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How many of you really use Heart Monitors ?(14 posts)

How many of you really use Heart Monitors ?Maartin
Jul 16, 2002 7:20 AM
Are heart monitors really useful and do most serious riders use them or is it just one more techno product that you can live without. I wondering if it is worth the investment and will I see performance gains by encorporating a heart monitor in my daily commuting. Thanks
I do.MXL02
Jul 16, 2002 7:26 AM
I don't know about commuting since I use commuting as my recovery rides and don't really cycle hard, but it has added a whole new dimension to my weekend workouts. For getting into good CV shape or preparing for competition, the more info the better, IMHO.
Ditto. I pay more attention to HRM than the odo. (nm)RoyGBiv
Jul 16, 2002 7:53 AM
Used to, but after a couple of yearsscottfree
Jul 16, 2002 8:01 AM
I discovered that -- just like the cadence function on the computer -- after awhile I just KNEW what my HR (or cadence) was.

I think that may really be the point. If you monitor these things long anough, you find you don't really need them anymore because you can guess pretty good. (Just like you know within a few minutes what time it is without a clock, or within a MPH or two of how fast your car is going, simply by long experience).
don't know what advantage would be for commuting butColnagoFE
Jul 16, 2002 8:34 AM
i use mine all the time. lets me know when i'm going too easy or too hard. especially useful for indoor training as my perceived exertion seems much higher inside. sorta like a tach for your heart--just don't get religious with 'em. they are just tools.
I do!!!funknuggets
Jul 16, 2002 9:14 AM
I also use one and find it really valuable. It is amazing to see what your HR does and how it responds to different stimulus. On many rides I also pay more attention to HR then I do my mileage/speed, etc. I also think that monitoring HR is very important in recovery rides. There are all kinds of resources that can help validate the importance of HR in training.

PodiumBound has some pretty good ideas around this.
I don't need no stinkin' HRM!look271
Jul 16, 2002 9:57 AM
=) I tried it several years ago. Too much of a distraction. Now if I feel I need to go hard, I do. if I need to take it easy, I do. Not scientific, but it works for me. Your results may vary.
re: How many of you really use Heart Monitors ?No_sprint
Jul 16, 2002 10:06 AM
If you're goal oriented or goal specific training, a HRM is absolutely critical.

If you're just wondering where your HR is during your commutes, pull over and take your pulse a couple times. You don't need one if this is the case.
I have found it invaluable as a training tool and feedbackbill
Jul 16, 2002 10:53 AM
device. I plan training sessions around it, particularly indoors, according to whether I want to redline briefly or come close to redlining for more extended periods. It helps tell me when I'm recovered enough to begin the next interval. If you know your body better than I know mine, I guess you don't need it, but even then there are those times when you want to go hard and think that you are going hard but your heart rate isn't climbing to where it should, which means that you're a bit overtrained and that you just need to forget it that day. I now can't imagine training without it.
On the road, I sometimes gauge my turns at the front by HR. I gauge how hard I should be working at the bottom of the hill in order to be able to get up it.
But, you'll be commuting. HRM's are for structured workouts and for warning against blowing up. If these things are issues on your commute, by all means. If not, you'll have an interesting toy, but it'll be a toy that may get you motivated to learn more about how your body works in a way that will lead you to structured workouts. Structured workouts are not a bad substitute for more miles, if your lifestyle can't accomodate the time for lots of miles, as mine can't. I still lose out to guys who go lots more miles, but I like to think that my discipline allows me to hold my own or better against guys going the same miles.
Mine revealed a medical conditionPseuZQ
Jul 16, 2002 10:58 AM
I use a HRM. Riding during the spring, I noticed that my heart rate would *not* go up no matter what I did. (And on roads/hills with which I was familiar, so I knew what to expect, HR wise.) At first I attributed it to overtraining, so I rested a bit, and the problem was still there. Checked "Bicycling Medicine" and one line tipped me off: Inability to reach max heart rate may be indicative of hypothyroidism. Then I started to put the pieces together about a bunch of other little things that were bothering me, and went for some tests. Sure enough, I was severely hypothyroid and am now on thyroid replacement. I feel a million times better. BTW, this is a fairly common affliction, esp. among women.
i do most of the time for running and bikingskibert
Jul 16, 2002 11:49 AM
re: How many of you really use Heart Monitors ?Ironbutt
Jul 16, 2002 12:41 PM
Heart rate monitors are useful tools for training, but the thing to remember (in my opinion) is that it is a tool, one of many in the chest. The most important tool is to learn to listen to what your own body is telling you, and to correlate that with the imperical data that the HRM is feeding you. If the HRM says that you are maxed out, but your body says that you have plenty left, you may want to consider going with what your body says rather than the HRM. Hard data is good, and useful for planning a training schedule, but don't overlook how you feel. My last club time trial had my HRM telling me to back off, but I felt fine. Pushed as hard as I could, and set a personal best. Having been involved in cycling for about 25 years probably helps me in this respect, because when I started riding there were no technical helpers like HRMs, computers, etc. at all.
Ditto what Ironbutt saidMr Good
Jul 16, 2002 6:19 PM
My HRM was a useful tool for a couple of years while I was learning to "read" what my body was trying to tell me. But I then found that I was too concerned with exact HR numbers, and not paying enough attention to how I feel during training, racing, etc. It is vitally important (for racing, anyhow) to learn how your body's different feelings/exertion levels correlate with a given performance level or ability.

Also, the HRM was a real distraction during racing, where I would monitor numbers rather than concentrate on the race. A very high reading would actually discourage me (as in "that HR is too high, I can't go on like this much longer!") Now I race without the HRM and just push myself hard. When it's crunch time, it doesn't matter what my HR is, all that matters is if I can pedal fast enough to keep up with the guy in front of me!

So I'd say if you have the disposable income, go ahead, it's a fun and interesting toy. But you don't NEED it to get faster or to enjoy riding.
re: How many of you really use Heart Monitors ?trimble
Aug 4, 2002 3:43 AM
For short rides (<25 miles), maybe an HRM isn't that useful, but for long rides, I think they're invaluable. For me, keeping the HR below 165 allows me to ride much longer and w/o problems. Riding along at 175 bpm will burn me out sooner even though I'll feel fine most of time.

I suggest an HRM is best used in training rides, not communting (unless you're communiting in downtown San Francisco).