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Wat zijn de voordelen van lopen met een hartslagmeter?

What are the benefits of running with a heart rate monitor?

, by Dennis Florussen, 12 min reading time


Is it useful to run with a heart rate monitor? It ensures that you gain more insight into your training. But how exactly does it work? And which heart rate monitor is the best choice?

Is it useful to run with a heart rate monitor? It ensures that you gain more insight into your training. But how exactly does it work? And which heart rate monitor is the best choice?

With a heart rate monitor you can monitor your heart rate and gain insight into your training. The best heart rate monitors are comfortable enough that you forget you're wearing them, and they help you with your training by providing consistent and accurate heart rate data. It shows you how intense your training was and whether you have already recovered from your previous training. Wearing a heart rate monitor can ensure that you exercise more responsibly, optimize your training results and at the same time prevent overload.

Before power meters were introduced in cycling, heart rate measurement was the standard for measuring training effort and recovery. It is still an important metric used by athletes - professional or amateur - worldwide. And there are so many different options. There are lightweight chest straps, optical forearm-based heart rate monitors and small optical wristbands that can measure your heart rate. The latter is now being integrated into fitness trackers and smartwatches at all price points. Many smartwatches use optical heart rate sensors. 

Ranging from simple bands that communicate with your bike computer to advanced dual-band sensors with built-in memory, each option can map other metrics such as heart rate variation, memorizing training data and even determining cadence. 

But which of the countless options is the best heart rate monitor for you? The answer depends on factors such as your training needs, desires and budget constraints. 

What should you pay attention to with a heart rate monitor?

  1. ECG or LED

The classic heart rate chest strap uses sensors pressed against your skin to measure the electrical impulses that control the contraction and expansion of the muscles in your heart (ECG). Optical sensors, on the other hand, shine light through your skin (LED) and measure the variance in blood flow. Even with significant technological advances, the classic ECG-based chest strap still reigns supreme in terms of accuracy. 

Optical sensors must maintain consistent contact with your skin for an accurate reading, but bumps, jumps, and even muscle strain from gripping your handlebars can interfere with the sensor. And even sunscreen-covered skin can cause them to shift enough to hinder accuracy. 

In our experience, a loose chest strap provides much better point-to-point accuracy, but the optical sensors are still quite good at determining heart rate trends. Most of today's smartwatches have a built-in optical sensor and some can even connect to your head unit to serve as a sensor.

  1. Connectivity

As with speed/cadence sensors and power meters, heart rate sensors can connect to devices with ANT+ or Bluetooth, with most options now doing both. Choosing which one is best for you largely depends on the devices you'll be connecting. 

With a dual-band heart rate monitor you can seamlessly connect to your ANT+ compatible computer and laptop, phone or tablet without the need for an ANT+ dongle or a second sensor. Luckily, all the best heart rate monitors are dual-band, meaning they can pair with both Bluetooth and ANT+, which simplifies things a bit. 

Another consideration is that some Bluetooth devices can only communicate with one other device at a time. Some do offer multiple simultaneous Bluetooth connections, but ANT+ can broadcast to an unlimited number. If you're someone who rides Zwift but records the ride on your head unit or watch, this is something to keep in mind. 

  1. Other considerations

Are you a triathlete or do you incorporate running or swimming into your training? Some heart rate sensors offer running metrics such as vertical oscillation and cadence, while others are waterproof and can be worn in the pool and only record some data. 

You can extend the life of your heart rate belt by washing it regularly (note: some are machine washable, others are not, see the label for instructions).

Also, some bands hold your chosen length indefinitely without stretching, while others tend to loosen over time. Besides our idea, Garmin's bands are the best in this regard and can be easily adjusted if necessary. Wahoo straps also stay in place well, once you adjust them properly.

We explain our choices for you:

Garmin HRM Dual : Basic dual-band heart rate strap with long battery life 

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and ANT+ 
  • Battery type: Button cell 
  • Battery life: 1095 hours 
  • Simultaneous Bluetooth connections: 2 

Plus: 3.5 years of battery life
Plus: Supports HRV measurement
Plus: Very comfortable strap
Minus: Lack of advanced features 

Although Garmin owns the ANT+ protocol, its latest products have opened up to transmission via Bluetooth, making the HRM Dual perfect for anyone who wants to pair their heart rate monitor with a smartphone or tablet, rather than a cycling computer. 

The HRM Dual is a fairly basic heart rate monitor, so it doesn't come with the bells and whistles, like built-in memory and swim/run dynamics. However, it can track HRV, making it a very affordable step into the world of HRV tracking when paired with a suitable app. However, without all these extra bells and whistles, it is a very affordable option that does its job very well in basic measurements. 


Garmin HRM Pro: The best heart rate monitor for triathletes 

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and ANT+ 
  • Battery type: Button cell 
  • Battery life: 365 hours 
  • Simultaneous Bluetooth connections: 2 

Plus: Swimming statistics
Plus: Running dynamics
Plus: Internal memory
Minus: The best priced heart rate monitor available
Minus: Hand wash only 

The HRM Pro is the top of Garmin's latest range of heart rate monitors with both ANT+ and Bluetooth compatibility (unlike the brand's HRM Run, Tri or Swim). The HRM Pro has built-in memory, meaning it can store swim data and then send it straight to your device when you've finished your workout. It can also track running metrics such as ground contact time, stride length and more. For cyclists, it is easy to connect to your Zwift device or your Garmin bike computer. So ideal!

The band has button cell battery, with a battery life of 365 hours. Like the HRM Dual, replacing the battery is tricky, requiring the removal of four small screws and an o-ring that can easily be misplaced or damaged if you're not careful. 

The HRM Pro's pod cannot be removed from the strap, meaning washing must be done by hand rather than through the washing machine, and Garmin says this is necessary after seven triathlon events or after every pool swim. 

For those who plan to swim a lot, the HRM Swim comes with a wider strap, which gives it a better fit. Particularly useful for those who are not wearing a wetsuit, swimsuit or trisuit over the waistband. The tri-bundle is also a good choice.

4iiii HRM : One of the most accurate heart rate monitors due to beat-to-beat measurement 

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and ANT+ 
  • Battery type: Button cell 
  • Battery life: 200 hours 
  • Simultaneous Bluetooth ANT+ connections:Bluetooth, 1 ANT+ multiple 

Plus: Internal memory up to 65 hours
Plus: Five times faster reaction time
Plus: Beat-to-beat measurement: ten times more accurate than conventional heart rate monitors
Minus: No swimming stats 

This 4iiii Viiiiva HRM ANT+ heart rate belt can rightly be called a winner. Due to its super accurate beat-to-beat measurement, the heart rate measurement is 10 times more accurate than with regular heart rate monitors. Thanks to the ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart communication, you can perfectly connect this accessory with other devices such as the 4iiii Precision, Sportiiii, fitness equipment and the 4iiii app. The heart rate monitor can store up to 65 hours of data, so you can properly analyze your data at any time. The meter runs on a replaceable CR2032 battery that has a lifespan of up to 200 hours. 

  

Wahoo Tickr: The favorite for many.  

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and ANT+ 
  • Battery type: Button cell 
  • Battery life: 500 hours 
  • Simultaneous Bluetooth connections: 3 

Plus: Status LEDs provide easy understanding of battery and power status
Minus: Lack of advanced features 

Wahoo's Tickr is a standard dual-band Bluetooth and ANT+ heart rate chest strap that was recently updated. Wahoo has reduced the size of the device for a better fit. The battery life has also been extended by almost 50 percent, which equates to 500 hours of use on a single battery. For ease of use, the Tickr range can connect to three devices simultaneously, which is especially useful for indoor cycling as it allows you to control your headwind fan while cycling on Zwift via your laptop, or monitor your heart rate via a cycling computer and a phone at the same time can connect. 

The pod has a standard CR2032 battery that lasts about a year. The pod is easy to open (a coin works best), and the sensor has a water and dust resistance of IPX7. The Tickr is easy to use and has no fuss, making it one of the cheaper options available. 


Wahoo Tickr One of the better heart rate monitors for cyclists and runners 

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and ANT+ 
  • Battery type: Button cell 
  • Battery life: 500 hours 
  • Simultaneous Bluetooth connections: 3 

Plus: internal memory
Plus: advanced stats for cycling and running
Plus: Double-tap controls
Minus: No swimming stats 

Like the Tickr, it has the standard function that is expanded with a built-in memory that can store up to 50 hours of heart rate and calorie data. You can also train with the Tickr In addition to heart rate and calories, the Wahoo Tickr X can also provide running analytics and even track your indoor cycling cadence thanks to built-in accelerometers. It is also a bit more compact than its predecessor, which contributes to a more comfortable fit. 


Wahoo Tickr Fit HR bracelet : User-friendly optical HR strap 

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and ANT+ 
  • Battery type: Rechargeable 
  • Battery life: 30 hours 
  • Simultaneous Bluetooth connections: 1 

Plus: This allows you to remove the chest strap
Minus: A bit inconvenient when wearing shirts with sleeves
Minus: Less accurate than a chest strap 

The Tickr Fit is an optical heart rate sensor designed to be worn on your arm using green LEDs to read blood flow under your skin. It is designed to be worn on the forearm or upper arm and comes with two straps to fit all sizes. 

Like the Tickr chest strap, it is dual-band (Bluetooth and ANT+), pairs seamlessly with a range of devices and has a built-in USB rechargeable battery. The downside comes when you wear a shirt with sleeves, as it is not slim enough to fit comfortably under arm warmers and the like.  

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What are the benefits of running with a heart rate monitor?