Overview: HR and Training
Explaining heart rate in relation to training and how it can be used to monitor and measure progress.
Your heart rate is a measure of the number of times per minute your heart beats; it is displayed as beats per minute (bpm).
It can also be put into the following equation, this is relevant to us in relation to exercise and activity:
Heart Rate (HR) x Stroke Volume (SV) = (Cardiac) Output (CO)
We can rename this to help explain the theory a little better…
Heart Rate (HR) x Training Effect/Adaptation (T/A) = Performance (P)
The more we train the stronger our heart becomes, this can cause our stroke volume capacity to increase; this means our heart is/would be working more efficiently and capable of pumping more blood around the body per single beat. This can be measured indirectly if we monitor and are aware of our heart rate. However, we must be aware of all variables to measure and develop our performance.
Here are some examples:
If we know our heart rate (using a HR monitor) and we have a known performance (5km time) we can see that the remaining changes are as a result of our stroke volume; or TRAINING EFFECT/ADAPTATION.
Heart Rate: 160 bpm x Training Effect/Adaptation = 5km Run Time: 25 mins
Heart Rate: 160 bpm x Training Effect/Adaptation = 5km Run Time: 23 mins (improved performance)
As we know our heart rate and have kept it the same. When this is paired with an increase in performance, we can attribute the change to an increase in stroke volume; improved heart efficiency/training effect/adaptation.
If we do not measure our heart rate:
Heart Rate Unknown x Training Effect/Adaptation = 5km Run Time: 23 mins (improved performance)
Although we have seen an increase in performance, we can not see how or why this has occurred. If we do not know how or why, it is then difficult to develop or know if our current training is having a positive effect or not. Or if we just worked harder that day; and this could be because of a whole host of different factors.
To sum up; if we want to improve performance we can use heart rate training as a method of monitoring and more importantly developing performance.