If you are looking to get the maximum results from your workout, tracking your heart rate is one of the easiest ways to do it. Coming from the dinosaur days of running, we would just run until we couldn't stand it anymore! Listening to our bodies and hoping we would hit that high intensity level of training. Fast forward to NOW where we have many technical ways of tracking our workouts, tracking your heart is the most effective. You body may be telling you one thing but your heart rate can show something very different.
Once you determine your resting, recovery and maximum heart rate, your training can become a lot more effective. Here is a perfect example from Runner's World how effective tracking your heart rate can help with your training.
Fern Oliner had been a runner for more than 25 years when she experienced a breakthrough in her performance. It happened at age 59, during a challenging half-marathon.
"For the very first time, I felt like a true runner," she recalls. "There I was on the uphill, passing people and feeling totally in control. I absolutely loved it."
Her secret? Oliner was wearing a heart-rate monitor.
"I was breathing heavily as I was going up the hills, but the monitor told me I was okay. So I sped up," she says. "If it weren't for the monitor, I would've kept running at the slower pace, as I'd always done."
Oliner's experience is a classic example of how runners can benefit from this relatively simple technology. Once considered the gadget du jour for hard-core professional athletes, heart-rate monitors have gone mainstream, their tell-tale chest straps peeking out from T-shirts on everyone from fitness runners to veteran marathoners.
All these people are wearing monitors for the same reason: Your heart rate provides an objective gauge of exertion, one that's usually more exact than your own perception of how hard you're working.
"While it's important to be aware of your effort so you're in touch with your body's subtle cues, this isn't always a very accurate feedback system," says George Parrott, Ph.D, who coaches a Sacramento, Calif., running club. "Whereas the monitor is such a precise index of effort." (By Dagny Scot-Barrios Runner's World)