It can’t be emphasized enough – heart rate monitoring is extremely important for athletes. It’s crucial to know your heart rate values to be able to train within your limits. For training to be effective, it has to be adjusted to an athlete’s personal needs and capabilities, such as resting heart rate and maximum heart rate.
HR monitoring – an important part of sports tracking
In sports tracking, the GPS system only does half the job –it should always be paired with a heart rate monitor. When an athlete wears an HR monitor, the GPS sports system records the average heart rate and maximum heart rate. Based on that information, it calculates the limits that you don’t want to exceed. Both maximum heart rate and resting heart rate values are general indicators of an athlete’s well-being and health.
Maximum heart rate
Every heart has its limits, and that limit is referred to as the maximum heart rate. An athlete can reach it during a training session, in a particularly tough moment, for example when they are sprinting. The value of the maximum heart rate depends on a few things. There’s a general rule that the maximum heart rate is higher for younger people and it lowers with age. However, that’s not always true, because active people reach higher values of heart rate than those who stay away from sports. This means that a 40-year old runner may have higher max heart rate than a person in their twenties who prefers watching others do sports. But there are many different things that influence the HR max value: the frequency and type of trainings, weather conditions, genes, and even gender.
Resting heart rate
Resting heart rate is the exact opposite of maximum heart rate – it’s the lowest value of beats per minute of a healthy person. It should be measured just moments after waking up, while you are still in bed and haven’t done anything to get the heart rate up yet. There’s a connection between resting HR and the physical activity of a person. If they are involved in sports, they are likely to have lower values of resting heart rate. Just like the value of maximum heart rate, resting heart rate depends on a few factors.
The practical application of HR values in sports
When it comes to the heart rate values of an athlete, the first question should be – what does it say about that athlete? The lower the resting heart rate is, the greater the efficiency of the heart. This means that this particular athlete is likely to take on a bigger workload than others, whose resting heart rate is not as impressive.
Knowing your heart rate allows you to work within certain zones and not exceed the calculated threshold. This helps in achieving certain training goals and leads to progress.