How To Find Your Ideal Speed And Distance Device

Integrated Heart Rate Monitor

Some speed and distance devices are sold with integrated heart rate monitors and some are not.  If you’re not interested in monitoring your heart rate along with your pace and distance, you can save a few bucks by purchasing a device without an integrated heart rate monitor.  Note that, true to its heritage as a heart rate monitor manufacturer, Polar only sells speed and distance devices with a built-in heart rate monitor.

Special Functions and Features

There’s a basic set of functions and features that are found on all speed and distance devices.  For example, all units offer some capacity to preprogram workouts onto the device.  But there are some special features and functions that are specific to certain products.  Be sure to learn about these features before you buy.

Polar RS800

Only Garmin devices allow the user to program 10 separate pace zones, making these devices easy to use with the Pace Zone Index. Polar’s RS800 speed and distance device has a feature called Running Index that scores every run you perform by quantifying your fitness level with calculations based on the relationship between your pace and heart rate. The software that comes with the Timex Ironman Bodylink features a unique “Course Statistics” page that allows you to inspect the gradient of hill climbs and so forth.

There are many other examples of special features that are only found in particular speed and distance device models.  Which ones are most important to you?

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