Why use a Heart Rate Monitor?

There is anything but a shortage of gadgets created in order to measure your performance. The great news is that a lot of them are becoming integrated but the advantage of using them all remains in question. Why should I care about anything more than my cadence and my speed?

bike computers

 Scenario #1: Let’s say that you have a standard that you ride, and you even have it listed as a KOM (king of the mountain) on Strava. The day that you set your PR it was calm and cool. Now you are trying the ride again on a windy warm day. If you were to do it slower, does that mean that you slacked off? Can you discount or adjust for the wind resistance?

Scenario #2: You just got done with a hard week in your training for the next race. That weekend you decided to celebrate by staying up late on Sunday. Monday comes and you hit the road again but your legs feel like logs. Hills turn into mountains and your legs got stuck on the slow mo option. Does this mean that you lost a day in your training? Do you have to do 2 workouts that day to feel like you are making progress?

Scenario #3: It is so hard to decide between road and mountain so you do both…or you can’t make it to the mountain so you stick to the road for that week. Whatever the case be, how are you going to track your performance from one type of bike to the other? How could you feel good about measuring the speed on a mountain bike when you are barely crawling up the mountain?

Welcome to Science Second:

Health experts have found that there are advanced ways to measure an athletes performance. Given that one of the most crucial factors to your performance is how your body is able to absorb oxygen, one test is called the V O2 max  test. This is the one where you breath into a tube measuring the milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight. While these are very accurate, the equipment is a small fortune and then you need a professional to operate it.



Dr Mark Jenkins, MD who is a Ironman triathlete and Student Health Director for Rice University has done research to point out the correlation between maximum VO2 and maximum heart rate.  On his website he points out that 55% of you VO2 max coencides with 70% of your max heart rate. Thus, Dr. Jenkins concludes that  “once you have determined your maximum heart rate you have a very convenient method of monitoring your workouts.”

Does this mean that a heart rate monitor will solve all our problems? And what are the most common made mistakes when using one? Come by next week to find the last half of the information. OR you can email rhopkins@noblesports.com to get the second half earlier than that.

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