Heart Rate

I've just bought a neat gadaget called a Polar Heart Rate Monitor M51

However despite reading the manual I am not quite sure what to use it for and it doesn't give me a formula to work out my MHR.

Can someone pls explain in laymans terms how to use your HR to make sure your training is working?



  • Excellent set of articles on this site under Gear

  • thanks
  • THE BOOK for heart rate training that several of us use and swear by is:
    Heart Rate Trainig for Compleat Idiots by John L Parker. Available from Amazon.co.uk
    costs about 12.95 + P&P
    It's nice and simple, gives easy to use charts and how to instructions. And has some good cartoons!
  • Amazon.co.uk are out of stock at this time.
    It can be ordered from: http://www.blackwell.co.uk

    £14.95 inc P&P
  • Have a look at the Training thread where you'll find stacks of threads on how people are using their HRM in training.

    Basic formula for working out your MHR:
    205-(your age/2). But, and it's a big but, practically everyone I've read about on the forum seems to find their actual max is different, usually higher. So get the book, then as soon as you can do a stress test (the book explains how) to find out your personal max heart rate. Without that, the HRM is potentially very misleading as a training tool.
  • Gemini,
    I have had a Polar M51 for over 2 years now and use it on every run. If you have questons about using it please feel free to ask; either on this forum or email me direct.
  • For women: 226 - (age) = MHR
    For men: 220 - (age) = MHR

    less than 65% MHR = not working hard enough
    65-75% MHR = fat loss
    75-85% MHR = cardio fitness
    85-95% MHR = elite athlete (anaerobic)
  • How about resting pulse - anybody know what is normal/average? Is a low resting pulse any indication of your fitness level?

    Gemini - I just got a M51 too - the handbook is truly awful, and the 'road map' quick guide is no better - but if you read it literally word by word, it does make sense!
  • After this posting, I found a heart rate chart - not sure how reliable or accurate it is ...

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