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High-performance heart-rate monitors for athletes

For those who take their workouts seriously, it's tough to go wrong with the Polar FT60, reviews say. Named our Best Reviewed pick, the FT60 is accurate and packed with features, but does lack some extras that come with some less expensive heart-rate monitors. It doesn't have the chronograph ability found in the Timex Ironman Race Trainer, but its extensive virtual trainer feature is very well regarded.

Called Star Training, this feature creates a weekly workout routine for the user based on his or her fitness level, activity level and profile data. The weekly plan consists of exercise duration and a calorie target necessary to meet each goal. The user can choose training goals such as improve fitness, maximize performance or lose weight, and set workout intensities. The Star Training program evaluates your session and weekly performance, gives feedback and adapts the next week's workouts accordingly so you stay on track to meet your overall goals.

The FT60 can save up to 100 files for uploading to a computer or to Polar's online component, PolarPersonalTrainer.com. However, that requires the purchase of an optional Polar FlowLink USB module (*Est. $50). Other accessories include a GPS sensor (*Est. $130) or a more basic Foot Pod (*Est. $50) for tracking speed, pace and distance. Like most current Polar heart-rate monitors, the batteries are user-replaceable.

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Polar FT60 Women's Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Purple)
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from Amazon.com
New: $239.95 $219.95   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Timex Ironman Race Trainer Heart Rate Monitor Watch, Black/Grey
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from Amazon.com
New: $149.95 $141.13   
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Heart Rate Monitors Runners Up:

Omron HR-100C *Est. $35

2 picks including: Amazon.com, ConsumerReports.org…

Timex Personal Trainer T5G971 *Est. $35

2 picks including: Amazon.com, Overstock.com…

Polar FT7 *Est. $75

2 picks including: About.com, Amazon.com…

Timex Ironman Road Trainer *Est. $80

2 picks including: About.com, Amazon.com…

Polar RS300X *Est. $100

2 picks including: Amazon.com, The New York Times…

Sportline Duo 1060 *Est. $85

1 pick including: About.com, Amazon.com…

Suunto Quest *Est. $250

1 pick including: Amazon.com, Suunto.com…

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Omron HR-100CN Heart Rate Monitor
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $59.99 $34.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Timex Mid-Size T5G971 Personal Trainer Heart Rate Monitor Watch
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $69.95 $64.98   
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Average Customer Review:  
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FT7-M Men's Heart Rate Monitor Watch
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from Amazon.com
New: $119.95   
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Timex Ironman Road Trainer Mid
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
Average Customer Review:  
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Sportline 1060 Unisex Duo Speed and Distance Heart Rate Monitor
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $119.99 $91.22   
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