For many people the use of a heart rate monitor(HRM) can be confusing or seem like an unnecessary addition to your inventory of gear. I want to give you a few reasons to purchase a HRM and explain some of the benefits that I have received in my personal use.
A heart rate monitor can be a very effect tool for a variety of reasons but here are three of the main reasons I use a heart rate monitor in my daily training.
1) It helps with the periodization of my training. Periodization is just a big word for mixing up hard workouts with easier ones and/or off days. A heart rate monitor lets you see (in real time) the effort you are putting out when running, or cycling. This can be extremely valuable in controlling your effort on easy days or pushing through the pain on hard days and reaching a certain number.
2) It helps me know when I am tired or rested. This isn’t fool proof but it can give you a general idea of how your body is responding to the workload you are putting on it. Generally, if you are well rested, your heart rate will be low when at rest and you will be able to get it high when working out. When you are tired it will be slightly higher when at rest and generally will take more perceived effort to raise it to a significant level when training.
3) It helps me pace myself when racing. I typically race off of perceived effort but I also use a HRM to know if I am using too much energy too fast. For instance, if I know my threshold is 165hr and I am at 170 for the first mile of a half marathon, I might need to back it off if I want to finish strong.
So a heart rate monitor can be a valuable tool that can help you in your training and racing. The 920XT has been the go to for triathletes and what I wear now, but rumor has it, Garmin is coming soon with an updated even better version so stay tuned! We recommend the Garmin 520 or 820 for cyclists and the Garmin 620 for the runners. One of these devices will allow you to measure heart rate during your swims, bikes and runs! If you are looking to take your training and racing to next level come by a Playtri Store today and pick up the latest Heart Rate Monitor. What are you waiting for?