Ok, so I'm looking for a good heart rate monitor.  I've checked out the ones that Eric recommends for his training plans and I like them a lot.  I am still looking around on the market, however...anyone have any suggestions?  I currently don't use any computers or any form of technology aside from a stopwatch. 

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I have the Garmin 305. I like a lot of things about it. It is very reliable. I'm very hard on it.

One of these days, I'll upgrade for the following reasons:

  • Not water sealed. I get condensation under the glass when it gets even a little bit of rain on it.
  • Large. I have really small wrists and it rubs my wrist bone when I get sweaty. I have a callous there which is weird.
  • Small font sizes. I've customized the screens but still not liking it. I have old lady eyes.
  • Slow to find a satellite when too many runs are in the history.
  • Old features. This came out in 2006. Newer models have things like wireless upload and vibrate alerts. It's funny because you can hear a symphony of Garmins in a race as they hit mile markers!

Good to know.  I'm hard on gear too and I definitely want something that is water sealed.  I also have really small wrists--I'm looking at some of the basic ones by Timex but I'm definitely not committed to any brand.  Thanks!

I'm sure that you have a watch by now, since this post is almost a year old. I would suggest that ANYONE looking to buy GPS/HR watches check-out D.C. Rainmaker's website. He does the best (and extremely in depth) reviews hands down. 

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/

Updating this post to add that the battery life on my 305 is not good. I says this as I prepare to ship my Garmin back to the factory along with $75 to fix the problem. 

That said, I don't like that:
1) the battery life is so short
2) that I can't just replace the battery on my own (I will have no device for several weeks)
3) that I have to pay $75 dollars to fix a product flaw.

Not a good customer experience for a product I've owned for only 2 years.

I just bought the Garmin 610. Smaller than other Garmins. Still getting used to the touch screen. I've had the 205 and 305; this is my first one with an HR monitor. Also looks like a watch. Very pleased, but it's not cheap.

Polar just sent me their new GPS/HR monitor.  I love it.  Easier to use than the Garmin, but shorter battery life and I am having trouble with their online software with my Mac.  But LOVE the Polar monitor for day to day use.

I want to try the Fenix Garmin.  Anyone tried this?

I live 20 minutes from Garmin headquarters. I'll ask some FB friends. I'm sure someone will either have one or will know an employee that has one. Stay tuned...

Firsthand user experience is always best, but D.C. Rainmaker has an excellent review of the Garmin Fenix. I can't stress enough how good his reviews are. The comments section for his reviews is also an excellent source of information - he does a good job of answering questions posted there.

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2012/10/garmin-fenix-in-depth-review.html

Got a Garmin 205, but it doesn't have a HR. Looking at getting a Garmin 310

This guy does excellent gear reviews http://www.dcrainmaker.com/

As I only currently have an HR monitor (without GPS) I've been looking at watches too. Eric, you provide 7 HR zones in your foundation program, but I haven't found a GPS watch yet with that many HR zones. Are there any, or do you just reset the watch's zones each time you go out for a run? Thanks!

Hi, I programme my Garmin 310XT through Garmin Connect, and that lets you use either a HR Zone target (5 zones) or you set a custom hear rate target for each stage of the activity - so it's dead easy to take the plans from the book and import them into your Garmin

Thanks Rich,
Very helpful advice. In the end I bought the Garmin 610 & am finding it Ideal for the job using it with Garmin Connect. Still building up to the foundation, but feeling like I'm picking up form now as well as recovering some of that long lost fitness. :)

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