Everyone seems to have their training watch/heart rate monitors these days with a rush of bleeps at every start line.

Being a little old fashioned I have only recently bit the bullet and bought a training watch. The jury is still out as regards how I feel personally about them.

Let's explore some of the information they give us and see if we really can't train without them.


Gauging Heart Rate

·         A guideline given is that our maximum heart rate when training should be 220 less your age, i.e. if you are 35 years old your maximum heart rate should be 185BPM. Remember this is just a guideline and every person is different.

·         Finding my baseline - do I know what my heart rate is when I am resting or performing day to day tasks?


We can use the technology with these heart rate monitors for very basic things like just simply monitoring our heart rate day to day.

In training these devices can tell us if we can push a bit harder or do we need to pull back. When training for endurance and stamina we should never be going at full steam so the monitor can be used to gauge this.

Over time with increased training we should see our fitness improve, pace and or distances increase at the same heart rate.

 Pushing Ourselves

Most watches also have very clever GPS systems so we can gauge distances covered, speed, fastest mile, etc. This can be very helpful agreed and is very useful if you are training for a goal, trying to gain distance, speed etc.

I cannot argue that this is an excellent tool and when training for an event I would be inclined to measure my distance and speed. I could add though that a simple watch will also tell you this information.

Sharing our achievements on Social Media

This is the new way of training alone! You can compare your times with friends who have shared the route in the past and it can make for quite the competition - many of the Gaelforce Team use this and love it when a new challenge is put up or a time is beaten, time to up the game!

Check out the strava segments for Gaelforce routes  https://www.strava.com/segments/5183599

If this is what pushes you then there are loads of running and cycling apps out there for social sharing and setting new challenges.


In conclusion I would feel that we all need to get to know our own bodies and how they react. We need to be in tune with ourselves when we train.

It is still important to run or cycle at least once per week with no device - just for the sheer joy of getting out!

We don't need to tell the world every time we go out for a run or a cycle.

Yes this technology has a place in our lives but don't let it rule you and try to remember why you started to run or cycle in the first place :)