Timex Women's Ironman Road Trainer Digital HRM Flex Tech Chest Strap & Mid-Size
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- Flex-Tech digital sensor eliminates heart rate monitor cross-talk and electronic interference
- 50-Lap chronograph memory with average heart rate per lap
- Interval timer - each segment with its own target zone
- Target heart rate alert with time-in-zone data
- BPM or %-of-max heart rate display
- Indiglo Light-Up Watch Dial
- Indiglo Night-Light
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An essential training companion that makes a bold statement, the Timex Ironman Road Trainer digital heart rate monitor series offers performance and comfort in a next-generation style. This innovative tool is designed for both fitness enthusiasts and weekend warriors to help them meet their exercise goals.
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In January 2016, I purchased this Timex Women's T5K723 Ironman Road Trainer for $71. I am beyond happy. First, using web documentation referenced in the manual, I was able to determine a more accurate version of my actual maximum heart. (No, it is NOT 220 minus your age.) My max is 180. Then, using that max rate, the watch established MY five heart rate zones. For me, these are: 1) 90-107 (50-59%); 2) 108-125 (60-69%); 3) 126-143 (70-79%); 4) 144-161 (80-89%); and 5) 162-180 (90-100%). From these five, I was able to set my own target heart rate zone for my workouts. Initially, I used zone 4 -- that is, 70%-79% of my max heart rate. However, this watch allows you to set two alternative heart rate zones. I use the zone 4-5 heart rates (144-180) for C1 and the zone 2-3 heart rates (108-143) for C2. During my workouts, I can visually see where within the C1 or C2 zone I am. I can toggle between viewing heart rate alone, chronometer (time into workout) alone, heart rate and chronometer simultaneously (with either one displayed enlarged and central to the display).
I haven't yet used the interval feature, because I am happy with what my training currently gives me. I define my own intervals because cold weather has me on indoor equipment, each piece of which has its own time, pace, etc monitors. When the weather improves, I'll be back outside more -- biking, hiking, running, and playing sports, so I may add the interval feature. If I decide to train for a 10K, I will definitely do so. There is no more effective way to build strength, stamina, and speed.
I exercise daily alternating between two different types of workouts: 1) 90 minutes on aerobic equipment and 2) 45 minutes of weight training followed by 30-45 minutes on aerobic equipment. For my purposes, this watch and the heart rate band work well for me for now. If I decide that I would like to track my outdoor runs and rides, I will probably move up to a Polar watch and band since they offer GPS and allow online monitoring of routes including elevation, etc.
Another feature I love is being able to review each workout. It gives you total minutes; time in your target zone; average heart rate; peak heart rate; minimum heart rate; total calories burned (based on your sex, age, weight, and activity level determined by your time in each heart rate zone); and your recovery rate (the best measure of fitness level).
A bit about the heart rate zones. Zone 1 will get started on your way to being fit. Zone 2 will help you lose a little weight and burn fat (unless you reward your workout by eating more). Zone 3 is for building your aerobic base and will control both staying power (stamina) and length of workout (endurance). You should have a good base before moving to the anaerobic activity level. (The best measure of your aerobic base is your recovery level. You can read more about recovery levels in the guide that comes with this watch and band or you can research it online.) Zone 4 is for anaerobic fitness. (You have to be in VERY GOOD physical condition to have this as a goal.) Here, you burn mainly glycogen (sugar) as opposed to only fat. Zone 5 is the Red Zone. It is not maintainable for more than brief bursts (up to a few minutes) and is not recommended for someone who is not in EXCELLENT physical condition. Nothing in this review is meant as definitive advice. These are things that I have learned FOR MYSELF in the process of learning MY OWN BODY and MY BODY'S LIMITS. YOUR BODY and YOUR BODY'S LIMITS may be different. You should only begin a training or workout regimen after consulting with a physician who determines that you are physical able to do so.
A couple of random things you need to know about this device --
* for women, tuck the band up under your bra/sports bra to help it stay in place
* for anyone, licking the two contact pads before setting them in place on your chest also helps prevent them from slipping out of place
* when you remove the strap, unsnap the Sensor and wipe it dry; also wipe the snaps dry -- Rust may degrade the contact and function!
* set the strap out flat or draped over a chair or something to allow it to completely air dry
* occasionally wipe the strap (I do it once a week) with a damp sponge to discourage the breakdown of the elastic; allow to dry completely before next use
I have only had this since January 2, 2016 and have used it everyday since. No problems yet. Here's hoping...
The one thing that I'm not thrilled about is the heart rate monitor strap. It seems thin. When wearing it during exercise, you can hardly tell it is there. The strap got curled when I first wore it and now the wrinkles seem to be permanent.
It is awesome at telling me how many calories I just burned!
So far this one is just as great as the last one with some improvements to the chest band. The sending unit on the band is bigger without being too obnoxious and it is removable so you can wash the band....a definite plus.
I'm confident this is accurate after having been hooked up to an EKG while wearing the HRM and noted the heart rate read within 1-2 BPM of the EKG.
I'm not a big fan of the pink band, but I'm not wearing it for looks.
I have not tried swimming or anything water-related, so I can't speak to that but I definitely recommend this watch and band.