I have always been curious about the Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) to know if it really does help out in training. Was it only intended to be used by those with heart problems or any active person? Not only until late last year when I was given one was I able to try it out myself.
My past runs prior using the HRM would usually end up with myself being d-r-a-i-n-e-d. My long distance races would start out well only to end up with me bonking out. It’s a bad habit that I have of pushing myself to the limit right from the start, only to pay for it later on the 2nd half when my energy has depleted.
Now, that I’ve been using an HRM in my runs, I have noticed that I am able to sustain my endurance longer. I rarely burn out easily. Being more of a visual person, with the aid of a Visual heart rate zone app I was able to download on my watch, it has made it easier to monitor my heart activity.
Through the HRM, I’ve also discovered that the effort that I usually put into cycling on the stationary bike was only meant for recovery and not yet enough to give me strength or endurance. What?!? 😦
For someone who gets these weird heart palpitations once in ablue moon, wearing an HRM as I run has given me the peace of mind as it prevents me from going beyond what my heart can handle. I’m pretty new to this that I still have to master making the most out of the HRM, but as of now, I find it very efficient and would recommend it… although when you think about it, you rarely see Kenyans wearing HRMs. :p
I gathered up some active people to share their say on the usage of a Heart Rate Monitor to help you decide if you think you need one.
Very powerful tool. It gives me a good indication of my exertion by using the zones… heart rate zone. Over the years… I have trained na di tumataas hr ko kaagad. Like in the 7-11 marathon — since LSD lang plan ko, I deliberately was focusing on my hr and would you believe? My average was just 113 for the whole 42km! My time was over 6 hrs, but the good thing was zero need to recover the following day.
Over the years… I get to train to make the heart work efficiently. That’s how I get negative splits all the time,
by monitoring my hr all the way. Of course, in the last 5km, all break loose na, but by then fully dilated na veins. Isang buga ng dugo ng puso, easy na sa kanya.
What’s the main advantage? Over time, efficient na puso sa pag supply ng blood sa loads. Yun mga elites lumalaki pa nga puso nila para maka supply ng blood more.
Nakilala ko si Maffetone bago ko nakilala si Galloway. Now, combining both principles, chill lang na effort. Yes, not PR lagi, but I get to run kahit twice a month with a decent negative split time.
I use it primarily to monitor fitness level because I am hypertensive and with slight heart enlargement. I also do not want to over stress myself during endurance runs and hard climbs in cycling. HRM can tell when to push and when to lay low and conserve energy. It can be programmed to do specific targets for speed, tempo, or lsds. Run/walk intervals programming is one feature that is very helpful for me. I use it for running, cycling, and at times when swimming.
It has been helpful because monitoring has prevented possible major injuries, over exertion of oneself, or to extremes death.
Highly recommended specially for those who want to stay fit until retirement and beyond.
It is very helpful as it can be used to control the effort exerted so one does not burn out easily or under perform during a race. For example, I know that my heart at max effort can go up to 180-190bpm, but this is only good for all out runs or sprints lasting a few seconds. My ideal 5km pace is the one at 170-180bpm, my 10k pace is the one at 165-175bpm, and my 21k and marathon pace has to be the one at around 150-170bpm. All these change in time, because of training and other factors such as age. With proper training, one can go faster at the same heart rate level for the same distance.
I would recommend using a heart rate monitor, especially if you are into high intensity training, or going for endurance races where you’d like to find the optimum pace for a given distance. It is a nice tool for giving feedback on how one’s heart is performing.
I use it when running and biking. It has been especially helpful when you go long and want to maintain a specific heart rate/threshold, so that you conserve enough energy to be able to finish the race at the best possible time you can, or at least close to it. Plus the different types of workouts you can do mentioned earlier.
Would I recommend it? It depends on the goal and what type of runner/athlete (read jah’s previous entry about this) are we talking about.
It did not help that much because I was not able to maximize it. I did not have a training program that time that uses heart rate monitor. All it did for me was record my heart rate during training and compare my hr record with my previous trainings.
I would not recommend it, unless you will base your training on numbers/data derived from heart rate. If you’re going to use a hr strap around hour chest, it might even be irritating sometimes.
Rachel Jamiro, Triathlete
It is helpful especially if using for endurance sports.
Natutuwa ako na for example I started with 7:00 pace eh nasa zone 5 na heart rate. After a few months training if I run same pace mas mababa na. It gives me feedback that my body is getting stronger. In short, it’s for monitoring and motivation.
Marl Dario, Triathlete
I use a Heart Rate Monitor to make sure I train within my zone. It’s helpful as I know exactly my effort and yes, I would recommend it.