Heart rate monitors - anyone use them in there training

#2
Very good as long as you know how to use them. They are excellent for ensuring you work at the right level in the gym, but I find it very difficult to control my heart rate if I'm out running.
 
#3
I've used one for a few years, they're great - and not just for endurance athletes, they monitor your exercise allowing you to get the most from your workout. One of the first things I noticed when I started using a HRM was that I was working harder than I needed to in conditioning & recovery sessions.

I use 6 different "zones" for training sessions - Zone 1 being 50-60% of my max heart rate (MHR) which is considered fat burning/easy upto Zone 6 95-100% MHR which is lactic. Depending on where i am in my program & race calender, I train in a mixture of zones from low aerobic/steady to anaerobic threshold. The key point is, training with a HRM allows me to do this because at any one time apart from my own perceived rate of exhaustion, I know what rate my heart is working at.

Its that old saying about training smarter, not harder - or something :D

I've said elsewhere that I use a Polar S625X with a footpod which is an awesome bit of kit.... Clicky .......I use the software to update my program & down load to the HRM, however if you're not going to use the functions then get yourself down to Aldi, they are selling basic HRMs for a niffty 12.99.

Two good books I'd recomend anyone to read who's new to traning with a HRM are:

Ken Maclaren - How to Exercise for Health & Fitness with a Heart Rate Monitor (ISBN 0-9582287-8-7)

Ken Maclaren - The Heart Rate Monitor Training Guide for Runners.
(ISBN 0=9582287-3-6)
 
#4
Hmm interesting, I am currently traing for an ardous marathon and using my HRM however anybody know of free websites to gain INT how to train with these badgers.......... it would appreciated
 
#5
From Runnersworld you lazy sod! ;-)

Heart Rate Training - The Basics
By Sean Fishpool
RW's short, foolproof guide to training by heart rate

How To Find Your Maximum Heart Rate
A heart rate monitor can help to ensure that you don't work too hard - or take it too easy! - in training sessions. Depending on the session, your target heart rate will be anywhere between 60 and 95% of your maximum.

To know your target heart rate though, you'll need to know your maximum. If you're very overweight or a complete beginner, it's best to use the very approximate formula of 214-(0.8 x age) for men and 209-(0.9 x age) for women to estimate your maximum.

Unfortunately for 5-10 per cent of the population this figure can be wrong by up to 24 beats per minute. It's much better to find your maximum through running. Do this by warming up, then running as fast as you can evenly for three minutes (ideally on a treadmill), then resting with two or three minutes gentle running, then repeating your three minute maximal run. During your second run you should get a higher maximum heart rate than with any other method - though use your heart rate monitor to take readings throughout it, as your heart rate may peak before the end.

What Heart Rate To Train At
There are three broad training zones:

60-75% - easy
75-85% - moderate
85-95% - hard
But… don't fall foul to a common misconception: these aren't percentages of your overall maximum heart rate - they're percentages based on your working heart rate. It makes a big practical difference to a regular runner. It's easy to do, but it takes more explanation than most gyms want to deal with.

Find Your Training Zone Like This:
Find your maximum heart rate (see above) eg 206
Find your resting heart rate (laying still, soon after you wake up. Ideally take an average over a few days). eg 56
Subtract the resting rate from the maximum. This figure is your working heart rate. eg 206-56=150
Take whatever percentage of your working heart rate that you're aiming for (eg 60% for an easy run eg 150x0.60=90), and add it to your resting heart rate eg 90+56=146. The final figure is your personal target heart rate.

Sample Sessions:
60% Recovery run - dead slow. It may feel biomechanically odd at first, but it's important. 30-40 minutes.
60-70% Long, slow runs - up to 65% the body is teaching itself to burn fat as fuel (useful for marathons). Anything from 1-3hrs.
70-85% Fartlek - speedplay (moderate-paced runs with random fast bursts). 30-60 minutes
70-85% Undulating route - peak at 85% on the climbs. 30-90 minutes
85% Anaerobic threshold run (or 'tempo run') - this teaches your body to run hard for long periods. Approximately 10-mile to half-marathon race pace. Sample session: 1.5 miles at 60%, then 15-20 mins at exactly 85%, then 1.5 miles at 60%.
85-90% Approx 5K-10K pace. Sample sessions: 6 x 800m peaking at 90% in each rep; 5 x 2000m peaking at 85% in each rep.
95% Peak heart rate at 400m rep pace (not full-out race pace). Sample session: 12 x 400m with 200m jog recoveries, making sure recovery heart rate drops to at least 70%.

NB: you can't usefully use a heart rate monitor to pace intervals below 1000m - rather, the figures above 85% are a guide to what you can expect to reach at the end of each repetition.

If The Target Pace Seems Way Too Slow…You may not be using an accurate maximum heart rate (if you've estimated it). Add 12 beats your theoretical maximum and try the calculations again.
or…
You may be using percentages of your maximum heart rate rather than your working heart rate (see above).
 
#6
Heart rate monitors are brilliant if you know what you are doing. You can also upload traing sessions onto your computer with the Garmin Forerunner 305.
 
#7
There was a thread last week about a cheapie from Aldi of all places. I bought one at £12.99. I set it up and have used it a few times, seems great. I am still learning the most effective ways of using it, but if you are um-ing and ah-ing, get one...
 
#8
#9
Yep they are a good investment, they can also be a useful indicator of overall fitness to train (i.e. if you are ill or not).

Definately useful to monitor perfomance and improvement, good bit of kit to help with a training diary, lets you compare sessions etc.


Mine seems to be a bit buggered at the moment, I was doing a hard fitness session the other day, breathing hard and sweating, damn thing wouldn't register my heart rate as above 140bpm but then on a slow recovery run it hit 227bpm when my "percieved effort" was not that great. Given the most I've ever seen before that on a flat out run was 200-202 it seems a little odd.


Any suggestions as to why it's playing up? :?
 
#10
HH_2 said:
Yep they are a good investment, they can also be a useful indicator of overall fitness to train (i.e. if you are ill or not).

Definately useful to monitor perfomance and improvement, good bit of kit to help with a training diary, lets you compare sessions etc.


Mine seems to be a bit buggered at the moment, I was doing a hard fitness session the other day, breathing hard and sweating, damn thing wouldn't register my heart rate as above 140bpm but then on a slow recovery run it hit 227bpm when my "percieved effort" was not that great. Given the most I've ever seen before that on a flat out run was 200-202 it seems a little odd.


Any suggestions as to why it's playing up? :?
Is it a cheap and nasty? Or a Polar? How old is it?

Sometimes if used alot, they need to be calabrated.

Contact the manufacturer to see if it is financially viable.
 
#11
Yep, good stuff HRMs. Good advice above also on the innaccuracy of the old 220 minus your age thing (eg, at 36 my MHR should be 184 when, in fact, it was 215 four weeks ago (making me 5 years old!)). Note that your MHR changes as the training effect occurs.

I use my HRM to guage effort during long intervals (a HRM is a poor guide for short intervals as it takes a minute or so for your HR to catch up with muscular exertion), to maintain theshold during lactate training (ie that magic point of intensity just below the anaerobic (often called 'latate threshold' or the 'pulse deflection point'*) and to identify over-training or other illness.

*if you draw a graph of your HR over time and increasing intensity of effort, at about 75-85% of max you will find a distinct point on the line where your HR deflects when it can no longer sustain effort aerobically. This is your lactate or anaerobic threshold (which is actually a far more useful thing to know than your Max HR). Above this point you are anaerobic, lactate build up kicks in to a greater extent and your body starts to metabolise a significantly higher proportion of carbohydrate rather than fat (eg circa 1/3 to 2/3 whilst aerobic to 2/3 to 1/3 when anaerobic (fat burners take note)). Note also that because of lactate build up when anaerobic, the maintainance of intensity at just below threshold is key to optimum endurance performance (ie any time spent above theshold has a corresponding recovery penalty).
 
#12
It's a Polar F6, about a year old. It's only just started playing up, so maybe somethings starting to go.

Possibly the thing that detects the Heart rate has been worn out/battery gone or something?
 
#13
HH_2 said:
It's a Polar F6, about a year old. It's only just started playing up, so maybe somethings starting to go.

Possibly the thing that detects the Heart rate has been worn out/battery gone or something?
Mines a Polar and does that that on the odd occasion, apparently if you run past anything generating a major electrical signal can play havoc with it. It's not the battery as I changed mine thinking it was that but it wasn't!
 
#14
I love the jobbies and at the moment my trusty Polar is my best mate!

He tells me how hard my heart is working, how long I'm training, how long I'm in my training HR zone, how many calories I'm burning and what % of those calories are fat! And, this isn't quite squaddiesc, it stops me from training myself into the ground just because I love 'the burn', so I can do more for longer with less down time/fatigue.

And it never once says 'twice around my beautiful v shaped body... GO!'

The above programme readouts are based on input of gender, age, height and weight together with how often you undertake regular exercise and intesity rate. Sounds complicated, but isn't. The chip inside the monitor (watch in my case) does the rest. It's great for getting a base line as to your current level and watching the improvement. It also has a heart check function which is really cool to see how 'fit' your heart is at reating heart rate - great for setting up on skiny freaks and showing them their hearts aren't as fit as me and my second row forward who eat all the pies build!

Get, get a good one READ THE FCUKING MANUAL that comes with it (really worth reading it to get the full from it) and enjoy.

One tip, don't get your top caught under the strap at the back fellas, it makes you look like you're wearing a bra... :roll:
 
#15
I use one all the time in the gym. I dont know how to use it very well but I know for example that 150bpm is a good moderate workout, 160 is hard, 170+ is intense. So I aim to stay within those categories for set times.

I reckon the whole 220 - your age thing is a load of rubbish. According to the my maximum would be 199bmp but I have never managed to get it much over 180.

J.
 
#16
JayCam said:
I use one all the time in the gym. I dont know how to use it very well but I know for example that 150bpm is a good moderate workout, 160 is hard, 170+ is intense. So I aim to stay within those categories for set times.

I reckon the whole 220 - your age thing is a load of rubbish. According to the my maximum would be 199bmp but I have never managed to get it much over 180.

J.
I have trained for 190+ for a whole workout before 8O Am I strange?
 
#17
5.56mm said:
JayCam said:
I use one all the time in the gym. I dont know how to use it very well but I know for example that 150bpm is a good moderate workout, 160 is hard, 170+ is intense. So I aim to stay within those categories for set times.

I reckon the whole 220 - your age thing is a load of rubbish. According to the my maximum would be 199bmp but I have never managed to get it much over 180.

J.
I have trained for 190+ for a whole workout before 8O Am I strange?[/quote]

I once wore mine for x-country race.

Ran for 36 minutes, and for 30 minutes of that was over my maximum 220 minus your age.

I think it is just a rough guide.
 
#18
heidtheba said:
I think it is just a rough guide.
Yes it is, only way to get your specific max. heart rate is to test it yourself!

Do this by warming up, then running as fast as you can evenly for three minutes, then resting with two or three minutes gentle running, then repeating your three minute maximal run. During your second run you should get a higher maximum heart rate than with any other method - though use your heart rate monitor to take readings throughout it, as your heart rate may peak before the end.

You should be completely hanging out of your arrse by the end of this, so it's not a hugely nice and pleasant experience BUT it does give you the info you need. It's easily done with most standard HRMs as at the end of a workout they normally show readings saying what the average HR was and what the max HR was.
 
#19
5.56mm said:
I have trained for 190+ for a whole workout before 8O Am I strange?
I dont think so. Just everyone is different. My heart rate seems to be freakishly low even when I'm not fit (resting was 42 last time I checked) and when I do my rowing intervals (6 x 4min at high intensity with 1 min recovery) it rarely goes over 180, and usually hovers around 176-178. When I REALLY beast myself on running intervals it creeps up a bit higher, but again, very rarely higher than 185.

I guess everyone is different, mine is low and I am not very fit, from what I gather you are very fit and yours is relativly high. Individual physiology I guess.

J.
 
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