few covers (that usually turn into dirty limericks).

Morpheus
03-29-2008, 21:01
Garmin Forerunner 305 has satellite GPS & HR monitor. The advantage is it's downloadable data to a PC which allows you to review your HR against your speed and plots these two parameters against an elevation graph. if you really want to get crazy you can download a Google Earth patch so you can see your actual path. Don't plan on it for the trail unless it's a day hike. Battery (though rechargable) is only good for 10 hrs.
Price $300-400 depending on the deal.

Wise Old Owl
03-29-2008, 21:03
Before this gets off into the deep end of strip bars...FE02 I can only guess this is important to you due to some reasoning you haven't spelled out.

Head off to Dick's Sporting Goods for I think that is the cheapest retail of PULSAR Heart Monitor watches. Or click here and get overwhelmed with 1000's of choices.

And please do me a favor, from one Electronics enthuisast to another, send me the drawing of the charger in the picture you put together. or email it to swarbrick@verizon.net




http://images.google.com/images?gbv=2&hl=en&q=pulsar+heart+monitor

ChinMusic
03-29-2008, 21:25
I have used the SAME Polar S610 for over 6 years. I am sure the model has been replaced since then. I am able to download the data from an exercise set and compare the data from past results. This helps to tell me if my current aerobic condition is improving or slipping.

I have worn the chest strap for 12-hour hikes and don't even know it is there. Wearing it is NOT an issue.

I would def buy a unit where you can download the data. This way you can compare identical walks/hikes/exercises to see how you are doing.

Wise Old Owl
03-29-2008, 21:37
Crap.... Polar or Pusar... I thought I had done me homework...

FeO2
03-29-2008, 22:33
Thanks for all the input !!

I'll check out the Polar products.

No real hidden reasons for wanting a monitor. I'm in my 40's and want to quantify the shape I'm in. I've always just got out there and hit the trails hard. Now I'm more curious about using my heart rate as a barometer for conditioning. That's all, curiosity, and maybe a way to learn to be a smarter hiker.

Wise Owl, I'll email you the details. It works well from a car battery, but not efficient enough for portable batteries yet... I am working on another chip to increase efficiency and make use of the lower voltages from battery cells!!

BTW, I was at Fort Bragg in '85/'86

ChinMusic
03-29-2008, 22:53
No real hidden reasons for wanting a monitor. I'm in my 40's and want to quantify the shape I'm in. I've always just got out there and hit the trails hard. Now I'm more curious about using my heart rate as a barometer for conditioning. That's all, curiosity, and maybe a way to learn to be a smarter hiker.

Yeah, a HRM is just a tool. I am a buttons/gadget kinda guy and looking at the data is just a way to help me enjoy the work that much more. I enjoy seeing how my estimated VO2Max changes from month to month, how my average heart rate changes from month to month when I hike my usual 6.5-mile loop near my home.

Getting the reinforcement from the HRM data has been reinforcing to me and keeps me more interested in staying in shape, or at least trying.

With regards to backpacking, I find that a good day is anywhere around 5000 estimated calories burned. If I push it to 7500 calories I find that I have over-extended. Whether those numbers mean "real calories" is in question. I look at them just as numbers. I know how those numbers make me feel.

Wise Old Owl
03-29-2008, 23:11
Thanks for all the input !!

I'll check out the Polar products.

No real hidden reasons for wanting a monitor. I'm in my 40's and want to quantify the shape I'm in. I've always just got out there and hit the trails hard. Now I'm more curious about using my heart rate as a barometer for conditioning. That's all, curiosity, and maybe a way to learn to be a smarter hiker.

Wise Owl, I'll email you the details. It works well from a car battery, but not efficient enough for portable batteries yet... I am working on another chip to increase efficiency and make use of the lower voltages from battery cells!!

BTW, I was at Fort Bragg in '85/'86



I look forward to your notes!
Mark