Congratulations on your new heart rate monitor! Adding a form of tracking to your training helps you to increase the accuracy and consistency of your efforts. While using a heart rate monitor in your training, there are two things to consider.
HR is a Response
When using Heart rate as a training tool, it is important to realize that heart rate (HR) is the response to the work that you have done. This is crucial in the effectiveness of your training because what your heart rate is currently telling you is symbolic of the workload that you completed 20-60 seconds prior.
Cardiac drift is the upward trend in heart rate during longer sustained efforts. It is an increase in heart rate that is caused by a more highly activated Sympathetic Nervous System (think fight or flight response), increased core temperature and total body water losses.
With this new knowledge in mind, it is important to pair your workouts with perceived exertion. In other words, how hard do you feel you’re working? This will provide you with a system of checks and balances that will keep you from beginning workouts too hard and ending them too easy as you would if you were to maintain a flat heart rate for the entirety of your efforts.
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