Most helpful positive review
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Timex Target Trainer T5K726
on April 7, 2013
Once I decided to get a HRM I decided on three main criteria: I wanted a large display so it would be easy to read; I wanted it to have a decent interval-training option; I wanted it to be reasonably reliable.
I couldn't find any good master comparisons of all the current watches, so I decided to start with the large display. I figured it would be easiest to get large numerals on a vertical display, so I did an image search and tracked down all the HRMs with vertical displays. I read reviews and manuals on these, and checked the reviews at various sites. I also did searches for reviews which mentioned interval timing just to try to ensure I hadn't missed something. A different (more recent?) version of this watch, the T5K545, came out on top. The proportion of dissatisfaction in the reviews is at the lowest end of the range for this price bracket, and it had the best interval setup I could find with a large display as well.
I didn't notice the difference and bought this version of the watch (the main difference seems to be in the type of chest strap it comes with). I have had the watch for a month and am very happy with it. The HRM works exactly as described. The watch is easy to read and has good flexibility in terms of setting up what is shown on the display. The interval timer includes 2 programmable workouts, each can be set for up to 8 intervals with beeps at the change, and the workout sequence can be set to repeat if you like. These intervals can be set for specific HR zones, and if the HR alarm is on, the watch will give distinctive beeps for being above or below your target for a given interval. I have found the HR recovery timer to be very useful as well. At some point I will probably program my own HR zones rather than use the watch's built in zones which are set up according to the standard percentage of max HR.
I found the watch easy to set up but I read instructions and don't usually have problems. I can think of people who wouldn't want to mess with it, so factor that in if you're not comfortable playing with gizmos with a lot of options.
When I first got it the tap feature did not seem to be working, but after setting it to the highest sensitivity and learning to touch it with 2 fingers and a quick tap it's working fine--it almost seemed to need to loosen up a bit.
The watch is huge. If you don't care what it looks like it works fine even on very small men's wrists. Due to the fixed angle of the band coming off the case it's not going to look fully at home on even the largest wrists but that's something few will notice on the large wrists.
A note about heart rate zones. Although the idea of training according to zones is very appealing, finding out your real maximum heart rate in order to set those zones is problematic. The common age-based formulas give you an average which may be as much as 20 beats off your actual MHR. Timex has a 'Tools for Success' brochure with an exercise-based process for figuring out your MHR which offers a nicely different approach. Ultimately, unless one wants to use a doctor or try one of the radical strategies found on the web, one has to watch for things like how your workouts affect you, how well you recover, etc., and adjust accordingly.