Thursday, October 08, 2009

Why I Need a Heart Rate Monitor

I'm not much of a gadget person. I like having a chronograph on my watch and I have occasionally worn a pedometer. Otherwise, it's just me and my shoes.

Recently some friends and I were discussing the number of people who have died during marathons the past year or so. The conversation made me think about a couple races where I kept pushing probably much harder than I should have based on conditions.

One was the Indy Mini Marathon a few years back where the temps were so hot, they had caution flags out and finally turned off the clocks and quit timing the event. We found out later that someone had died that day. I was at the 13-mile mark when they turned off the clocks and I was still pushing. I felt great and I wanted to PR. I was ticked.

At the Air Force Marathon (Half) I was pushing as hard as I could for the last 3 miles. I was pushing so hard, I could not have pushed harder if I tried. At one point my lungs started to feel tight, but I was so set on getting my PR I kept pushing through it. On a scale of 1-10 I was walking at an 11.

So, how do you know if you are pushing too hard? Did those people who died feel how I did in both of these races?

Then this morning it dawned on me: I need a heart rate monitor! If I had a heart rate monitor, I would have known in both instances how hard I was pushing and whether I was going too far.

The shopping and comparison process has officially begun. Any input would be greatly appreciated.


Tammy said...

Hi Cindi - you have been doing this long enough that you should get a Garmin. They come with a heart rate monitor. I love my 305 and it is cheap now because it's not the new model any more. But it's just as good, and seriously, you will LOVE it! You can track your average and maximum heart rate for each lap of a track or interval workout, and see a graph of your HR vs. pace or vs. elevation. It's awesome. I think they are only about $150 now, too!

Nyle said...

I agree with tammy. I have the garmin but not the heart rate model and I must admit that I am tempted to upgrade it now. There have been a couple of people die on some of our half and marathons too and it does make you wonder.