The Wahoo TICKR Run heart rate monitor is an elastic belt with heart rate tracker that buttons just below your bust line. It connects with your iPhone or Android through the app Wahoo Fitness to display your heart rate among other things. When you put it on the red and blue lights on either side (shown below, the little circles) flash, showing that it is connected (blue) and tracking your heart rate (red).
Using an on-board accelerometer, the monitor analyzes your running form by providing you with your stride rate right beside your heart rate, and your running smoothness, a number that is said to provide insight into how to improve your efficiency and reduce the risk of injury. From Wahoo Fitness,
“The built-in accelerometer measures the rate of change in acceleration, or the “jerk” of your body, for three dimensions – front to back, side to side, and up and down. Combined with the Wahoo Fitness App, you can see your Running Smoothness Index, a rating from 50 to 150. The higher the number, the more smooth or efficient of a runner you are!”
The smoothness number was something that I went back to look at post-workout and compare to other workouts. It was neat running on the treadmill and seeing my heart rate go up as my stride rate went up. Most elite distance runners are said to have a stride rate around 180 strides per minute.
Let’s start from the beginning. I received the heart rate monitor, and the first step was to sync with the app. No directions came with the monitor – everything is in the app. I had a little trouble syncing and put it aside for a bit, but once I figured that out, I moved on to using the app with the monitor. The first thing that I did was the field test on the treadmill to get my burn and burst rates, which I found to be interesting! I loved doing the field test! I found the monitor to be comfortable, and it didn’t interfere with my workout.
From here, you can click “View Online Training Plans” and get some free training plans – 3 different levels.
For outside running, I tried it initially and my first attempt was using it for a 5-mile outside run. It stopped working after 20 seconds, but since I wasn’t paying attention to it, I didn’t know until after I was done. My second attempt was using it along with Map My Run for a race, and again, it stopped tracking after 18 seconds. With the advice to moisten the straps before starting, it has worked well since.
One thing I am used to from other apps is your lap pace (mile split) – this would be a great thing to have so that I don’t have to have another app going at the same time to track my mile paces. I love seeing them at the end of my run and it would be cool to see my heart rate through each mile!
I just recently figured out that it has treadmill mode and spinning mode along with running and cycling modes. Here is a screen shot of running on the treadmill before I figured out it had treadmill mode. I like having it open on the treadmill to track my stride rate and heart rate while I’m running and see how they change.
Overall, this heart rate monitor plus the app give me extra motivation to want to run on the treadmill since I can watch my progress! I feel like it could really enhance my running if I look over my history and see how I can improve. I have never used a heart rate monitor and I love using one! I still like paper over reading things on the computer, so I would prefer a little booklet with all the capabilities of using the monitor with the app. It would save time and many questions!
The WAHOO TICKR RUN heart rate monitor sells for $79.99 and the app is free! It works with iPhones and Androids.
I would give it 4.5 stars – the only improvements being the mile splits and more direction up front.
Do you use a heart rate monitor while running or exercising? What else do you want to know?