Earlier this week I said that in my opinion, most fitness gadget review articles don't help serious amateur athletes choose the best fitness gadget for their exercise regimen. To understand one reason why, take a look at the output of my Polar S-Series heart rate monitor as viewed through Polar Precision Performance Software, the training log software that came free with my HRM:
This is data that my heart rate monitor / bike computer captured during a duathlon (run-bike-run race) that took place in August. Only a few high end fitness gadgets ship with training log software that can produce a training log with this much performance data in it. Polar Precision Performance Software also provides daily and monthly summary views and charting capabilities that are of similar detail and complexity.
One of the biggest reasons that fitness gadgets like the Polar S-725 cost $200 to $300 is because you can build very detailed training logs with them. You can use historical data to help set thresholds for interval training. You can look at your performance over time and plan the intensity of workouts.
The problem with many fitness gadget reviews is that critical facts like whether the products ship with good training-log-management software are very often left out. Make sure you understand whether you are getting a complete package of fitness tools before you decide which cool fitness gadget to buy.