Do you use your HRM properly?

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04/07/2003 at 11:11
Quick survey just out of interest - It took me 6months from getting my HRM in January to actually using it properly now! I wore it on all my runs, long and short, speed sessions and so on. I set my zones before each exercise and looked at it often. However, I had set a target of around 75% for my long runs - that went out the window within a short period of time, continuing at 85-90%WHR for the whole 15miles. And even on speed sessions, my session was controlled by the speed on the treadmill as a pose to my HR. I only started actually using it properly on Wednesday after having come back from a long period of injury. I'm actually staying religiously within my target zone of 60-70%WHR to attain an aerobic workout. I'm slowing down to prevent my HR going over 70%, even walking in some instances to keep it under control on big hills.

So how many of you actually use the HRM to physically control your workout? Or is it just an expensive stopwatch?
04/07/2003 at 11:16

On my LSD and on my easy days I use it as it is meant to be used mostly ;) but for my speed sessions it is an expensive stop watch.

Although I wear it for my speed workouts they are goverened by my stop watch.

04/07/2003 at 11:42
I just use mine to stop me going too fast.

Heh. I just read that. 's funny.

Under 70 per cent, is what I mean.
04/07/2003 at 11:46
??? Jj? Whats funny about under 70%?
04/07/2003 at 11:57
I use mine to slow me down too, also to make sure I work hard enough aswell. I wear mine on every work out, I tend to work at about 75-80%
04/07/2003 at 12:09
I'm thinking of getting one but am not sure whether its necessary for a beginner.
What do you think?
04/07/2003 at 12:10
I've had mine for a year and half and found it helped alot, realised I was pushing my self too hard.
04/07/2003 at 12:11
mines in a drawer somewhere
04/07/2003 at 12:26

Just to say the 220 - age is notoriously inaccurate and can be out by between 10 - 20 bpm. Also the formula I have see for females is 226 - age which would give you a MHR of 196.

One more thing, if you ever get the chance to read "Heart Monitor Training for the Complete Idiot" by John L. Parker you should. Basically he reccomends doing most of your running at around 65% of your MHR. It does take some time to achieve and initially you will spend more time walking than running but it does work.

I used the cover of darkness last winter to put this into practice ;) few people seen how much walking I had to do at the start. and it did pay off. took about 6-8 weeks though :(

04/07/2003 at 12:31
i use it as an expensive stopwatch for running but i use it properly to control cycling workouts - its sits proudly sellotaped to a bit of pipe lagging on the front of my tribars and tells me to go faster or slower
04/07/2003 at 12:44
When I first got my HRM I used to try to run by HR - but found it to be more an art than a science. For example, going out having had a day being wound up at work, or in the morning having had my usual huge mug of coffee a short while previously - both are guaranteed to send my HR soaring.

Most useful is its ability to record split times (my ancient Polar monitor records up to 44).

Having said that, I don't ignore the HRs, which are also recorded - but I use them after the event, to get some idea of how much my run has taken out of me (taking into account the various extraneous factors) and how I felt during the run.
So for example, on Wednesday's interval session, I felt pretty tired before and during the session. This was confirmed by my inability to get my HR up into the 170s (as it would normally do) at the end of my later efforts.
That determined that yesterday's session would in fact be a day of complete rest, rather than the easyish jog on grass I was originally contemplating.
04/07/2003 at 12:58
RR - what was funny was writing the words 'me' and 'fast' in the same sentence, that's all! :o)

MK - John L. Parker's book is excellent, isn't it. I know I came at it from the opposite end of the running spectrum than you, but he got me from running one mile (which had taken me five months to work up to) to running three, within two weeks.

Which is why I'm evangelical about telling beginners they're going too fast.
04/07/2003 at 13:09
I'm devising my ascent from injury based on John Parker, its a very good book and very well written
04/07/2003 at 13:23
Hi JulieJoo

Yep, I found book great. I also advise new runners to slow down and take it easy for first 6 months at least. I think that most new runners get too hung up on speed to early.


Using John Parkers advice as you work your way back from injury should have you running stronger and longer with less injuries before you know it. Aim for slow and steady progress There's no rush, you have the rest of your life :))

04/07/2003 at 13:56
65% seems pretty low Michael. Most people that are running the sorts of times I would like to be seem to be training at a higher intensity than that most of the time. I'm not saying go eyeballs out every run but you to push yourself.
04/07/2003 at 15:03
Why the need to walk? I have been running for just over a year would slowing down help me?
04/07/2003 at 15:35

as I state at the bottom, I'm not saying that this presented evidence is correct but I'm just printing it as my understanding having read the quoted sources

Having read both JL Parker (HR training for the Compleat Idiot), and Noakes (Lore of Running - P301) on Basing and Sharpening, there is no doubt that speed work is necessary for peak performance. However, Noakes suggests a long period of Long Slow Distance running, ie, at 60-70%WHR (JL Parker), followed by a short period (8weeks pre-race) of sharpening, ie, high intensity, low-volume to build speed on top of a strong aerobic base. Both these sources appear to complement each other in theory, but there are contradictions. Parker suggests some speed training throughout the week all the time in the main schedules. Noakes suggests no speed training during the base training stage. I think this is because Noakes is really targeting the higher levels of performance runner who run a limited number of races per year and at set times of the year so they have time to fit base training into their schedule as they're not racing every w/e or so, whilst I think Parker suggests *some* speed training throughout for us mortals that run every w/e or so.

Thats the evidence. As above, I'm not saying that its necessarily correct, but I present it here anyway and quote the sources.

(John L Parker - Heart Rate Training for the Compleat Idiot)
(Tim Noakes, MD - The Lore of Running
04/07/2003 at 15:43

You said you hit 199 up a hill during a race. Until you attain a value higher than this using a designated professional or self test, then 199 is ur HRmax. If you're following Parker's advice to train most of the time between 60-70%WHR, and ur under no obligation to do so, then you need to work out ur HRrest. Do this by sticking on ur HR monitor b4 u get out of bed in the morning and relax for a few mins. Get an average over a few mornings. Heres the formula to work out ur training zone::

For 60%WHR
HRtraining = (HRmax-HRrest)x0.6 + HRrest

or for 70%WHR
HRtraining = (HRmax-HRrest)x0.7 + HRrest

just fill in ur attained values for ur HRrest and HRmax(199) to find ur training zone limits
04/07/2003 at 16:58
the zone I've been training in is 149->165, so pretty similar, I've found that I'm almost jogging on the spot starting out on the program and I AM walking quite a few times, but in theory sticking to the program should raise aerobic efficiency to a point that ur actually going quite fast in that zone. It takes about 6weeks for any noticable difference so I'll report back after then.
04/07/2003 at 17:31
I'll have to get hold of the Lore of Running I think.
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