Heart Rate Monitor in a hat
Did my first run today with my new Life Beam hat. It was awesome.
On my long weekend runs my goal is to run "aerobically", which for me means very slow, and the only way I know I am running slow enough is to monitor my heart rate. I follow the Maffetone method, which in simple terms means running at a heart rate of approximately 180 minus your age (so for me that's around 129 beats per minute, but don't ask me how old I am, since I won't tell you....).
You can read more about Maffetone on his website: http://philmaffetone.com/what-is-the-maffetone-method/
I wear a Garmin 920 XT watch, which connects to a heart rate strap. Heart rate straps are a pain. They have to fit relatively tightly, and on hot days on long runs they start to chafe, which is very annoying.
The Life Beam hat solves that problem, because it has a heart rate monitor built in to the hat. It's an optical sensor that touches your forehead and reads your pulse, and sends it to the battery pack and bluetooth transmitter at the back of the hat. Brilliant.
It took a few seconds to pair it with my Garmin, and I can watch my heart rate without wearing a strap.
I first heard about it on the +EndurancePlanetTV
podcast; you can buy it through a link on their website, which also gives you a discount:http://www.enduranceplanet.com/shop/
(I get no commission from this; I'm not affiliated with any of them).
After the discount, and with express shipping (2 days) to Canada, and with our weak Canadian dollar, the total cost was $143 Canadian. If you get standard shipping it's cheaper.
My hat is white, but the picture from their website shows where the sensors are positioned. The electronic unit charge lasts for 15 hours of running, and is rechargeable by plugging it into a USB port on your computer.
I did a 2 and a half hour run today and it worked perfectly.
So there you go. If you want a heart rate monitor buy don't want to wear a strap, here's a solution. I wear a hat anyway (it keeps the bugs out of my hair when I'm on the trail, and keeps the sun away), so it was an easy transition for me.