The effectiveness of using heart rate in training and in matches
As we know, the heart is a specialised pump which delivers blood throughout the body. The pumping action of the heart repeats itself in a cycle known as the heart rate. The speed of the heart rate is measured by the number of contractions per unit of time, generally beats per minute.
As a rule of thumb, coaches will use athletes maximum heart rate, and possibly the resting heart rate, to create training zones; an example of a training zone is where an athlete is encouraged to train at 70-80% of their maximum heart rate.
There are numerous schools of thought on the different methods and formulae used to create heart rate zones, generally heart rate zones are created based on the understanding of what type of training is best for the sport or event.
Being able to monitor the heart rate of an athlete, and keeping the athlete’s heart rate in a set zone can be a very effective way to improve fitness and maximise training gains. Being able to monitor and compare an athlete’s heart rate over time is possibly more important and more effective as it can be an invaluable tool providing feedback on injury, illness, overtraining and incomplete recovery.
Monitoring the heart rate during training is relatively easy; athletes can wear GPS watches with heart rate bands strapped to their chest or “FitBit” type devices and, for the majority of athletes, this offers a practical, albeit sometimes inaccurate, measurement for assessing exercise intensity.
However, if athlete’s are performing in a match it may not be possible to have live, or any other, heart rate measurements of their performance.
It is vital that athletes match heart rate measurements be available to ascertain their post match training and recovery. If we compare two athletes in the same match, one may have worked incredibly hard while the other may not, therefore their recovery rates will be different and so should their post match training.
iSportsAnalysis.com have developed an accurate and practical way to monitor athletes heart rate in both training and in matches.
Our system uses textile electrodes, which are sewn into training vests, to sense the heart rate. We record the athletes heart rate 10 times a second giving incredibly accurate readings.
Heart rate information, as well as location (GNSS) information and impact (G-force) information, can be uploaded to our “Athlete Performance Pro” system enabling you to look at match performance information for each athlete, compare the athlete’s performance information over a selected date range, and even compare different athlete performances.
The use of the heart rate measurements varies from coach to coach, the one thing that doesn’t vary is that being able to build a “passport” of athlete performances, which includes heart rate information, is now an invaluable part of monitoring and improving fitness, maximising training gains and winning matches!
If you would like to know more about analysis in sports please visit www.iSportsAnalysis.com
About the Author: Anadi James Taylor
I am expert in helping sports clubs and universities with their Sports Video Analysis and their GPS Performance Analysis. I developed iSportsAnalysis.com with top sports scientists, coaches and trainers to help maximise training gains and to optimise the performance of athletes and teams. I have developed an online system that has helped over 120 universities, private schools and clubs to reach their true sporting potential; whether that has been from them using the online video streaming services, the online sports video analysis or the GPS performance analysis, the results speak for themselves! You can find out more at iSportsAnalysis.com.