How to Use a Heart Rate Monitor

How to Use a Heart Rate Monitor
Proper training regimens are essential for excellence in any sport, but cycling takes particular focus and precision to achieve top results. Heart rate monitors allow you to understand and track your body's response to training types and levels, and give you a greater understanding of your overall performance level. With commitment and hard work, you can achieve excellent training efficiency with even a simple heart rate monitor.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Heart rate monitor with pulse rate, average pulse rate and time functions
  • Heart rate monitor with pulse rate, average pulse rate and time functions
Step 1
Strap on your heart monitor. Apply a small amount of saliva or special monitor lubricant to the inside of the chest sensor (do not use water). This provides a channel for electrical signals from your heart to reach the sensor. Place the chest sensor across your sternum just below the nipple line.
Step 2
Check to make sure your receiver is picking up a signal from the chest sensor. You should be able to see your current heart rate, as well as a reception indicator on the receiver.
Step 3
Find your target heart rate using the Mayo Clinic's free online calculator (see Resources section).
Step 4
Go for a ride, keeping a close eye on your monitor's readout. After an easy warm-up spin, accelerate to training intensity. Try to keep your heart rate in the target zone you calculated in Step 3.
Step 5
Start more precise interval workouts as you get stronger. For a simple interval, start with an easy spin to warm up. Push yourself to the top envelope of your target heart zone for two minutes, then rest for four minutes with your heart rate on the low end of your training zone. Repeat three to four times, then cool down nice and easy.

Tips & Warnings

 
Many heart monitors have preprogrammed performance zones. You can use these to plan your own interval workouts. For endurance workouts, use your monitor to keep your heart rate steady. Don't start out too high in your training zone, or you won't be able to sustain the intensity.
 
Many heart monitors have preprogrammed performance zones. You can use these to plan your own interval workouts.
 
For endurance workouts, use your monitor to keep your heart rate steady. Don't start out too high in your training zone, or you won't be able to sustain the intensity.
 
Check with your doctor before starting any intense training regimen, especially if you have or have had heart problems.

Article Written By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson earned his Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from The Ohio University. He has been a professional writer since 2008, specializing in outdoors content and instruction. Johnson's poetry has appeared in such publications as "Sphere" and "17 1/2 Magazine."

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