In the four years that I have been a runner, I have read and heard a ton about heart rate training. I just figured it was one more thing to mess with, so I have been curious, but have never bothered with it. When I bought my awful Timex Global Trainer, it came with a heart rate monitor on it and the strap. I think I used it on one or two runs, but it took forever for the stupid watch to register the heart rate and the chest strap wasn't comfortable at all, and I found it was a hassle, so it is still sitting in the bottom of my gear junk drawer. Not that I could use it anyhow seeing as how that dang Global Trainer is history too!
However, as I am looking towards my other goals in my training and racing, as I look at training plans and talk with other athletes, they all incorporate heart rate training. So maybe there is something to this after all? I have also been playing with the idea of wanting to dial in my pace and effort more and I have missed having a bike computer. So all of this has led me to my latest tri gear purchase, a Garmin 310XT, and I made sure that I bought the one with the heart rate monitor.
This will be my new venture, I am going to try to incorporate heart rate training into my own SBR. I am going to have to figure out how to calculate my Zones, and how to use the watch to alert me to these, and then see what improvement I can make. Kim, my friend from BT, was telling me over the weekend it has completely changed her approach to training. So here goes nothing!
What have I done in the past, you ask? I have simply gone by how I feel. I don't want to ditch that entirely, because I strongly believe we have to listen to our bodies and how we feel, this is just one more way for me to get feedback from my body. I have simply in the past gone faster if I feel like for as long as I think I can, then backed off. If I am having a rough day and feel mentally or physically thrashed, I back down. I do this in racing as well. I have always just raced with a cheap Timex stop watch that has an alert to remind me to fuel every 15 minutes, and keeps track of my overall time. Getting into all of this technology will take some adjusting. But, like I said before, here goes nothing!
In the meantime, happy training and racing!