Category Archives for "Heart Monitor With GPS"

Polar RC3 GPS Heart Rate Monitor

The Polar RC3 GPS heart rate monitor is one of the more advanced HRM available by one of the top manufacturers in this industry. At a price of under $250 it certainly is aimed at performance and professional athletes that are very serious about their training optimization. There are features on this model that you will not find on entry level devices and beginners will probably be overwhelmed by the functionality.

For most people there will be very few if any features that are missing, and with the online services available you will be able to do some pretty serious tailoring of your training regime.  Polar call these features Smart Coaching and two of the best ones are Fitness Test and Endurance Program. It is like having the expertise of a personal trainer with you all the time to tell you how well you are actually doing.

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Timex Ironman Global Trainer With GPS

The Timex Ironman Global Trainer is one of the more advanced heart rate monitors available by this manufacturer. With built in GPS functionality it allows you to track your route, speed and distance which are very important pieces of information for tracking your overall performance and fitness progress. The GPS function also allows you to enter up to 100 location points for any planned routes.

At a price of less than $250 you will struggle to find the same level of features in other makes and models, especially considering that you are able to customize the display to show up to four different data points. This is very handy as it means that during a workout you do not need to constantly press buttons to get the information you are looking for. However, this dos make the watch quite large which may not be to everyone’s liking, but that is the price you pay to be able to see so much data in one go.

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GPS Running Heart Rate Monitor

The best heart rate monitor you could possibly buy is one that has a built in GPS chip that tracks your movement, tells you the speed you are moving at and the distance you have travelled. For most people it will not be something they really need but many people still buy one as a gadget with built in GPS.

Where such a HRM comes in very handy is if you want to keep track of the routes you have run or hiked. Pretty much any GPS heart rate monitor can be linked up with a computer to upload its data to a tracking application that can display all your past workout data and the routes you took.

For a serious athlete this can be incredibly useful information as you can better plan running a specific route to achieve a certain average heart rate.

best heart rate monitor 1For example, lets say you are planning a run where you want to achieve a higher than normal heart rate, and you know that you have had a few workout sessions in the past that achieved this. You can then look at your training history and check which routes achieved higher average heart rates, maybe because they involved more hills. Or periodic inclines.

One thing to keep in mind with GPS based devices is that a GPS chip requires an awful lot of energy. This has two impacts. Firstly, GPS chips use up a lot of energy, which drains the battery quite quickly.  Despite having quite large rechargeable batteries you will find that you have less than 24 hours of power. Make sure you remind yourself to recharge the watch very regularly.

Secondly, the watch will be quite a bit bulkier than many other monitors you can get, because of the size of the battery and the chip. This may not be an issue if you really do need such a watch, but if you are getting it just as a gadget, then you need to factor this in. This also does not make it the most suitable watch for everyday use.

Alternatively you can use a GPS enabled smartphone and simply buy a compatible heart rate chest strap. This will give you the same functionality without needing to buy an expensive separate HRM. What you will need is an App installed that can read the data coming from the chest strap. There are some free apps available with limited functionality, but for a couple of dollars you can get an App that has some additional features and links up to Google maps to track your route.

Timex Ironman Global Trainer With GPSThe options with a smartphone are quite extensive, but many people prefer to have a separate device. If you are looking for some information on available devices then take a look at the ones reviewed on this site. Our very convenient comparison table can be sorted by GPS functionality giving you a quick way to see some of the most popular devices. It makes it much easier to compare different models and makes, so you can choose the features you want and then decide on a price you are willing to pay.
photo credit: thomas_sly

Suunto M5 HRM

The Suunto M5 heart rate monitor is a fully packed HRM that features some very advanced functionality, usually only found on very high end and expensive types like the Suunto Ambit. While the M5 does not come with a built in GPS, you do have the option to buy either a foot, bike or GPS POD that will allow you to track your speed and distance.


Along with your real time heart rate the M5 will also calculate your calories burned which is a great feature if you are aiming for a specific weight loss. The display of the watch is large enough to accommodate multiple data points meaning that you do not have to constantly switch between different views.

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