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Published Sep 02, 23
4 min read

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Examples include:medicationsmedical conditionsbody sizetemperature Ant+ (Advanced and Adaptive Network Technology Plus) is a wireless technology that allows your monitoring devices to communicate and work together. ANT+ uses the same frequencies as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (about 2. 4 GHz), but it works in smaller networks or short distances, such as those within 5 feet.

In short, ANT+ is better suited for fitness gadgets like heart rate monitors and power meters because of its: longer battery lifeshorter working distanceprocessing rates An ECG app records the beats in your upper and lower heart chambers to make sure they’re in rhythm. If they’re not in rhythm, it could mean you have atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of irregular heart rhythm that’s a major risk factor for stroke.

Heart rate monitors use electrodes or optical sensors to calculate heart rate and can provide valuable insight into your workouts, helping you improve your fitness level and reach your goals. While some products simply offer heart rate tracking, others provide detailed metrics and insights into other aspects of your health, such as:As there are several devices to choose from, be sure to consider factors such as your budget and intended use to find the heart rate monitor that’s right for you.

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For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, Finisher, Pix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+. Pop quiz: What’s the best way to have a horrible fall season? Answer: Go nuts on your training in the spring and overdo it before you even hit the end of the summer.

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This is the best way to either burn yourself out by not taking enough rest and recovery or to simply end up plateauing because there’s not enough variability in your training. This is why we train in zones and why we use periodization: If your workout is too hard all the time (or not hard enough), you won’t build fitness over that day; if you don’t vary your types of workouts and give enough time to recover, you won’t build fitness over the course of a training block.

For many triathletes, setting benchmarks, establishing training zones, knowing how hard they’re going in a workout, and knowing if they’ve recovered or not all depends on heart-rate zones. While we could debate all day about the pros and cons of heart-rate training, the reality is that most triathletes use heart rate in some way or another, so it’s important to know when to use heart rate and what tools are best for each use.

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“heart-rate training is stupid” argument to bigger brains, but instead we’ll get into some heart rate uses and what gear helps. This may seem obvious, but endurance athletes use heart rate as a way to know how hard they’re going. Of course your heart rate is affected by lots of other factors than simply effort (weather, wind, elevation, nutrition, hydration, caffeine/alcohol intake, gender, and on and on), but heart-rate is a popular, accessible, and relatively cheap and easy tool for crafting workouts and intensity levels for training sessions/racing.

If you really want to improve with your training, then you need to do a test set for swimming, biking, and running to establish a baseline and heart-rate training zones—then you can apply those zones to a training plan. While we won’t get into the different types of benchmark tests here, this is a great story on why you need them, what to do, and how to compute your fancy new zones.

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Heart rate zones help guide you on how hard to go at certain times (within a range) and how slow is slow enough to train and recover for the next interval or session. Zones also help keep you pushing or from pushing too hard during a race. While the idea of using heart rate for training zones has been around for a long time, analyzing heart rate as a way to know how recovered you are is relatively new.

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In other words, these measurements will tell you if you’re ready to go for the next tough session or if you need more time off for whatever reason (this could be something outside of sports as well, like stress, poor nutrition, poor hydration, sickness, alcohol use, and much more). Most devices do an excellent job of distilling that still-unfamiliar and often-counterintuitive information, but the TL;DR is: If your HRV is lower than your usual, you could be fatigued; if your RHR is trending higher than your usual, you could be fatigued.