Monitoring your heart rate for intensity of training is great! Done properly you can get a lot out of HR training.
A word of caution: HR is not only different from person to person it also varies with the SAME person. WHAT?! Yes, the variables that you may encounter with your own HR can change minutely to changing drastically depending on the situation.
–Variables to be considered with you and your HR–
Music: ⬆HR when listening to music.
Stress: If you are overly stressed emotionally/mentally/ psychologically your heart rate with show it.
Duration of training: i.e. ⬆HR at end of 2 hour run, running at exactly the SAME speed the entire time.
Overtraining: There’s a fine line between “overloading” in your training and overtraining! Overtraining drastically changes your physiology and HR.
Heat: Jacks up the HR like crazy!
Loss of sleep: Don’t even bother looking at your heart rate.
Altitude: Do you live close to sea level? Have you traveled to a city with higher altitude? What happens? It’s HARD to breathe because there’s less oxygen to breathe. There is a wonderful relationship with oxygen consumption and heart rate (I will talk about this another time); hence, when oxygen consumption diminishes, no wonder you become fatigued and your HR is racing at altitude! On the flip side, the people that go from high altitude to low altitude everything is easier, generally speaking.
Dehydration: Make sure you are hydrated, not only for your training session, but throughout the day so you can keep that proper balance in your body. ⬆HR if you are dehydrated.
Decreased blood volume: Ladies, every month you experience this. The thick lining of your uterine wall is completely shed every single cycle! I don’t think people understand this incredible process. Needless to say, your HR increases during this time. With the end of menstruation also comes a rise in body temperature for a few days thereafter, which is another HR increase!
ALL of these are valid reasons your HR training can be a little OFF kilter. This is just to say-> BE KIND TO YOURSELF <- You won’t always get the exact HR “training zones” you want… that is A-OKAY!.