I just watched a videoclip of meeting with Jack Daniels (available
at trackmeets.com), and here's an interesting transcript on the ever-recurring
question of heart rate monitor (HRM) use among general population.
(Sorry for bringing this up, AGAIN, but I thought that his approach certainly
qualifies as reasonable and well-ballanced and might provide some better
understanding in each "camp")
Here's what Jack said:
Question: Do you use HRM in training any of your athletes?
Jack Daniels: I feel they can be good and they can be bad...
If somebody's using a HRM and they understand the whole idea real well then
they can be real good.
But the general public don't understand the HRM.
All the HRM are telling you is how fast your heart is beating.
That's all they tell you. They don't tell you how hard you are working.
You are assuming they are telling you how hard they are working, but they are
If you are running 6 minute pace and that on a nice cool dry calm day it
produces a heart rate of 148, and on hot sweaty day it produces a HR of 168, what are
you going to do - slow down to 140's? Now you are running 6:40's. You are not
training your body anymore, you are training your heart.
HRMs, the idea of them in the first place, was to monitor cardiac rehab
patients, so that they were not excercising too hard when they were
rehabilitating from cardiac surgery or something like that. We wanted to make
sure that their heart rate wasn't going too fast. We are not worried about our
heart rate going too fast, we are worried about getting better running, and
under dehydration or under heat, particularly those two things,
your HR is going to be way too faster than your pace. So you are not training
anymore. You are just slowing down to monitor your heart.
But if you understand that, then you can still use them, I think."
About HRmax and HRrest:
"There are always individual cases that fall way beyond what you can expect.
Jim Ryun, for example, I tested him for 5 years, never had a resting HR lower
than 60. Never had a max heart rate over 180...
I tested Bob Schul in 1968, and his maximum HR was 148, he was 30 years old...
I tested him many times. 25 years later I tested him when he was 55 and his
heart rate was 146. Never changed... Another guy I tested when he was 27, and
his max HR was 186, and I tested him 25 years later when he was 52 and it was
192. It's not supposed to do that, your HR is supposed to go down with age, but
it's very different, it varies a lot"
Another quote I find interesting:
"I used to say all training should be enjoyable, but I changed it to saying it
should be 'rewarding'"