As a triathlete, you understand the benefits that technology can offer. Titanium frames, aero bars and scientific nutrition are advancements that have shaped the sport for the last 15 years. But there is one thing that has been around the sport even longer. A heart rate monitor.
In order to reach your goals, you need to train at the right intensity.Â Heart rate is the only accurate measurement of your intensity or your exertion level.Â A Polar HRM is the easiest and most accurate way to continuously measure your heart rate.Â If you’re not using one, you probably train with someone who does. You may have resisted until now, and hopefully that will end here. There are many different thoughts on how to prepare for a triathlon, whether Olympic distance, Ironman, or just a sprint. Two of the most famous triathletes of all time actually have very different approaches to training. Mark Allen and Dave Scott have adapted their own way of preparing themselves and their trainees forÂ competition. But there is one thing that their training programs have in common. They both rely on heart rateÂ monitors as a critical part of their program.
Sold yet? Just open a Triathlete or Inside Triathlon magazine and you are bound to find an article on heart rate training. But, you have to experience the benefits of an HRM yourself.
If you’re very new to the concept of an HRM, you might be wondering WHAT’S AN HRM. It consists of a watch worn on your wrist, and a transmitter that you comfortably wear against your skin and around your chest. The transmitter picks up the signals of your heart, and sends them wirelessly to the watch you wear on your wrist. It’s that simple. No wires, no taking your pulse and doing a multiplication equation. Just look at your wrist and it’s there. AND THE KEY, IT’S DISPLAYED CONTINUOUSLY. The continuous display is what makes it effective. It’s there to guide you during your entire workout.
The HRM is like a coach that guides you through each workout. For endurance workouts, it paces you so you don’t overdo it. For tempo runs, it keeps you on track. And for interval workouts, it makes sure you go hard enough and you recover when it’s time. Nothing else can guide you that way. It can show you when you are dehydrating, or running out of nutrition, or not recovered from a previous day’s workout. It allows you to analyze workouts and races so you can identify your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. Your titanium frame is great, but if you’re not training the right way, it may as well be made out of lead.