It’s common for fledgling runners to begin a running routine by jumping in head first! They run out to a specialty running store and buy high-tech sneakers and sassy running clothes, then load up their iPod with heart pumping, motivating workout music. They race out the door, run a mile, and collapse! What went wrong?
Yes, it’s important to purchase and wear a good pair of running sneakers and invest in appropriate running gear for the season; however, there is something else new runners should consider – a heart rate monitor! Using a heart rate monitor during a run or workout is a personal preference and not a requirement, yet some athletes believe a heart rate monitor is an essential tool for helping you control the intensity of your running workout which is especially important for someone just getting started with their running routine.
Before you Start to Run Take My Advice
Before you attempt any form of exercise please remember to warm up, warming up your body and muscles prevents cramp but more importantly it prevents injury. There is nothing worse for an athlete than being injured, injury’s can set you back months so remember to warm up – see this warm up video.
Purchase a decent pair of running or cross training shoes. People who are new to running often make the mistake of buying a pair of sneakers that are designed to look good, the problem is these type of shoes are not designed for training. It’s important to buy a pair of shoes that are designed for running or the activity you are participating, my advice would be to find a comparison site that reviews running or cross training shoes like Dss Tuff or Amazon for example.
Try to find a training group or running community that can give you in field advice. No one is the same when it comes to training, we all have unique ability’s and flaws, it is useful to get other peoples help and advice so you can advance quicker.
How Does a Heart Rate Monitor Work?
There are a few different styles of heart rate monitors on the market; however, the chest strap models are reliable and most accurate. They include two pieces of equipment: a pulse reading monitor band that fits around your chest and the display unit that you wear on your wrist; it looks and functions much like a watch. The pulse reading monitor and display unit work together to calculate your heart rate which is visible from the unit. This makes it easy to monitor while your running.
How to Calculate your Maximum Heart Rate
Before you begin using a heart rate monitor for managing your runs, you need to know your maximum heart rate (MHR). Here are two formulas to consider using. Follow the formula that is appropriate for your age bracket:
40 Years Old and Younger
To find your MHR, begin by subtracting your age from the number 220. The result is your MHR. For example, 220 – 30 (age) = 190. 190 would be the MHR; however, you don’t workout at this level!
To determine your heart rate for training, also known as the training heart rate, you’ll need to do a little more math. Your minimum training heart rate is 70% of your MHR. Multiply your MHR by 70% or .70. Here’s an example: 190 (MHR) x .70 = 133. In this example, 133 would be your minimum training heart rate.
To find your maximum training heart rate which is 85% of your MHR, multiply your MHR by 85% or .85. For example, if 190 is the MHR, multiply it by 85% or .85. The answer is 162. This number or 162 would be your maximum training heart rate.
As a new runner, you don’t want to run to easy and that would be running at a heart rate of 133, yet you don’t want to overtrain by running at a heart rate of 162. To find a safe, comfortable, conversational pace, find a number that falls somewhere between these two numbers.
The Over 40 Crowd
If you are over 40 years of age, consider calculating your MHR by using this a slightly different formula. Begin by multiplying your age by 0.7. Then, subtract this figure from 208. Here is an example: 50 (age) x 0.7 = 35 then subtract 35 from 208. The answer is 173. Continue with the steps above for finding your minimum and maximum training heart rates.
Benefits of Running With a Heart Rate Monitor
There are several benefits to running with a heart rate monitor:
A Heart Rate Monitor…
- helps motivate you to run.
- helps you develop a comfortable running pace that you can maintain for a reasonable length of time.
- helps you stay focused during running.
- is easy to use.
Heart rate monitors are a wise investment! After all, the goal behind launching any workout routine is to have fun, make progress, and keep doing it. So make the choice to be smart and safe.