- Use it daily and ensure you wear your heart rate monitor for every workout. It helps your coach monitor your Heart Rate Variable Index as well as a more accurate Training Stress Score.
- Set up the basics on your watch; preferable have training zones set up that match your training zones in TrainingPeaks.
- Learn the features of your device. Learn one or two features every time you use it. Start with timer and lap button, then move to heart rate features and then if you your watch allows you to customize your screens, customize them.
- Learn your heart rate training zones in comparison to rate of perceived effort (RPE).
- Discuss with your coach on when to switch from HR workout to RPE or when things don’t seem to match.
How to do Interval Workouts with your GPS and HRM
There are two methods on how to record your interval workouts. First create a workout that allows your watch to do the splits, not preferred for hill workouts and second manually record the workout. I will discuss the manual method. Start the timer when you start your workout to include the warm-up. Once you get to the start of your first interval, whether it is a hill, track workout, or even a tempo workout, press the lap button. Press the lap button again when you reach the end of the interval. Press lap button again when you start the next interval. A Variation for hill repeats is to add an addition press of the lap button to include the split for the descending portion of the workout.
For all intervals, start easy and build into it. The first interval should be one of the slowest intervals of the set. Push a little hard on each interval. Regardless of the number of intervals that are on your training plan, stop the intervals when your form begins to fall apart. Repeatedly running with bad form will increase your chance of injury.
What Information Do I Look At:
- Interval time or distance: How far or how long did it take? This data depends on whether the interval is time or distance based. Average pace or speed. How many intervals were complete before you started slowing down? Did you run/ride at a recovery effort during the rest period? This plays to how well you recover and able to complete each interval.
- Average heart rate: I compare your average heart rate for each interval as well as how quickly did it drop. It should get higher and take longer to drop after each workout.
- Max heart rate: What did it top out for each interval and max for entire workout? Did your heart rate stay within the parameters of the appropriate zone based on the type of workout?
- Comments you provide in TrainingPeaks. Especially any comments that helps me analyze the workout; such as weather, RPE, how you are feeling, resting heart rate, sleep, etc. All of these provide insight to why your heart rate might not normal.
- I also look at other data if it is available such as cadence, power, ground contact time, vertical oscillation, etc.
At the end of the day, I am looking for improvements over time. Is your heart rate dropping at a given pace or is your pace faster at a given heart rate? All are indicators that you are gaining fitness. Ultimately, the more consistent information you can provide me the better I can analyze the numbers. Train smart and have fun out there and enjoy the process.