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tomhendersonfl
August 23rd, 2005, 07:45 PM
I'm fairly new to swimming. I've used HR monitors in the past for running, and it seems to me that they would be very effective in swimming, especially if your focus is distance swimming. But I've seen quite a few posts, especially in some of the tri-bashing threads, that are quite derisive on the subject.

Does anyone have any serious information on the use of HR monitors in swimming? Do the top swimmers use them at all?

Conniekat8
August 23rd, 2005, 11:40 PM
Originally posted by tomhendersonfl
I'm fairly new to swimming. I've used HR monitors in the past for running, and it seems to me that they would be very effective in swimming, especially if your focus is distance swimming. But I've seen quite a few posts, especially in some of the tri-bashing threads, that are quite derisive on the subject.

Does anyone have any serious information on the use of HR monitors in swimming? Do the top swimmers use them at all?

They're as useful as in any other sport.
Biggest problem for guys has been how to keep them on, and not sliding down and off and out of place as they swim.

I use mine rather often when I train, and with a girl-suit, I have no problem keeping it on. Instead of having the watch on my wrist, I hang it on the starting block. I can't really look at it while I'm stroking anyway.

If you decide to do any USMS swim meets (not open water), you need to be aware that wearing a watch or any sort of a wrist band that can be construed as a pacing device and is against the rules, so if you are in a habit of wearing a watch while you swim, and forget to take ot off before the race, you'll get DQ'd.

If you swim with a masters group you'll be getting in the habit of using the pace clock, and in the absence of the heart rate monitor you can always check your pulse with the help of the pace clock. Count your beats for 6 seconds and then multiply by 10.

Or, in my case, I can pretty much guess my heart rate within about 10, just based on how hard my head feels like it's pounding. ;)

gull
August 24th, 2005, 10:56 AM
I agree with Connie--I think it's useful to monitor your heart rate during training, but I just count my pulse rather than using a monitor. It's a nice way to compare perceived effort vs. actual (are you working as hard as you think you are, for example, or are you working harder than you should be for the particular set?).

breastroker
August 24th, 2005, 04:47 PM
I have used and competed with heart rate monitors in swimming competition. I believe one of my articles is on the USMS web site as well as on www.breaststroke.info

Sheala
August 24th, 2005, 08:12 PM
I use mine (when I remember to strap that bad boy on) as a "reminder" that I can work harder & push farther than I actually am. IE: I look down after a 100 and see my heart rate at 125...yeah, I should be working harder than that!

Conniekat8
August 26th, 2005, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by gull80
I agree with Connie--I think it's useful to monitor your heart rate during training, but I just count my pulse rather than using a monitor. It's a nice way to compare perceived effort vs. actual (are you working as hard as you think you are, for example, or are you working harder than you should be for the particular set?).

I'm really bad with the percieved effort, I'll get my heart rate in the 190-210 range and think, ugh, I'm not working hard enough!
sigh :(

Jeff Commings
August 26th, 2005, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
I'm really bad with the percieved effort, I'll get my heart rate in the 190-210 range and think, ugh, I'm not working hard enough!
sigh :(

What??!!!? If your heart rate is in the 190-210 range, you're working pretty dang hard!

I can't go through a workout, even the seemingly rare aerobic ones, where my heart rate stays below 180, and I usually feel the effects of it at the end of workout. I have high blood pressure and that might be part of it. The problem is not my aerobic base, because I've been training virtually nonstop since 2003.

But by all means should people take heart rates. My coach in New Mexico used to always give us sets and tell us to keep our heart rates below a certain number, and EVERYONE would check periodically. On lactate sets you know it's going to be high, but the best indicator of fitness is your recovery heart rate. Take a pulse 30 seconds after your first pulse, or about 40 seconds after you stop swimming. If your second heart rate drops by 30 beats per minute, you're in good shape. Take a third one, and it should drop significantly. Don't judge recovery by the fact that you're not breathing hard. This just means your body is getting adequate oxygen, though your heart can't get it out to yor muscles quickly enough, hence a high heart rate. Heart rate monitors can help keep track of that.

Connie, if you feel you can work harder at a heart rate above 210, go for it. But I hope you have a watchful coach or lifeguard.

fatboy
August 26th, 2005, 04:56 PM
With all the heart rates being tossed about in this thread, I was wondering how close everyone stays to the 220 - age formula when training?

Any thoughts on this guideline?

Conniekat8
August 26th, 2005, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by Jeff Commings
What??!!!? If your heart rate is in the 190-210 range, you're working pretty dang hard!

I can't go through a workout, even the seemingly rare aerobic ones, where my heart rate stays below 180, and I usually feel the effects of it at the end of workout. I have high blood pressure and that might be part of it. The problem is not my aerobic base, because I've been training virtually nonstop since 2003.

But by all means should people take heart rates. My coach in New Mexico used to always give us sets and tell us to keep our heart rates below a certain number, and EVERYONE would check periodically. On lactate sets you know it's going to be high, but the best indicator of fitness is your recovery heart rate. Take a pulse 30 seconds after your first pulse, or about 40 seconds after you stop swimming. If your second heart rate drops by 30 beats per minute, you're in good shape. Take a third one, and it should drop significantly. Don't judge recovery by the fact that you're not breathing hard. This just means your body is getting adequate oxygen, though your heart can't get it out to yor muscles quickly enough, hence a high heart rate. Heart rate monitors can help keep track of that.

Connie, if you feel you can work harder at a heart rate above 210, go for it. But I hope you have a watchful coach or lifeguard.

Don't get me wrong, I'm panting at that heart rate. It just doesn't take me that long to get to it, even when I'm in a pretty good shape.

I've been monitoring my heart rate for last couple of years, and it seems to be on the high side. 210 to 220 is usually the 100 (or 110%) effort for me. My coach pretty much knows when that happens, he leared to tell by my breathing, and tells me to skip one rep of the set to take a longer rest and what not.
I have some sort of anemia (thallasemia) and a low blood pressure, so I'm told it is to be expected that my heartrate will be higher... It drops pretty quickly too.

I've discussed it with doctors, and noone seems to be very concerned. I might pursue it more, maybe do an exercise stress test, althought my doc saysthat this test really won't take me to that high of a heart rate, so it won't do much to analyze what i want to know.

I dunno, I haven't gotten to the bottom of it all yet.