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Old 05-12-2014, 12:43 PM   #21
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I use a Garmin 610 for running and biking and love it. On the dark side, when I crashed biking in the woods, breaking collarbone, it gave a really neat account of a) where it happened b) how long I was unconscious and then c) when I went into shock!

I find using it motivating in that you upload your workouts. Depending on your style of motivation, seeing the statistics is rewarding. Seeing no statistics being accumulated is motivation to get out there!
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Gamin Foreruner 405, or predeccessor
Old 05-12-2014, 01:04 PM   #22
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Gamin Foreruner 405, or predeccessor

I use the Garmin Forerunner 405. It's a nightmare to learn how to use but it's really accurate and reliable. It's not very affordable either. I've read that the Forerunner predecessor was more user friendly. FYI I would try Ebay for a used unit of any manufacture. I agree with the other posters that a unit with a chest strap is a must. I tried a cheapo , "watch only" brand and it was a complete waste of money. The heart rate sensor was hit or miss and worthless. You will be amazed at how sensitive your HR is to emotion. Everyone who goes out in public should be required to wear one. The moment you get upset or excited it will quickly spike Your HR. Getting up from sitting position will spike your HR. The point is that a chest strap will pick that up every time. There are actual zones for HR workouts and the Forerunner is actually programmable to your individual zone and will sound alarms when above or below your zone. Whatever you use you will need to figure your zones based on standard age formulas. You then "get in the zone" based on HR. My second zone is 117-130 which is moderate exercise for me. My normal workout zone is zone 3 around 130-143 which is breaking a sweat. Zone 4 would be working really hard for only minutes at a time and my zone 5 is only possible for seconds at a time at around 175 BPM. It's a great tool and I highly recommend using any reliable brand that you can afford.
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:35 PM   #23
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I can't imagine any kind of cardio that would cause a chest strap to come loose. Maybe if you work out with Cirque du Soleil you might have an issue, but I've been using Polar HRMs for years and never had an issue while doing cardio (biking, running, swimming, rowing, etc). The only time I ever knock the sensor loose from the strap is when I do certain Olympic lifts in which the barbell stays close to the body all the way up. Even then it's maybe once in every twenty lifts.

I wonder how many of the knee problems mentioned in this thread are due to muscular/tendon weakness. Thanks to almost two years of resistance training I have recovered most of my knee strength and flexibility without any pain. I know a lot of folks think cardio is all they need, but I think that without resistance training and mobility work that cardio is not going to accomplish much good by itself.
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:56 PM   #24
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I use the Garmin Forerunner 405. It's a nightmare to learn how to use but it's really accurate and reliable. It's not very affordable either. I've read that the Forerunner predecessor was more user friendly.
FWIW, the successor (410) which I use, is much more user-friendly.
My 405 died after less than two years, and I'm very happy with the 410 which has been in use for over two years and is still good as new.
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:58 PM   #25
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I use a Garmin 610 for running and biking and love it. On the dark side, when I crashed biking in the woods, breaking collarbone, it gave a really neat account of a) where it happened b) how long I was unconscious and then c) when I went into shock!



Jesus! I could have used that when I joined E-R.org!
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:05 PM   #26
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I've tried about 4 different versions, all chest strap. I mostly run and bike.

The Polar one is the best dedicated HR monitor.

The Garmin w/ GPS is really the best for fully understanding how your doing, and how you're improving. It'll provide graphs of heart, pace, hills, etc.

I've also tried the Wahoo Blue HR. I found trouble finding the software that did what I want, and a few bad readings from it... but, was nice for better instant results.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:44 PM   #27
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I highly recommend a Garmin device for your bike. I'll post more info when I get home, but it is indeed fun and motivating.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Early Retirement Forum mobile app
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:52 PM   #28
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I know a lot of folks think cardio is all they need, but I think that without resistance training and mobility work that cardio is not going to accomplish much good by itself.
+1 closest thing to to the fountain of youth that one can find. My gym also has these vibratory machines, which helped me restore a lot of flexibility in one of my knees which was preventing me from squatting very deeply. I was quite skeptical at first, but after a few weeks of using the machine, I totally restored my ability to get down in a catchers squat (ATG)
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:43 PM   #29
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The Garmin GPS goes on your handlebars, and there's nothing else you need to connect. I have the old 305. The chest strap goes around your chest and is not uncomfortable. After a few miles, you don't even notice that it's on.

I wasn't wearing the HR monitor on this trip, but it shows you how you can share trip info (I don't share trips that I take from home):

Stone Lagoon to Prairie Creek Hill Top by tromboneal at Garmin Connect - Details

You can compete with others via Strava.com. I am usually the slowest of anyone for a given segment, but I used treachery to with the King of the Mountain for a stretch here: I waited until there was a super-strong tailwind on this section. The section is where my HR was above 150:



Here's a ride that I used to calculate my lactate threshold (fun but useless):



This is a run on the beach with high-intensity intervals:



This is a three-minute warm-up followed by Bowflex strength training:



Here's a stationary bike ride with intervals:

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Old 06-12-2014, 03:46 PM   #30
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You can also view all your activity or set goals for weeks, months, or other time periods:



And here's taking a nap:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/341061692

So, in summary, the Garmin GPS is perfect for bike riding. You'll probably not wear the HR monitor every ride, but it gives you some useful information about your heart, and it can be motivating to work on reaching your goals. It's perfect if you are training for a big ride.

I got my Garmin 305 used for $100.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:54 PM   #31
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Thanks Al. Lots of good info there.
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