By now, many runners may have rounded their eyes at such a question. For some, it’s probably the same as asking if they should drink water.
Yes, this device is so integrated into the training of athletes of all levels that it is often impossible to go for a run today if you forgot to put it on charge yesterday.
Why do you need a heart rate monitor
You need your heart rate monitor to stay within the heart rate zone that is safe for you or that your training plan prescribes when you run.
Also after training and competitions you can analyze at what moment the loads reached their peak and under what conditions. This allows you to further adjust your training plan. And by downloading the data from the heart rate monitor to your computer, you can clearly see the progress of your training.
Useful gadget? Of course it is. But the problem is that novice runners either ignore the readings of the device or, on the contrary, are too enthusiastic about the new toy.
Heart rate monitor for novice runners
In many cases, a person who has recently started running not only exceeds the recommended heart rate zones, but often goes into anaerobic mode altogether, despite the presence of the device. The other option – when the importance of heart rate monitor data is placed above one’s own well-being – is no better than the first.
For novice athletes, the priority should be to make sure you don’t leave your comfortable aerobic heart rate zone. That’s it. Because first comes the preparatory phase and endurance work. There should be no fartlek or interval training in the red heart rate zones yet.
After a run, you can measure your heart rate the classic way: with your hands and a stopwatch. For those who have forgotten, count the number of beats in 10 seconds and multiply it by 6. If your heart rate is within your normal range, you do not need a heart rate monitor. It is better to focus on your running technique and how you feel, which is ideal.
Heart rate monitor for marathon training
Everything changes when serious training or preparation for competitions starts, including marathons.
Not all runners have an excellent sense of their own heart rate. And even if you train with a heart rate monitor and gradually get a feel for your desired heart rate zone, not everyone is able to do it in official races.
Often the heart rate monitor is the only thing that keeps the runner in check after the start. And for those who neglect it, the likelihood of dropping out of the race increases significantly.
Modern Sports Watches
Sports watches have long ago moved to the rank of wrist computers, containing a huge amount of information, interesting and not so interesting. But their undoubted advantage is the integration with any other devices. Thanks to this you can clearly see all the details in handy charts, graphs, taking into account the topography, etc.
For some, the ability to share their results with friends (or the world) in Strava and compare them with the results of other athletes is relevant. Any modern gadget is happy to do this. Let’s not argue about how good or bad it is to have constant integration with social media, but I’m pretty sure that if it encourages you to go out for a run tomorrow, you can only be happy about it.