Heart rate monitors are a funny thing – they can be completely useless or extremely valuable depending on how you use them. Heart rate training has been viewed in many ways over the years, from very precise to not so precise. Now, a growing number of coaches and exercise physiologists support the use of heart rates as an important part of biological feedback, as heart rates are a direct reflection of what is happening internally.
But first, what myths do you need to bust around heart rate monitoring for cycling training? For starters, you can only compare heart rate values with your own previous benchmarks. Meaning, comparing your heart rate with your your friend or your teammate is irrelevant. The reason for this is that we all have a different anatomy of our cardiovascular system. Also, not being aware of the factors that affect heart rate can be a pitfall in effective application in heart rate monitor use for training.
So how do you get started? The post, The Variables and Trends of Heart Rate Training, walks you through the steps of learning your “threshold” heart rate range, setting up heart rate training zones, and identifying the daily variables that affect heart rate.
But before you begin to analyze data, you actually have to have a heart rate monitor to get started! Following our our staff picks at Peak Cycles Bike Shop:
- Garmin Edge 500 Bundle w/ HR-Cadence
- Garmin Edge 810 Cycling Computer Bundle with mount
- CatEye CC-GL50 GPS Stealth 50 Cycling Computer: Heart Rate and Cadence Enabled (on sale!)
If you do not have a trainer or coach to keep you disciplined during your workout, a heart rate monitor can be a great substitute. It can tell you when your exercise is falling below your ideal intensity so you can instantly improve your performance. It can be a great bio feedback tool and also help you to monitor your fitness, prevent overtraining, and take your performance to the next level.