They’re certainly addictive, but do you really need a heart-rate monitor?
Heart-rate monitors have been a game-changer for fitness bods. Various factors influence how hard we think we’re working out; HR is the most reliable way of gauging your real effort. It also measures your progression. For runners, as your cardiovascular fitness improves, you should notice that the pace you’re doing at, say 145bpm, gradually increases over the weeks. HR is most useful for ensuring you do the majority of your endurance training relatively slowly, rather than blatting along at 200bpm to chase a Strava record – saving you from burnout. Also use HR to check that you’re not fatigued or overtraining, by comparing your average resting heart rate – if it’s higher than usual over several days, take a break.