When it comes to enhancing your physical fitness or improving your training schedule, it is important that you keep track of your heart rate. However, to do this, you need to find the best heart rate monitor (HRM). Paying attention to your heart rate when working out plays a significant role in helping you stay at your desired heart rate zones while maximizing your training efficiency.
But since there are many of these devices in the market today, which one will you buy? In this article, we help you find the heart rate monitor for triathlon, swimming, cycling, and running will best suit your needs.
Top 5 Best Heart Rate Monitors for a Triathlon
|Garmin HRM-Tri (Editor’s Choice)||Chest strap||10 months||Best for a triathlon, running, swimming|
|Polar H10||Chest strap||10 months||Good for a triathlon, running|
|Wahoo TickrX||Chest Strap||12 months||Best for cycling, running|
|Garmin HRM-Swim||Chest Strap||18 months||Best for pool swimming|
|Scosche Rhythm 24||Wrist Band||25 hours (rechargeable)||Good for swimming, cycling|
1. Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor
This heart rate monitor features a compact design, which makes it the smallest and lightest heart rate monitor from Garmin. It features round edges and no exposed seams while the straps are designed to be comfortable even when you are engaged in an extended workout session.
Its design also allows you to wear it when running, open water swimming, and cycling. It features a bi-fold adjustment that reduces elastic weight while making sizing easy and comfortable.
It comes with a user-replaceable CR2032 battery that lasts up to 10 months if used for one hour on average daily. This means that you can improve your triathlon experience significantly by pairing this HRM-Tri with your Garmin Forerunner 920XT multisport watch.
Its design makes it capable of storing up to 20 hours of heart rate data for the triathletes who would want to review all their workout data. This is because the device allows you to transfer all the workout data that you have collected within 20 hours to either your laptop or your smartphone for future analysis and reference. Most importantly, it can send all your heart rate to your Garmin Sports watch once you are out of the water.
In addition to providing you with your heart rate metrics, this monitor also provides you with the running form and dynamics. It comes with an accelerometer in the module that measures your torso movement whenever you are running. When it is paired with a compatible Garmin device, therefore, it can measure your cadence or vertical oscillation.
The notable drawback in this HRM is that it is quite expensive yet not as durable as its users would want it to be since it is made from low-quality materials.
2. Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor
The Polar H10 is designed to be one of the best heart rate monitors that provide accurate results. It allows you to connect to your heart rate training equipment while enjoying the full benefits of your heart rate training. It comes with enhanced electrodes that make the device the most precise heart rate sensor in Polar Company.
This HRM is suitable for swimming because it is waterproof and can transfer your heart rate data even when you are underwater with 5 kHz transmission. In case you don’t own a Polar watch that is compatible with the device, you can still use this Polar H10 to track your heart rate while in water because you can transfer the data to the free Polar Beat app later.
For easy transfer of data, this Polar H10 is compatible with iOS mobile devices, iPhone 4S, and Android mobile devices with Bluetooth 4.0 capability.
It features a Polar Pro strap that is made from a soft textile strap with enhanced electrodes. This ensures that it will take your heart rate’s data accurately without interference. What’s more, the strap is very comfortable to wear around your chest while the silicone dots and an enhanced buckle keep the strap and the HRM firmly held.
It comes with an enhanced battery life that allows you to enjoy over 400 hours of operation time on a user replaceable battery. The HRM can store up to one heart rate training session. As such, we highly recommend it for perfect sports and activities where the wrist unit could be difficult to use.
3. Wahoo TICKR X Heart Rate Monitor with Memory-Best Waterproof And Sweat Proof
This heart rate monitor from Wahoo Fitness is designed for an ultimate fitness tracker that will capture both your motion and intensity, thus giving you the most effective workout. It is efficient at measuring your heart rate, calorie burn, rep count, and helps with the development of running analytics and indoor spin cadence.
It comes with an inbuilt memory that gives you the freedom to train without a phone or the need to sync it since you can transfer your training data later. It is compatible with most fitness apps, which makes it an incredibly versatile workout tracker that can be utilized in all sporting activities.
It features a dual-band Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT connectivity that easily pairs with the Wahoo 7 Minute Workout App. This pairing creates a high-intensity circuit workout PR tracking and an automatic rep counting. With this, you can get the real health advantages in less time than it would take you to drive between two blocks.
This heart rate monitor is flexible because it can measure several indicators of running form that may include cadence, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation. The device can also track the speed and distance that you have covered while on the treadmill.
4. Garmin HRM-Swim Heart Rate Monitor
The Garmin HRM-swim is best known for offering the best heart rate tracking for swimmers as well as other water sporting activities such as surfing, shallow snorkeling, among other shallow water activities.
When you are training in water, you do not have to stop gathering your heart rate data. This is because Garmin HRM is specially designed for water sports where it boasts of a water rating of up to 5 ATM. This implies that it can withstand the forces of up to 50 meters when underwater, which makes it a perfect choice for swimmers and other water sports activities.
This HRM effectively runs on a standard CR2032 battery that is readily available in case you need a replacement. Nonetheless, it comes with a battery life of up to 8 months if you are swimming an average of 3 hours a week.
Its design also makes it easy to transmit heart rate data that is stored in the non-slip straps wireless Garmin Epix, Forerunner 920XT, and other compatible devices. Moreover, the straps are effective at registering every pulse.
One major problem with the HRM device, however, is that it is not waterproof; it is only water resistant. This means that it is not ideal for you if you participate in deep-sea sports activities.
If you want a HRM to keep track of your heart rate as you train for shallow water activities like snorkeling and surfing, then we recommend this device.
5. Scosche Rhythm24
Owning your personal heart rate monitor allows you to maximize your workout while training. This Scosche Rhythm 24 comes with advanced optical sensors that allow you to take precise heart rate readings so that you can maintain your zone while receiving the optimum benefits from your workout.
It is both sweat proof and waterproof, which means that you can still have accurate readings and performance in dry and wet conditions. Moreover, it allows you to dive 10 feet under the water without having to endure any deterioration of performance.
It features green and yellow optical sensors that offer superior measurements with any skin tone. This feature makes it stand out among the many HRMs and watches that utilize the green sensors only.
Rhythm 24 has the capability of recording on-board, which allows you to leave your smartphone behind while your HRM records your workout heart rate data for later uploading to your device.
What’s more, you can customize this HRM easily by changing the HR zones and modes via the Rhythm Sync app. The available modes include the heart rate variability, swimming, and cadence, among others.
Despite being great at collecting data, you might experience issues when you try to use the software app. This is because you might have trouble transferring your work out data.
It also features an extended use rechargeable battery that allows you to workout up to 24 hours non-stop. The LED battery level indicator also gives you the status of your battery charge by a push of a button.
If you want a device to use to track your long day at the workout, therefore, we recommend Rhythm 24 HRM.
Things to Look for When Buying the Best Heart Rate Monitors for Triathlon
With the many brands and models of triathlon watches available in the market, finding one that is right for you can be a bit difficult. This is even harder when you have no idea what to look out for in the best heart rate monitor for a triathlon. Fortunately, you can easily identify the best product without much stress by considering the factors in this buyer’s guide. Check out these factors in order to make the right choice of heart rate monitor.
Type of Heart Rate Monitor
There are two types of HRMs that you can find in the market. These are chest straps and optical heart rate sensor models. Let’s see how different they are from each other.
Chest straps are worn around the chest just like the name suggests. When wearing a chest strap HRM, the sensor unit has to be at the center of where your heart is located. This makes it easy for the sensor unit to measure precise heart rate readings and transmit them to the head unit that displays for reading purpose. Chest straps heart rate monitors are best used for cycling.
Optical Heart Rate Sensors
These are wrist-based heart rate monitors that utilize green LEDs to collect heart rate. The Green LED sits underneath the HRM devices in order to make it easy to read and to get accurate readings. The LED light shines to your skin in order to measure the blood that flows through your wrist. The reflected light is what is collected by the sensor which in turn computes your heart rate instantly. Before purchasing an HRM, therefore, it is important to consider the type of HRM that will best suit your needs.
Basically, a heart rate monitor is just but a sensor, and it requires to relay readings to the head unit. In order to relay the heart rate readings, there are two connectivity ways that are widely used.
Ant+ is a wireless connectivity that is a production of Garmin. It is widely used in almost all types of heart rate monitors. The technology, however, has started to diminish as other connectivity protocols like Bluetooth have become popular.
Bluetooth is another wireless connectivity protocol that has undergone quite a number of refinements and innovations. For instance, the latest version is Bluetooth Low Energy that is efficient in using the power, thus making it a common addition in many heart rate monitors today. This means that before you settle for a heart rate monitor, it is important to consider the type of connectivity it uses.
When it comes to assessing the heart rate, getting accurate readings matters and no one wants a heart rate monitor that provides wrong readings every time he or she is training. However, a consistent and reliable HRM is a plus.
Since the Chest strap HRM is placed next to the heart, it provides the most precise heart rate readings. Sitting near the heart allows it to capture a stronger signal as compared to when located far away like on the wrists. This is why the optical heart rate monitors lag the readings since they don’t get a stronger heartbeat.
Reasons Why You Should Use a Heart Rate Monitor
Exercise Effectively: HRM allows you to exercise or train in a more effective way as compared to when you are training without it. This is because it enables you to peak at the intensity best suited for your exercise.
Exercise Safely: Monitoring your heartbeat allows you to keep it within your physical limits, especially if it goes higher. It also allows you to find the most appropriate target heart rate and strive to maintain it.
Tracking your Progress: HRM also allows you to track your training progress as well as your overall fitness. With this, you can revisit your data in order to evaluate whether you are making progress before setting new goals.
How to Use and Care for your Heart Rate Monitor
For your heart rate monitor to provide accurate and reliable readings, you will need to learn how to use it correctly. Here are some instructions on how to wear your HRM to get better readings regardless of the model you are using.
To begin with, wet the strap before you put it on. You can do this even if you are going to bike in wet conditions. Wetting the straps allows you to get reliable readings.
After wetting it, it is now time to wear it. You need to wear it correctly by placing the monitor at the center of your chest. It ought to fit comfortably and make sure that the right side of the unit is up.
Once you are done with your exercise, it is important to wash away the built-up sweat and salt that might affect the accuracy of your heart rate monitor. Before washing your monitor, however, check for instruction to ascertain if it is hand washed or machine-washed. When washing it, make sure to use a mild soap or detergent.
Finally, detach the sensor unit from the strap and allow it to dry. This is because it might corrode when left wet, especially around the metal elements of the sensor. Essentially, corrosion can stop your sensor from making accurate readings. Whenever you see a corroded area of your sensor, therefore, you need to wipe it clean with alcohol.
If you participate in different sporting or workout activities, then you understand why it is important that you track your performance. With the best heart rate monitor, you can monitor and track your progress throughout your training and actual workouts. When buying a heart rate monitor, it is important that you make sure it is the best one for triathlons.
Having the wrong heart rate monitor will see you lose track of your performance and miss most of the benefits of your workout activities. We believe that by reading through this article, you are at a better position to pick the best heart rate monitor from the many available in the market. After finding and buying the right HRM, we are convinced that you will take your triathlon performance to a new level!
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