Heart rate monitors are a helpful accessory for aerobic exercise for everyone from beginners to professional athletes. According to Travaasa Austin’s Dining Room manager, and
multiple marathon runner, Edward Morgan, a heart rate monitor can help you prepare for a race.
The fitness of the heart is the key to one’s aerobic endurance – sometimes called ‘cardiovascular respiratory endurance’. Both for health and racing reasons, aerobic endurance is a point of focus for almost any runner. Heart monitors are one of the most effective aids for tracking and developing your progress on the path to increased aerobic endurance.
“In the beginning, it helps you get the feel of where you are aerobically,” says Morgan. “To run a long race, you need to set your pacing and cadence so that you don’t burn out. When you learn how if feels to be a certain pace, it can give you psychological reassurance.”
Before you start using a heart rate monitor in your training routine, put on the heart rate monitor and see how it feels to be at different heart rates – resting, walking, running – in order to make that mind and body connection.
Then, you’ll want to use it to monitor interval workouts that alternate high heart rates with recovery, meant to increase your heart’s condition and steady state workouts where you sustain a particular target heart rate for a certain length of time. As your conditioning improves, you may find that it takes more effort to sustain a higher heart rate. But that’s the magic of training. “Running a marathon is a bit like a game of chess,” Morgan says. “You want to strategically use the least amount of energy when you run, in order to go the distance.”
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