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How do I Choose the Best Triathlon Heart Rate Monitor?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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A triathlon heart rate monitor is a great way to improve your training regimen and keep track of your overall performance before, during, and after a triathlon. Choosing the best triathlon heart rate monitor is a matter of researching models that fit your budget and your performance needs. Aside from the normal functions of recording heart rate and calories burned, a good triathlon heart rate monitor should allow you to program your age, weight, and other vitals into the monitor so you can accurately determine your target heart rate zones. The monitor itself and the chest band will also need to be waterproof, durable, and adjustable.

The chest belt of a triathlon heart rate monitor should fit snugly around the chest just below the sternum to get the most accurate reading. A highly adjustable belt is best to accommodate weight gain or loss, and to improve comfort. Be sure the manufacturer offers replacement chest bands, since the elastic material often tends to wear out after regular use. The battery panel on the back of the plastic part of the belt should be easy to open and close, and it should be waterproof to prevent water from the swimming leg of the race from entering the battery compartment, potentially leading to irreparable damage.

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Choose a receiver unit that fits around your wrist like a wristwatch. The triathlon heart rate monitor wrist watch should fit comfortably and snugly, and it should also be made from waterproof materials that will prevent the unit from being damaged during the swimming leg of the race. The display should feature large numbers and text so you can read the display easily during the race, and the menu navigation should be quick and easy. The buttons that control the menus should be large enough to be pressed during the triathlon activities if necessary, but they should not be so large that they interfere with regular wrist movements.

Many triathletes like to put the triathlon heart rate monitor on the handlebars of the bicycle during training. Be sure the monitor you choose includes a mounting piece that will allow you to get the unit off your wrist and onto the bike. This makes riding more comfortable, and it also makes the display much easier to read during cycling training; leaving the unit on the handlebars rather than on your wrist will allow you to read the display without having to remove your hands from the handlebars, thereby avoiding unnecessary risk.

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