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Hi,

I've had my heart rate monitor for over a year now (only 3 months of which I've been able to run though), but I'm still not sure how to use it best when training. I found it very frustrating trying to stay in between the optimal range and I'm not really sure about the benefits of doing so.

I know how to work the HRM itself, I suppose I'm just not sure how to apply the information to my training.

Can anyone recommend a good book?
 

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"Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot" by John L., Jr. Parker is a great book if you can find a copy (took me ages to find one!) I won't even try to explain in a short post information that people like him have filled books on! ;)
 

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Thanks for the tip, I got my copy through the post on saturday. I really like his writing style and it makes sense to me.
Tried to go out for a run today with the HRM, but had to stop after only ~3 minutes with sore, tight calves. A couple of days not running and doing some stretches will hopefully help that.

Again, thanks
 

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I tried running with my HRM a couple of weeks ago but found I got so frustrated trying to stay in the correct 'zone' that I gave up. As I only have basically one speed - slow - and for fairly short distances - I could only stay in the correct range if I walked the whole time! Spoilt my runs for a few days so put it back in the drawer and have gone back to just doing what feels ok for me.
I am sure that HRMs are great for some runners but just distraced and frustrated me. I am also sure that is more my fault than the HRM and I will probably have another try with it once have a little more confidence in my 'running' legs (still trying to find them!)
 

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I cannot get to grips with HRM's at all. I get too concious of getting into my optimal zone and therefore ruining my run. The GPS still gives me approxamite calories burnt so I rarely use the heart rate strap. I also hate the strap and it affects my run so that is alse a rarity.

Just use your own feelings to gauge how hard your working, works for me.
 

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I bought a cheap HRM but only used it once or twice. I think it has a lot of potential, and I've heard lots of good things about it from people who were motivated enough to figure out their zones etc, but I just never seem to get round to it
 

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Unfortunately, unless you do a test to measure your max HR, the zones etc can be off - basically meaning that the level at which you think you're training, is in fact not having the effect it's supposed to.

I've heard of people saying "I went above my MAX Heart Rate in my race at the weekend!!!" - Which of course is impossible... they're simply saying they achieved a higher Heart Rate than the 220-age (or other) formula predicted as their MAX HR.

To truely find your Max HR you really do need to put your heart and soul into the test, it bloody hurts! But unless you do, then you won't find out what your Max is! If you want to follow training by your Heart Rate, then yes it's very effective, but you have to do it properly... otherwise you'd do just as well to follow a normal training schedule and use your natural 'perceived exertion monitor' :)
 

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I am sure you are right in what you say re HRM. I have decided to leave off trying to use mine until I am more settled in my running and then try to set it up properly.
 

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It's still a useful tool to have... keep wearing it and glance at it to see what your heart rate is doing while you train, then you'll start to learn what HR correlates to what level of effort, then when you decide to follow a HRM training plan you'll find it much easier it stay in your zones ;)
 

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Good idea. Will do that. Am also going to get on the treadmill and try to find my maximum heart rate so that I have proper levels to work to for me rather than the '220 minus' ones.
Thanks as always for the advice.
 
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