I was absolutely psyched when the folks from Beets Blu reached out to me about reviewing both their heart rate monitor and pager tag. While I love my Garmin, it doesn’t track heart rate and lately, I’ve been really intrigued by the idea of using another tool as an indicator of how hard I’m working (or slacking as the case may be…) What can I say, as a runner I LOVE getting my hands on more hard data that I can use to analyze my running performance. The pager tag was another cool bonus (I’ll admit, I was most excited about the heart rate monitor.) It’s nice and small and came with a little cord so you could attach it to your keys if you wanted.
It took me a few minutes playing with it before I figured out I had to download an app (called PagerTag) to my iPhone and then sync it with the pager over Bluetooth. Then, BOOM – it worked like a charm! I wouldn’t say I’m the most tech-savvy person in the world, but it still only took me about 5 minutes to figure out. I decided to put the pager tag in my wallet. With all the travel I’ve been doing lately, I don’t know WHAT I would do if I lost my wallet (it gives me nightmares just thinking about it.) At least this way, I figure if I misplace my wallet in a hotel room for example, I would easily be able to find it again using the Beets Blu pager tag.
The heart rate monitor was a little trickier. This time, I at least knew I had to download an app (there are separate apps for the heart rate monitor and the pager tag).
After turning on Bluetooth on my phone, the heart rate monitor quickly showed up under the Bluetooth devices in my phone settings, but when I searched for the device within the app (so that I could connect the two and actually see my HR data), I just kept getting the message that the device could not be located. Grrr.
I sent an email that night to the tech support for Beets Blu, and had an answer from them by 8:15 the next morning. I was pretty impressed with the speediness of their response! Apparently, with the iOS 8 versions and above, the heart rate monitor automatically syncs with the Health app already on the iPhone. All I had to do was open that app and disable the automatic sync, and then the BeetsBlu heart rate app immediately synced up with the heart rate monitor. I was so glad it was an easy fix because I was aching to finally test it out!
I used it for the first time at the gym and then on a run. I adjusted the band to fit just below my sports bra, and found it pretty comfortable. Once I turned on Bluetooth on my phone, the monitor and app quickly synced up and immediately began recording my heart rate data. It was so neat watching my heart rate go from normal to slightly elevated (while lifting weights) to really elevated (while running). The only thing that bums me out is that I have to have the app open and be looking at it on my phone to see my heart rate in real time, which is doable at the gym but a little trickier while out on a run.
Never having worked out with a heart rate monitor before, I immediately started looking for some guidance on the good ol’ internet. I found two awesome articles:
- Why Using a Heart Rate Monitor is Totally Worth It from Greatist (This week’s Wellness Resource Wednesday popping up again!)
- Heart Rate Training: Is it Right For You? from Runner’s World
These articles have me very excited about all the training possibilities with the Beets Blu Heart Rate Monitor. According to the articles, I’ll have to figure out what my max heart rate is by running a time trial at my 5k pace for 2-3 miles and see what my heart rate tops out at.
It would have been AWESOME if I had had this while I was running my Good Times series 5k’s over the summer, because I know I was giving those 100% effort and that will be hard to replicate on a run by myself, but I am definitely going to give it a shot.
Basically, a heart rate monitor is a fantastic training tool to not only take your workouts to the next level, but also to prevent injuries by ensuring you maintain your easy, gentle pace on recovery days. The great thing about Beets Blu is that their products are affordable too. The heart rate monitor is only $39.95, and available through Amazon and their website. The pager tag is also really affordable at $24.95 (infinitely cheaper than the inconvenience of losing your keys or wallet). Compared to the cost of a lot of fitness trackers on the market today, this is a pretty solid deal.
Have you ever trained with a heart rate monitor? Does it appeal to you? Which do you think would be more valuable for you – ensuring your recovery runs are truly in your “easy” recovery zone or making sure you hit 80-90% of your max rate on your hard runs?
*Disclaimer: I was provided with a Beets BLU heart rate monitor and Pager Tag in exchange for writing this review. As always, all opinions are my own! 🙂