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For athletes, a heart rate monitor--and then some

Polar introduces the RS800cx heart rate monitor just before the New York City marathon.

The RS800cx monitors your heart while you do dishes. Polar

If you're a hard-core runner, it's a good idea to have the right tools at your disposal to maximize your training. In anticipation of the New York City Marathon Sunday, Polar a maker of portable fitness electronics, is now selling the RS800CX heart rate monitor. This is an updated version of the RS800G3 we covered last year.

The three major new features include:

  • GPS mapping: Routes are color-coded for "heart rate zones," and can be viewed on Google Earth with Polar's ProTrainer 5 Software
  • Compatibility with Polar's speed and cadence cycling sensors
  • Ability to combine multisport workouts into one training file

Admittedly, most of this stuff is overkill for someone like me who doesn't take fitness quite that seriously. I am interested in Polar's FT60 and FT80 though.

It doesn't do as much, but most of us don't need that much. I especially like how it tells you the optimal amount of time to rest between sets. As my life stands now, I wouldn't cough up money for these though. The RS800cx is available starting at $500. The FT60 and FT80 can be found for $240 and $350 respectively.

Check out the movie of the FT60and FT80 below (try to ignore the fitness people's banter though).