Training & Nutrition - Why Average Heart Rate?
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01-04-04, 12:34 PM
I have been using a HRM while keeping in shape simply to be sure I
1. Stay in a good zone, and
2. To be sure that I am challenging myself beyond that zone at times.
However, I see on the ActiveBody.org page a space for "Average Heart Rate."
Now, my HRM is pretty basic - just keeps track of current heart rate. I have another I bought for my wife which adds in lowest and highest HR.
So, what are the advantages (if any) of keeping track of the average HR, and why does it appear on the ActiveBody.org page?
01-05-04, 05:05 PM
A lot of fitness spreadsheets use Avg HR to caluclate calories burned. I'm not sure if that is the case for the site you listed, but it's my best guess.
I like the avg HR function and use it to track progress. When speed and distance are the same but the avg HR is lower, I know I'm getting more efficient. I regulary do a 8 mile time trial at a prescribed avg HR (about 75% of my max, easy to maintain but still requires effort to keep it there) and compare it to previous times to gauge fitness. My IN shape times are 3 minutes faster than my typical start of the season time at the same avg HR.
I suspect it's there because lots of heart rate monitors track it, and it's a pretty good gauge of how hard a particular ride was. I track both Average and Max, and use them mostly to ensure I'm going slow enough on "recovery" days. I have a tendency to go out hard all the time, so ensuring that my Average Heart Rate is near my goal for the ride often helps me keep from going too hard when I shouldn't.
It's also useful for gauging your efforts on longer, harder rides. If you know what you've averaged on similar rides, you'll have an idea as to whether or not you should push the pace or slow it down a bit in order to survive.
01-05-04, 08:59 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful replies.
01-06-04, 08:15 AM
it's good to track avg heart rate, because honestly i don't ride as a slave to my HRM.... it is annoying for me to have to constantly adjust my effort in order to stay in a certain zone. the avg function lets you ride however you want, and then find out at the end what "zone" you spent most of your time in.
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