Last weekend, I discussed the most important for runner to keep running. If I could pick what the second most important thing for beginning runners or walkers, it would be training with a heart rate monitor (HRM).
Most experienced runners probably take Heart Rate Monitoring for granted but it hasn't been around for that long (when compared to the running craze beginning in the late 60's, early 70s). I know it was hard to even afford a HRM when they first came out and there was even a question on its value in training. But both of those issues have been settled in the past 20 years.
What Heart Rate Training (HRT) does for a runner or walker is eliminate any question on whether you are wasting your time in your training. I think a lot of starting runners get frustrated by either over doing it or giving up because they feel they aren't getting anything out of running. Using a HRM will address both of those issues and give you immediate feedback on what you are getting out of running. It will let you know whether you are pushing it too hard, too easy, or just right. Knowing that kind of information will keep you coming back because it will not only give you great information but also injury free. The leading cause of people giving up running is from over doing it and ending up with a long layoff that discourages them from starting again.
I will a lot of future blog posts on Heart Rate Training, hopefully not too much to bore you on the subject. But for my running experience, HRT has made the difference in my staying with it or giving it the ghost. More to follow.