About a week ago I decided to dust off the Garmin heart rate monitor strap that was sitting in the drawer of my bedside table. I have used the HR monitor sporadically in the past, but I decided to start using it again to get a sense of how my perceived effort levels correlate with my heart rate.
There are a number of different methods for determining your maximum heart rate, and consequently the various training zones. I did one a while ago on the track and came up with my magic max heart rate number. Although there are some simple mathematical formulas to determine max heart rate, they aren’t as accurate.
With the heart rate monitor, I have been trying to focus more on keeping myself in a zone, rather than focusing on the pace on my watch. Keeping track of your heart rate can be a good way of making sure you aren’t running too hard on easy days. It can also help you make sure you are training at the right exertion level for you harder workouts too.
After using my heart rate monitor, I have found that I can actually run faster in my zones than I might have during prescribed “speed workouts.” My plan is to continuing looking at my heart rate data, in conjunction with other stats to see what insights I can get into my training,
Have you ever used a heart rate monitor in your training? What did you like/dislike about it?