My Polar heart rate monitor conked out in July, 2007. No goodbyes, no warning, just a blank grey screen. As I was in the midst of a season of long, challenging rides, I didn’t do more than put it away in my drawer to deal with when winter rolled around again and early season training required some precision. Well, a year came and went and it was finally time to figure this out. I went into the Depot a few weeks ago to ask Mike and Geoff what they knew about replacing Polar HRM batteries. As it turns out, I was reading the web site correctly. I was going to need to send it off to Long Island with my credit card number just to change the battery. So send it off I did after realizing that buying a new monitor just because I needed a new battery was absurd.
It’s easy to adjust to life without a HRM. In the past, I used to love to pinpoint my level of exertion to meet training demands or to pace myself during long and difficult events. Over the past year, though, I’ve just approximated a 75-85% workout. Having used a monitor before, I know how deceptive perceived exertion can be. The good news is that after spending $22.63 for a new battery, gasket and shipping I have my HRM back in the same shape it was in before it died on me. The bad news is I have no more excuses for imprecise and inefficient training.
I don’t use a power meter although I know others who do and I am aware of their superiority to HRM training. A guy can only spend so much on gear in one year, though. So for $22.63, I’m back on track. Beginning tomorrow morning, shortly before dawn, I’ll drag myself out of bed, brew a pot of fresh coffee and head off to the studio for some punishment. At least now, I’ll know exactly what my heart thinks of the effort. Now I just have to remember what all these buttons are for. Hope I didn’t throw out that manual.