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The Effect Of Cardiac Drift On Heart-Rate Training

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Mar. 5, 2012
  • Updated Mar. 6, 2012 at 6:44 PM UTC
In this graph demonstrating cardiac drift, pace remains relatively constant (blue) while the heart rate (red) continually increases.

Consistent pace doesn’t always equal consistent heart rate. 

In two previous articles, I’ve discussed the importance of breaking free from your GPS dependency and three reasons not to train with a heart-rate monitor. Reading both articles may make it seem like I am harsh critic of all running technology when in reality I am a proponent of any device that helps runners train smarter.

It’s important for all runners, beginners and veterans alike, to take the time to understand training concepts and not blindly follow numbers and data derived from their technological gadgets. With a better understanding of training theory, runners can take full advantage of their chosen piece of technology and better optimize it for improving performance, rather than running to hit subjective numbers.

RELATED: Three Reasons To Rethink Heart-Rate Training

That brings me to this latest article on heart rate training — the influence of cardiac drift on heart rate during long runs. By understanding the concept of cardiac drift as it relates to effort and heart rate, you can train more effectively and maximize your potential as an athlete.

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Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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