These days Heart Rate Monitors are more affordable than ever and even come built into smart watches. But, the question is what do the numbers mean and how do you use them?
HR is a great way to see the effort you are putting in towards exercises. If, like most athletes, chances are you spend a lot of time training to hard to often, no training hard enough on days the training is meant to be hard, or training to hard on days meant to be easy. Using a Heart Rate Monitor will keep you in check.
HR is meant to be specific to you and a coach would teach you how to use them and the benefits of using them. In the beginning, a Lactate Threshold Test is performed to see at what point your body starts to accumulate lactate in the blood, based on this number, you coach will set up HR Training Zones specifically to you, not someone else, but yourself. Then, will assign workouts based off of these numbers. This is to ensure that you are working to your greatest potential when you should be, and taking it easy when you should be, to not over-train. Training is all about balance and not always pushing yourself each and everyday, but being smart and knowing exactly when to push hard, for how long, and for how many repetitions.
A lot of new runners and triathletes have trouble with knowing exactly how something should feel, at what pace should they be trying to sustain, and how often. Training by HR will help one know exactly were they should be on any given day.