Who never experienced starting a jump race too fast, especially during a competitive wave? For example, running at ‘’overspeed’’ for the first 2 or 3 kilometers simply because we are overexcited by adrenalin and the group effect, just to hit a wall later and disturb the rest of your race?
As a beginner, knowing your limit and managing your intensity can be difficult and represent a big weakness. Mastering this art can be a real challenge. Fortunately, various tools are available on the market, especially one which, I believe, remains very useful : the heart rate monitor.
Usually made of a rubber band belt equipped with electrodes capturing the heart beat. The belt goes on the thorax and send a signal to a watch which displays your heart rate in real time.
This tool can measure precisely your maximum heart rate (see tab). During your training sessions, you can easily know your heart rate and adapt your efforts accordingly. Moreover, with time, you will also be able to monitor the improvement of your physical condition.
Test de fréquence cardiaque maximale (FCM)
Afin de déterminer plus précisément la fréquence cardiaque maximale (FCM) d’un individu, il est recommandé de lui faire passer un test de fréquence cardiaque maximale. Voici un protocole souvent utilisé en course à pied, mais qui s’applique aussi à d’autres disciplines :
1.Échauffement pendant une vingtaine de minutes à vitesse modérée.
2.Première répétition de 3 minutes à haute intensité (pas maximale)
3.Repos de 2 minutes en continuant à courir à vitesse modérée.
4.Deuxième répétition de 3 minutes et dans la dernière minute, fournir un effort maximal.
5.À l’aide d’un cardio-fréquencemètre, noter la fréquence cardiaque la plus haute atteinte, c’est probablement la FCM. 1
Furthermore, this tool is a massive ally during competitions. By keeping an eye on your heart rate, you will be able to increase or decrease your pace to save your energy. This will allow you to avoid the wall that a lot of runners hit in spite of themselves and you will optimize your performance.
- During a race which is less than 5 km, you should start by maintaining your pace at around 90% of your RPM for the first quarter of the race and then increase it to 95%.
- During a race which lasts between 1H15 and 2H, you should start by maintaining your pace at around 85% and then increase it to 90%.
- Finally, for a race between 4H and 8H, keep up the pace at 75% for the first quarter and 80% for the rest of the race. For extreme races, based on the same method, keep up the pace between 65% and 75 %1.
For beginners and intermediate runners, like most of us, a heart rate monitor can be a simple but powerful tool, either during competition or training sessions.
As for me, along with my colleagues who tried the heart rate monitor, significant improvements have been noticed and we do believe, as time goes by, you will learn to know your limits very well, to manage your races better and improve your performance with it.
Share your experience and performance improvement linked to the heart rate monitor by leaving your comment on this page!
Have a good race!
The 3-seconds.com team
2 – Esprit Trail HS number7, July 2013