• March 1, 2024

Monitoring Heart Rate, Pace, and Cadence During Running

When jogging, a wrist-based GPS is an excellent tool for keeping track of distance and time. Just knowing how to hit the start, stop, and save buttons would enough. I’ve observed that a lot of my other runners, both as coaches and as racers, aren’t making much use of the data from these smart gadgets. This is a brief overview of three indicators you may use to plan balanced training loads, chase down your next personal record, and work on improving your form and efficiency.

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Pacing Cadence

These days, the majority of GPS gadgets can track cadence. Steps per minute (spm) or revolutions per minute (rpm, when one leg is counted) are the units of cadence measurement. Revolutions per minute are used by Suunto. A runner can gauge their leg turnover speed via cadence. Although there are many differing views about cadence, it is widely accepted that the ideal range for running economy and efficiency is approximately 90 rpm (180 spm).

The three ways to measure cadence are through a foot pod, an enhanced monitoring heart rate strap that detects the rise and fall in heart rate throughout a run, or the gadget itself when your arm swings. You may examine what happens to cadence in various scenarios, such as ascending a hill, running quickly, lowering, or even over time as you start to fatigue, by examining this data after a run.

Running at a cadence of less than 165 spm is probably not as efficient as it might be. Practice cadence drills and include 30-second on, 30-second off cadence sets into your runs to gradually increase your cadence. In order to avoid damage and facilitate the development of a neuromuscular link that will make your new shape natural and habitual, it is ideal to let it evolve gradually.

Heart Rate on Run

Recently, wrist-based running gadgets have been developed that assess heart rate. This appears to be a little less reliable than the chest strap, which has been around for a while. However, any type of heart rate collecting is highly helpful to a runner training to get fitter and faster.

It is crucial to understand one’s own lactate threshold heart rate, or the point at which the body can no longer use all of the lactate it is creating. This may be found in racing, in lab testing, or even in basic field testing, such as a 30-minute test.

With these individual heart rate readings in hand, gathering heart rate data can assist shed light on what transpired during a workout or race by providing an unbiased and scientific explanation for rate of perceived exertion (RPE). An athlete competing in a marathon might begin to comprehend why their pace dropped later in the race if they review their race file and notice that their heart rate was higher than usual at the start of the race, either due to heat-related issues or inappropriate pacing.

An athlete may set a heart rate cap and make sure they remain below it for the whole length of a long endurance run. For an athlete who struggles with keeping up with the speed during training, this measure is excellent. The terrain, wind, heat, tension, and exhaustion all affect heart rate.

Pace of Running and Autolap

There are several ways to keep an eye on your pace when running. I’ve seen a number of runners who just use the factory default settings for their watch. This is frequently the current pace or average pace.

Let’s consider this for a moment. Knowing the average lap pace and, if it’s a shorter work session, the present pace is useful when performing interval training. This enables you to ascertain the precise tempo required. A longer endurance run could benefit more from an overall pace. Even though the runner may be utilizing a heart rate cap or their rate of perceived exertion (RPE), the auto lap option produces a pace suggestion.

For interval work, where data is gathered at self-selected intervals and may be made by pressing the LAP button in between intervals, it is imperative to turn off the auto lap option. I advise runners not to panic if RPE and the data suddenly don’t match up, and that current pace may be affected by unstable satellite connections. Keep in mind that the gadget must gather data while you are traveling, so increase your pace for four to six steps before pressing the lap button for the best precision on each interval.

Three metrics—pace, heart rate, and cadence—can significantly alter your training regimen and help you become a better runner. You may improve your form, economy, pace, and efficiency by using them separately or in combination. This will also help you practice and compete more strategically.