I first learned of Heart Rate Guided Training in 2011 after suffering a stress fracture from overtraining. I was training for my first marathon and neglected to pay attention to the many signs my body was sending me that I was overdoing it. My brain kept saying, "No pain, no gain! Keep going!" My body, on the other hand, was sending me a number of signals that I needed to slow down and rest. After three weeks in a boot and 90 days of no running, I knew there had to be a smarter way to train. Enter Heart Rate Guided Training.
I went to a seminar in early 2011 on how to run/train smarter, and it was there that I learned about Heart Rate Guided Training. After implementing this approach, which included getting my VO2 Max done to determine my heart rate zones, I saw some pretty amazing results. I did have to slow down at first, but believe it or not, I ended up being able to run faster once my body adapted. Now, six years later, I still use Heart Rate Guided Training. Read below to find out why.
Five Reasons Why You Should Be Using Heart Rate Training*
1. The heart doesn't lie. The data the heart rate monitor spits out is the truth. It's telling you how your body is responding to the activity you are doing. The effort you are putting into that activity can be adjusted based on your personal heart rate and specific heart rate zones.
2. Zone 2 is where the magic happens. This is where you want to spend the majority of your time to optimize fat burn and weight loss. It's also where runners should be for most of their runs, including the long slow distance runs when training for a half or full marathon.
3. Each workout is at an appropriate level for YOU! No outside influences - just you and your heart rate monitor.
4. Reduce the risk of injury. When the body is pushed too hard, for too long, it becomes more susceptible to injury and/or illness.
5. Feel better and recover faster. When your workouts are appropriate for YOU, you feel better during and after the workout. You also recover faster.
*Heart Rate Guided Training can be applied to any exercise...walking, running, cycling, swimming, etc.