3. Faulty Readings=Inaccurate Data
While I have been rather scientific thus far, perhaps my biggest gripe in regards to heart-rate monitor training is the unreliable data. From a training and coaching standpoint, I am not willing to make my training decisions based on devices that don’t work or regularly send mixed signals.
Conduct a quick poll of your running friends about issues they’ve had with their monitor over the last month and you’ll get more crazy malfunctioning stories than I could list in this article. Here are some of the ones I have experienced lately: (1) receiver not transmitting because too sweaty; (2) receiver not transmitting because too cold; (3) ran too close to another heart-rate monitor; (4) took off monitor and it still recorded readings in my pocket; (5) watch said my heart rate was 250 bpm; and numerous other stories I won’t list here.
As a competitive runner and coach, if I am going to rely on the data I am receiving to make the best decisions about training, I need to be confident that it’s correct at least 95% of the time. Otherwise, I may be making training decisions based on irrelevant and inaccurate information.
DO you train by heart rate? I encourage you to share your feedback, comments, experiences, and questions about heart rate training in the comments section below.