It’s fair to say that running is ‘in’. Everyone, be they Man, Woman, Child, or Beast will know someone who runs. There are, or so it seems, running events taking place every weekend covering the length and breadth of the country, and these are usually televised to the masses via the big TV channels.
With the art of putting one foot in front of the other at a quicker pace than walking becoming so popular it’s no surprise then that running is now classed as big business, and the market is full of items to help you run. From sweatbands to sensors to those funny shaped water bottles that look like a baby’s teething ring, there is something out there for everyone.
As a result, when the opportunity to test out the Wahoo Blue HR Heart Rate Monitor we jumped at the chance as an incentive to get those trainers on and get back out there.
The Wahoo Blue HR is a wireless heart rate monitor for use with iPhone 4S and above, and for other Bluetooth Smart devices. Bluetooth Smart, which can also be known as Bluetooth 4.0, Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE/BTLE, is the newest version of the Bluetooth system. Bluetooth has been around for many years and has recently seen an upswing in devices that require a connection, gadgets such as Wireless headphones regularly use the connectivity capabilities of Bluetooth on smart phones, however this has often been at a detriment to the battery in said smart phone, which Bluetooth Smart aims to correct. Bluetooth Smart devices are, as their other monikers suggest, low energy. They do not need to put that extra drain on your smart phone battery to function, they operate off a simple coin battery that you can find in kids toys and watches.
The Wahoo Blue HR is a chest strap and a heart rate monitor. The adjustable chest strap makes it comfortable to use, and the monitor itself just clicks on to the strap. The monitor is a small thing, 2.75″ wide and 1.5″ tall, so once it’s on and comfortable you don’t really notice that it’s there. As the device is Bluetooth it’s open to use with a multitude of running apps, as opposed to the more specific Garmin or Nike devices. You can use the Wahoo Blue HR with Runmeter, Runkeeper and Endomondo, as well as the Wahoo Fitness app that is included.
Whilst form and function are both excellent, the actual setting up of the Wahoo Blue HR was a little bit more confusing that it should have been. For a start the device doesn’t come with any real instructions on what to do, instead it comes with a small ‘Quick Start Guide’ that contains a QR code and some pictures of the other Wahoo devices you could purchase. A QR reader is needed to find the app, as searching on App Store reveals too many Wahoo apps available. Once you’ve scanned the QR code though, it takes you to the mobile version of the Wahoo site, specifically the Products page of the Wahoo site where you can marvel, once again, at the other devices they sell, but still no hints as to which app to download.
We would at this point recommend clicking on ‘View Full Site’ and searching in their Help section for the appropriate app. That way is a lot easier.
Once you have the app, you need to sync it with the Bluetooth Smart device. This isn’t due via the smart phone as other devices are, it’s done through the particular app you are using. Again though due to lack of instruction this can be a trial and error experiment depending on the app you are using. The Wahoo fitness app is relatively straight forward, but we had problems in getting Runkeeper to find the device.
Once up and running the Wahoo Blue HR works exactly how you want it to. It measures heart rate, your best and worst; the laps, distance, time taken, your pacing, calories burned, and more. Basically everything you would want to know about your run is relayed to you in handy bite sized information
The Wahoo Blue HR is a great piece of tech. It’s not easy to set up, but once it is set up then it works like a dream. If you are serious about your running, then we can recommend this to you, we can’t promise you’ll run any better – we’re still flailing about like Pheobe from Friends – but you’ll know where to start working on it.
The Wahoo Blue HR can be purchased from Amazon here priced £50