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The grand finale Heart Rate Monitor post

Just like the favorite cowboy hat that we found out the we were wearing backwards, heart rate monitors can be used incorrectly and we may not even notice.

There is almost a guarantee that a heart rate monitor will stay in the “toy-gadget” unless you learn how to make it accurate and most effective towards your goals.

For you to know how the bang for everyone of your bucks here is a list of the 2 most commonly made mistakes thanks to Matt Fitzgerald at Competitor.com:

Mistake 1.) Using the formula 220-Age to determine your maximum heart  rate. We covered this in the last post but it needs to be 205 – (.5 x age). It is important   to get one of the most important measurements right.

Mistake 2.) Using a heart rate monitor for interval (short and fast) work outs. You all know what jet lag is, well there is such thing as cardio lag. If the workout is too short your heart rate monitor will say you are in Paris when your heart rate is on New York time. Just like your body when traveling, you monitor needs time to sync with your heart.

cyclingheartrate

Knowing what you do about heart rate monitors and the benefits as well as limitations we should take to heart (no pun intended) what my mother often told me:start savin!- Dont buy something only because it is the cheapest but because it has what you need. If you buy cheap things that is all you can expect from them.

  • the inexpensive ones will measure your heart rate but most likely won’t include the sensors needed or be compatible with bicycles
  • Garmin products allow for a GPS product as well as a heart rate monitor
  • the difference for men’s and women’s heart rate monitors are the colors
  • When scrolling through the different monitors they show what other products are compatible but most likely aren’t included in the price
  • A good question to ask yourself is if it is important to be able to upload your workout information onto you computer. If so you will need to spend a little more.
  • Garmin, Suunto and Polar are the ones that have an attachment for your bike

garminpolar

suunto

 

And this we come to the end of our Heart Rate Monitor saga. Thanks for coming by to learn more of what we hope was helpful information. If you cant find info on a topic of your interest please pose the question and we will answer it.

 

Why use a Heart Rate Monitor – Part 2

Last post we talked about 3 scenarios when riding your bike that a bike computer with speed/ cadence doesn’t do the trick. Crossing over from road to mountain, weather and road conditions and frequency of workouts.

For all the variations mentioned a heart rate monitor  can be used to asses your workout no matter the conditions. Just because you are peddling slower doesn’t mean that you are  getting any less of a work out.

The heart rate monitor is the most efficient tool in order to measure the intensity of your workout. The frequency and duration of your work out is done quite simply by a stop watch. The other factor is learning how to read and react to the information that the heart rate monitor give you.

“How to use a heart rate monitor” article on Active.com states that “until you learn what the numbers being displayed mean the heart rate monitor is just a “gee wiz” toy. To give the numbers meaning you need a reference point, a heart rate unique to you at a given level of intensity.”

heart rate

 

The numbers you need to know:

  • Functional Threshold Heart Rate (FTHR) – Wear your heart rate monitor to warm up and then run 30 minutes at race pace.
  • Resting Heart Rate- this is easily measured when you first wake up. If done consistently, an increased resting heart rate can mean that you are over training.
  • Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) – Runners World Magazine uses the following formula: 205- (.5 x your age)

 

Why don’t you figure those numbers out and comeback next week for some recommended products as well as commonly made mistakes

Here is a video that Lexus did using a heart rate monitor that we think you will get a kick out of!