Posts Tagged ‘heart rate training’

Understanding Heart Rates

August 15th, 2013

Many runners keep a close eye on their heart rate during exercise. So many, in fact, that we carry a wide selection of heart rate monitors. But like any piece of data, the number is useless unless you know what it means.

Jack Daniels, Ph.D, has a great blog post over at on the subject of Understanding Heart Rates. And he should know, having coached 30 NCAA National Champions, 130 All-Americans, and 5 Olympians over his storied 30 year career.

In his post, Dr. Daniels discusses the limited value of comparing your resting or max heart rate with other runners. He also cautions on the value of determining your appropriate maximum heart-rate value only by using a formula that is related to your age. His best advice? Keep a log book of your heart-rate values associated with rest and with each of your weekly runs, including pace, weather conditions, and other pertinent data.  As he writes, “When later in the year you see lower heart rates for rest or for the same intensity of exercise, you know your heart is getting stronger and you are getting fitter.” Amen to that.

Run Training , ,

Heart Rate Monitors Plain and Simple

February 27th, 2013

You don’t have to be a gearhead to jump – or run – into the world of heart rate monitors. Today’s market offers a great selection of sleek and simple monitors that are easy to operate.

Why Buy a Heart Rate Monitor?

Incorporating heart rate training gives you more control over your workouts and can be a clutch training tool when it comes to making fitness gains and breaking through plateaus. A heart rate monitor can help you make sure you’re hitting your target heart rate during a workout, or staying in a lower heart rate zone on an active recovery day. You can also use a heart rate monitor to work intervals of higher and lower intensity exertion.

Whether your running goals are fitness or race-performance related, a heart rate monitor can enhance your training. These nifty little gadgets are a much more precise way to keep track of your efforts than ‘perceived exertion,’ giving you the power to manipulate your workouts to achieve your goals.

Our Popular Models

If simple is your style, here are a few of our favorite basic heart rate monitors:

Timex Easy Trainer

The Timex Easy Trainer offers a no-frills approach to heart rate training. All you need to do is secure the included heart rate monitor strap around your chest and press the red ‘On/Off’ button, and you’re on your way. The large, easy-to-read display helps you keep track of your heart rate on your run, even in the dark thanks to the INDIGLO® night light. After your run, the Workout Review feature recalls activity time along with average and peak heart rates.

Polar FT4

The Polar FT4 provides heart rate information, as well as an estimate of calories burned during a workout. This heart rate monitor also has a coded heart rate transmission, so it will correctly pick up your own heart rate even if your training partner is wearing a heart rate monitor as well. You can even set heart-rate-based target zones with visual and audible alarms, and choose from eight languages to display. Read more…

Run Training, Running Accessories , , , , , ,

Heart Rate Training for Peak Performance

October 4th, 2012

New Balance Women's N4 HRM, Garmin 910XT w/HRM, Timex Easy Trainer HRM

Many runners gauge the intensity of their workout by how they feel, which can be a deceptive indicator of actual exertion. If you have specific training goals, heart rate training can help you successfully build a workout plan to accomplish those goals. Heart rate training is also a great option for the runner who would just like to know how hard their body is working on a given run.

Don’t rely on ‘perceived exertion’

A workout may feel easier or more difficult depending on a variety of factors. For example, if you’re tired, a long run might feel incredibly difficult, even if your body is not putting forth as much effort as you feel it is. Conversely, many athletes underestimate how much harder your body has to work to maintain a level temperature when running in hot conditions. Basing your workout on how your body feels can easily result in a lower – or higher – intensity workout that you had planned.

You’ve got the power!

Using a heart rate monitor gives you complete control over the intensity of each workout. Watching your heart rate will ensure that a high intensity day is as strenuous as you wanted it to be (it hurts so good!). Keeping an eye on what your ticker is doing will also let you ensure that an easy 8 really is easy, which can keep you from over training and getting injured.

How to get started with heart rate training

The first step to effective heart rate training is to calculate your maximum heart rate. Your max heart rate is the highest heart rate you can safely reach during exercise. To approximate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, if you’re 42 years old, then your max heart rate would be 178.

For challenging interval repeats, your HR should be at about 95-100% of your max heart rate. Tone it down to about 85-92% for a tempo run, and 65-75% for an easy run, or when you’re logging a very long run.

Selecting the appropriate heart rate monitor

Choosing the heart rate monitor that’s best for your needs depends on a variety of factors. The heart rate monitors on the market today range from über-simple devices that just measure your ticker’s BPM, to almost space-age mini computers that have GPS capabilities and can monitor your pace and track your workout progress over time.

Simple Monitors

  • Timex Easy Trainer Heart Rate Monitor – A simple, affordable, and user-friendly model to help you manage your workouts.
  • New Balance Women’s N4 Heart Rate Monitor – This popular model looks slick and provides zone training, basic timing, and a 9-run memory to help fine-tune and record your workouts.
  • Garmin FR70 HRM – An HR monitor that offers heart rate zones and interval training workouts, this watch also gives the ability to upload and store your data online at Garmin Connect.

Advanced Monitors

  • Polar RCX3 GPS w/HRM – This sleek watch makes it easy to obtain info on heart rate, along with pace and lap times when teamed with the separate GPS pod. You can also upload data to the Polar online site with the included USB transfer pod.
  • Garmin Forerunner 910XT w/HRM – Get heart rate data, GPS capabilities, and workout tracking all in one device. The ability to record accurate elevation gain/loss, an accelerometer to measure swim stroke efficiency, and a 20-hour battery life all make this the ultimate multi-sport watch (note you won’t be able to get HRM data in the water).

Want more? Shop our complete collection of heart rate monitors.

Running Accessories, Running Sport , , , ,