I have had a couple of emails lately on Heart Rate Training and I thought I’d look through the archives and found this post (below) written by Charlotte back in November 2008.

Now I do believe there is a time and place for using heart rates (usually people starting out or if you live an train at altitude and come down to sea level) but it’s not all the time and I know many athletes have capped their own ability in racing by obsessing over the numbers glaring out at them.

Could these numbers on race day be wrong? Could these numbers restrain you from getting a better sleep? A definitively YES. It’s becuase there are so many factors that contribute to what number comes back at you via the trusty old heart rate monitor and if your not keenly in-tune with your own bodies signals then you just become a slave to the numbers and thus limit ever reaching your potential.

No more Heart Rate Training by Charlotte Paul

After 6 years of strapping on a heart rate monitor it’s GONE!
I feel free and liberated and the chaffing scars have started to disappear.

I was very resistant at first. That’s an understatement! I was almost dependent on it. If I went out the door without it I felt as if something was missing- I was almost naked! But now, after 3 months without it, I couldn’t imagine putting it on.

So now it is the biggest relief not to wear it. I was a slave to it. I wouldn’t look at it all the time, I thought. But I would come home and write down or upload my data. Sometimes I would compare it to previous sessions, often I didn’t look at it ever again. But I felt I needed it. It was an obsession and a crutch.

For 6 years I also raced with it. I felt like I needed it to know “how” to race.
What I now realize is that I know how to race. I know what race pace feels like. I’m now able to make pacing decisions based on feel. I know when I am giving too much or too little intrinsically. I’m not constrained by what my watch is telling me.

In training my directions are to go easy, moderate or hard. It’s very simple, and it’s all based on feel. Easy one day might be very different to easy another day, and that’s how it should be. When I’m feeling good, I can give a bit more. When I’m feeling tired my hard won’t be as hard.

It’s very easy to follow a training plan that is so simple. An “easy effort” is very straightforward to understand. I don’t get confused or annoyed that my HR isn’t doing what it should be.

I now worry less, and am more relaxed. I’m free to concentrate on my training and can cut out the noise. I match my effort with what the session requires.

Slavery no more 🙂