Using heart rate monitors



  • I was thinking of getting a HRM but after reading all this I dont think I will bother, it all seems too complicated and after reading all the replies my head is spinning.

    I run to keep fit, I am not that bothered about racing or speed, but I do like to extend the milage of my long run which now varies between 10 to 13 miles, weekly milage 26 to 30 miles, so will a HRM benefit me ??

  • I couldn't keep away


    Your question: If my HR is above my expected level for a given pace, am I obtaining the training effects associated with the higher HR level? (I want to check mutual understanding of the question here ;-)).

    I’d answer as follows:

    HR is but a proxy for the type of metabolic activity occurring in your key running muscles at a given degree of cardio-vascular development all other things being equal. (ie your heart stroke volume is unchanged day to day but does change as you rise up a flattening “fitness” curve over several months/years).

    Your training benefits you seek are associated with the effects on your running muscles – eg lactate tolerance, lactate consumption, fat vs glycogen, aerobic capacity etc. You are not training your heart as such – that’s a by product.

    Therefore I think the answer is that if the root cause of your HR change also affects your energy pathways then you will have an effect, if it doesn’t, you won’t.

    I hope you see my comment “HR is but a proxy” is neatly putting me with a foot in both pro & anti camps – If you are an experienced runner with stable CV capabilities then other proxies (ie pace) are quite feasible. If your fitness is evolving or your are experienced then HR can be a useful support guide.

    Now I’m not a sports scientist so would health warn anyone who quotes the above.

    Sorry Gaz this isn't a help to you.
  • thanks sfh legs - that's precisely the answer I was (not so ingenuously) probing for. nuff said.
  • Agreed!!

    If it works for you then use it - if not then why bother?

    Gaz I would say if you're primarily running to keep fit then save yourself the money - just enjoy your running and listen to your body - if you feel tired either run at a correspondingly slower pace or better still have a rest day - when you feel stronger (and you'll know when this is) then turn the wick up a bit

    All the best with your running
  • David P,

    Thanks for your advice and for saving me a lot of money, I really do enjoy my running and as you say I run as I feel and I adjust my milage and speed accordingly.

    Cheers David, Gaz.........
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