T Nation

Heart Rate Monitors


I've never been one for distance running, but I do love my sprints. As a soldier I'm required to run 2 miles every so often for fitness tests, and now and again I have to take the guys out on a 4+ mile run. One of the guys swears that a heart rate monitor has reduced his times significantly by making him run in his target heart rate zone. Personally, I don't see how a light to medium jog can do anything for me, but I'm still curoius as to the cario endurance benefits.

Any insight on these monitors? Any benefit at all to target HR cardio? Or is this a general waste of time?


I don't see them as valuable in the sense that he describes, but we have used them with our soccer guys as part of a Polar-sponsored initiative to see if HR can be used to monitor the response to training. Essentially, we chart how much each player works at each intensity so that we can make practices simulate game situations as well as possible. Likewise, we use the HR response to given workloads as a way to determine if a player is too fatigued to handle a given program at a certain point in time.