HOW TO USE A HEART RATE MONITOR ?

Prepare your training according to your heart rate!

A heart rate monitor calculates how many times your heart beats per minute in real time.

In sporting activities it is used to prepare your training according to your heart rate. It can also record and analyse your personal data to assess your progress and to help you manage your sporting preparation.

1. HEART RATE MONITORS AND HEART RATE

To practice a sport with a heart rate monitor or a GPS cardio watch, the first step involves measuring your heart rate at rest in addition to your maximum heart rate (Max HR).

 

The heart rate at rest is calculated when you first wake up or after complete rest. It is considered as a fitness level indicator.

For its part, the maximum heart rate is calculated after 4 to 6 minutes of intense physical activity and corresponds to the maximum number of times your heart can beat in 1 minute.

 

The maximum heart rate or Max HR is used to draw up suitably adapted training programmes. To use your heart rate monitor, you should first enter your thresholds into your device to enable it to take account of your benchmark heart rates.

 

Read our article to learn how to calculate your maximum heart rate (insert the link to the Max HR article).

 

2. CONNECTED CARDIO WATCHES TO RECORD AND ANALYSE YOUR PERFORMANCE

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The heart rate is the best indicator of the physical effort you are making.

Training with aheart rate monitor or a cardio watch enables you to train at your own pace while measuring and controlling the intensity of your efforts. Record and analyse your personal data to push your training a little further.

 

The connected cardio watch automatically records your personal data and sends it to a dedicated sports app. Subsequent analysis enables you to check if you have kept to your training programme and to keep track of your progress by consulting and comparing the results from your sessions. These analyses and comparisons of your results are also an excellent source of motivation !

3. PLANNING A TRAINING PROGRAMME WITH THE AID OF YOUR HEART RATE DATA

The heart rate monitor helps you to plan a personalised training programme according to your objectives.

You may choose to focus on endurance, or muscular/cardiorespiratory performance. This is what is referred to as cardio-training. Naturally, the programme will differ depending on whether you are running for relaxation and stress relief or you are preparing for a marathon.

 

The important thing is to divide your training into segments, carefully verifying and controlling the different running paces.

There are three target zones when working with aheart rate monitor, calculated according to your own maximum heart rate (Max HR):

Between 60% and 80% of the Max HR

You are working on basic endurance. For beginners, walking, endurance, warmups, recovery. Particularly beneficial and often overlooked, this pace is vital to make progress. It enables you to make slow but continuous progress. At 60% of your MAX HR, you enter the aerobic zone. This is the heart rate range in which the significant consumption of fat begins, and in which the detoxification of the muscles gets underway.

Between 80% and 95% of the Max HR

You are improving your mild stamina.

 

For interval training and efforts of less than 8 minutes.

 

To make progress, this pace should be in addition to the basic endurance.

 

More than 95% of the Max HR

You are now working on your hard stamina. You have some reserves for interval training of between 15 seconds and 2 minutes, such as sprinting for example.

This pace is reserved for competitors. At 90-95 % of your MAX HR, you enter the anaerobic zone.

The cardiovascular system can no longer carry enough oxygen to the muscles. This type of effort enables the sportsman to push back his physiological boundaries.

LEARN MORE...

In sport, controlling your heart rate when undertaking effort and achieving progress on a step-by-step basis are key factors for successful training.

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