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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > January 2019 > BEAT DIS

BEAT DIS

THE HEART-RATE MONITOR HAS COME A LONG WAY SINCE THE HUMBLE CHEST STRAP, BUT IT’S STILL THE METRIC OF CHOICE FOR MOST RUNNERS. HERE WE LOOK AT WHY BEATS PER MINUTES SHOULD BE AT THE HEART OF YOUR TRAINING

The reduction of running tech in both size and cost means ever more people are getting their hands on some seriously smart data-recording devices. While this democratisation of access is definitely a good thing, it also means that increasingly specialist equipment is being marketed as a necessary purchase for even the most average of runners. Long a staple tool for serious athletes, heart-rate monitors (HRM) allow users to keep an eye on exactly what their ticker is up to as they rattle offthe miles. But if your ambitions go no further than improving your half marathon PB, why would you consider investing in one?

“Heart-rate monitoring is the single most accurate means to understanding how your body is responding to exercise and the activities of daily life,” says Mark Gorelick, Chief Science Officer at Mio Global. “The benefit of using heart rate for training is that it provides a real-time, continuous, dynamic representation of your physiological response to a given exercise workload. In simpler terms, heart-rate data tells you exactly how demanding the exercise is on your body.”

Stuart Hale, a sports coach with Accelerate Performance Centre, describes heart rate as your body’s own rev counter that puts other metrics in the shade.

“By comparison, speed and distance are outputs, what our body does for a given heart rate at a given time,” he says. “People try to turn it around the other way. For example they’ll go and run seven-minute miles and look at their heart rate as the outcome but it’s not – rather, the speed you run and the distance you cover are the outcomes. Your heart rate is the real indication of how you did that day and is therefore a great tool for ensuring you’re comparing like-for-like efforts.”

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About Men's Running

Search the Internet and there are a million and one quotes about running. But none ring truer than the great Juma Ikangaa, winner of the 1989 New York Marathon, who said: “ e will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.” As runners, we know the importance of training. And yet very few of us ever get it right. Too much here, too little there, not quick enough, not slow enough, not enough hills, too many hills – the list is endless. And confusing. At Men’s Running, we’ve always focused on bringing you great training advice from people who really know what they’re talking about. Whether it’s preparing for a marathon, sharpening up over 5K or adding variety in to your programme, we’ve brought you the best advice from some of the best coaches. So we thought what better way to celebrate than creating this unique training special, packed full of hints, tips, advice and motivation to take your running to the next level – whatever that might be. We hope there’s something here for everybody. And remember, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. We’re not quite sure who said that, but somehow it seems like good advice!