Pacing Yourself Using the Average Heart Rate
The reason, because unlike
pace charts, your heart rate is individual to your fitness level.
For example, if you're fit, your resting heart rate will be
pretty low which means your training program will have to be
tougher to get results. Whereas if you´re unfit, your
resting heart will be higher which means your training program
should be easier.
Checking your condition by using your
Average Heart Rate vs. pace:
The Average Heart Rate function of your monitor can be used to
check your development versus your pace.
If you exercise regularly, your Average Heart
Rate in a single training session will decrease over time. Which
means that over time your Average Heart Rate should be lower
during a training session even though you maintained the same
pace. This means that you're more fit than before you started.
Remember though, that the pace you use shouldn't be in the
heaviest exercise intensity. Try to keep it within the
recommended aerobic area or moderate intensity zone at 70-85% of
your maximum heart rate.
You can also use the Average Heart Rate and
pace in the opposite way to improve your race times. If you're
Average Heart Rate is lower as a result of your training efforts,
that means you should be able to increase your pace and therefore
your race time simply by pacing yourself according to your
Average Heart Rate.
Using the Average Heart Rate in endurance
You can draw different conclusions from the Average Heart Rate
values of the race depending on your personal training background
and your personal capacity. The best way to learn how to use the
Average Heart Rate is to use your heart rate monitor always when
you take part in races. Gradually, you will learn how your heart
rate works when you're in good shape and when you're not. By
always checking your Average Heart Rate after a workout or race
and comparing it to your overall race time, it'll be pretty easy
to see where you went right or wrong.
During your race, have your monitor record
your Average Heart Rate at different intervals, for instance,
every kilometer or every other kilometer is fine for a marathon.
Once you have finished your workout or the race, recall your
Average Heart Rate and write it down if you don't have the
possibility to use the Polar software or then download the data
to your software program.
Compare your actual Average Heart Rate during
each part of the race against your planned Average Heart
For example, if you ran a marathon and you
planned to keep your Average Heart Rate at a high but manageable
level throughout the race and maybe increase it a little towards
the end of the race. But at the end of the race, you ran out of
energy and had to slow down. So instead of a strong finish a
maybe a personal best, you had a weak finish.
By analyzing your Average Heart Rate, you
would know, for instance, whether you pushed yourself too hard at
the beginning (your Average Heart Rate would be higher than
planned) or whether you haven't done enough aerobic base training
or your plan was too optimistic (your Average Heart Rate would be
as planned but you still ran out of steam at the end).
By downloading your Heart Rate Monitor's files
to a Polar software program (if you monitor supports this), you
can determine even more about your personal race performance. For
instance, you can analyze the your heart curve throughout the
entire race and see graphically how your heart rate changed
during each section of the race. So you'll know what the Average
Heart Rate level was, if it has gone up or down or if it varied a
lot in the course of the race. By overlapping the heart rate
curve and comparing it to previous race or your practice race,
you can see where your race was on target and where it went