How to Use a Heart Monitor for Cycling

How to Use a Heart Monitor for Cycling
If you are an amateur cyclist interested in improving your technique, stamina, endurance and speed, learning to monitor your heart rate can pay dividends. You can establish your peak and resting heart rate, and use these figures to plan for biking excursions. Knowing your heart rate will also help you to determine when you can ramp yourself up and when you should be cooling down. A good heart rate monitor will track your body's performance.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Heart rate monitor Bicycle
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Bicycle
Step 1
Use a heart rate monitor on a wristwatch, with the sensor on the inside of your wrist. This will be the most accurate place in which to get a reading. Cycle computers with HRMs are less accurate.
Step 2
Test the heart rate monitor. Use the HRM to try and get your Beats Per Minute (bpm). Then, using just a clock, count the pulses of your heart and compare the two numbers. If there is a discrepancy, you'll need to get a new HRM or get the old one re-calibrated.
Step 3
Calculate your maximum heart rate. Find a long hill and begin to ascend. Every five minutes increase your output--cycle harder.
Step 4
Remain sitting on the bike during this exercise. Once you've reached a threshold at which you think you cannot sustain, stand up on the bike and sprint for 15 seconds.
Step 5
Immediately get off the bike and use your HRM to calculate your bpm for 30 seconds. Double the number and you'll have your maximum heart rate. For adults in their 30's and 40's, this number will be between 190 and 240.
Step 6
Use your maximum heart rate as a guide. In general, you should be cycling at about 80 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. This will give you the best, most sustained aerobic workout.

Article Written By Duncan Jenkins

Based in Eugene, Ore., Duncan Jenkins has been writing finance-related articles since 2008. His specialties include personal finance advice, mortgage/equity loans and credit management. Jenkins obtained his bachelor's degree in English from Clark University.

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