Efficient running requires a close relationship to your heart


THE human heart weighs about nine ounces and beats 2.5 billion times in an average lifetime. But what has it got to do with your running? Well, its performance and efficiency are unique to you and therefore a great indicator of training and recovery levels. But while many will nod sagely along with this information, very few of us actually train with heart rate effectively.

Many factors affect your pace when running (fatigue, terrain, hydration levels and weather, to list a few) but an obsession with pace often leads to us ignoring them and results in us training too hard. However, if we are guided by heart rate, the effort level and training zone will remain constant because all these factors have already been taken into account.

To do so, we need to determine our personal Maximum Heart Rate (MHR). There are a number of equations available, but they can be inaccurate for a large number of people. Short of taking a physiological test, what should you do?

Using a Garmin HR monitor, do your training at a variety of perceived effort levels and record this information on Garmin Connect. As well as logging all your training, you're also building a record of your heart rate performance at a variety of effort levels. You can then use this information to help you find the correct heart rate training zones for you.

Your Garmin records many useful aspects of your training, all of which are a great aid to improving your performance. This form of training requires planning and patience and for you to listen to your body through its heart rate. If you do this, your training will progress and you will improve.

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