Contributed by Dr. Devor.
Thanks for your question, and I am pleased that you are ready to embrace heart rate guided training to become a better runner.
The first thing you will need to do is accurately determine your own individual true maximum heart rate. In order to do this you will need to have a VO2max test done, and we do these frequently at MAX Sports Medicine on Olentangy River Road. The VO2max test will provide me with your true maximum heart rate, and then I will be able to provide you with five precise heart rate training zones that are exclusive for you.
Secondly you will need to invest in a good heart rate monitor. I suggest either a Polar or a Garmin. The rationale for wearing a heart rate monitor and monitoring your heart rate while you run is that heart rate is a particularly strong indicator of the intensity of your exercise. Thus, a heart rate monitor permits you to monitor and precisely control the intensity of your running.
We know that beginning runners often make the mistake of never really varying the intensity of their running, only ever changing their daily mileage. With your five heart rate training prescription, you will be able to train like professional endurance athletes do, and vary your workouts based upon your heart rate.
Best wishes for your continued training success.