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Heart Rate Training for Runners and Fitness Runners

From PolarUSA

As a runner, you have probably been programmed to count the miles and live by the stopwatch. This is how runners have trained for years. The more miles the better and the faster the better. But the approach to training has been changing over the past several years. Once you use a heart monitor for running, you will know that it is the only way for a runner to train. Effective training is based on effort and the only way to know your effort is to continuously monitor your heart rate.

Athlete turned coach Marcus O'Sullivan, who has run more sub 4-minute miles than anyone, credits heart rate for prolonging his career. He was a skeptic like many runners are today. But you can't argue with success. O'Sullivan now trains his collegiate athletes using the same Polar heart rate monitor technology that he once resisted and later adopted.

If you're not using a heart monitor, you probably know someone that does. You may have resisted until now, and hopefully that will end here. There are many different thoughts on how to get the most out of your running. The key to success is variety. Endurance workouts, tempo runs and AT intervals are at the heart of an effective program. A heart rate monitor is the one thing that can lead you through each one of those workouts, and give you the valuable feedback that can help you turn weaknesses into strengths, improve our fitness, or lose those last few pounds.

For fitness runners, you will benefit the most by running in a particular zone each day. For weight management, running in the 60-70% zone will help you burn fat and build endurance. Increase your fitness by doing tempo runs in the 70-80% zone. A Polar heart rate monitor is not just for competitive runners. It can help any runner!

To prepare for competition, it's important that you build endurance, strength and speed. For endurance and recovery 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're dehydrating, or running out of nutrition, or not recovered from a previous days workout. It allows you to analyze workouts and races. Racing flats are great. But if you're not training right, you might as well be wearing work boots.

If you're very new to the concept of heart monitoring, you might be wondering WHAT IS A HEART RATE MONITOR. 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 run. Just like a coach with a clipboard and a bullhorn. Just as effective, but a little more subtle!

Make sure to read Getting Started With a Polar Heart Rate Monitor

Click here for a wealth of additional information in the Running Resource Center

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Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter

I'm Rich Dafter - dad, life-long runner, Team Beachbody Coach and Polar Global Ambassador. By the Grace of God, I have been able to raise my kids working from home by helping people get healthier, fitter and have better quality of life. Thank you for visiting my family owned website which I started on January 1st, 1995.


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