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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

June 14, 2009

Using your heart monitor as a training tool

Check out this helpful article published from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Office:

I was able to glean some useful information from the article.

Aerobic exercise (heart rates <150bpm) will utilize energy supported by the consumption of oxygen & fueled via blood glucose and fatty acids.

Anaerobic exercise (heart rates >150 bpm) will exceed the body's threshold delivery of oxygen (hence heart rates & respiration increase trying to supply the oxygen deficit) and is fueled by glucose (blood source) and glycogen (stored in the muscle and liver). Maximal heart rates of 220-260 are not beneficial to training leading to rapid fatigue, and put the equine athlete into the danger zone for injury or metabolic breakdown.

Heart rate as a training tool should be two fold. Aerobic training (LSD) consists of a work load that produces a steady heart rate of <150-170 bpm. 2 minutes post exercise pulse should be <100 bpm, 10 minutes post exercise the pulse should be < 60 bpm.

As the horse becomes fit and has completed base conditioning speedwork can be added to the training. In this case you are training for anaerobic conditioning which will require a warm up, speedwork (sprinting), and a warm down phase. Heart rate during this phase of training should be <170-190 bpm with a two minute recovery <120 bpm and a ten minute recovery of <70 bpm. If during sprint training the heart rate >190 bpm, speed MUST BE REDUCED!

The horse's heart rate should be logged at several baseline speeds. Over time you should see the horse having a lower heart rate over the same course at the same speeds as fitness improves (ie. last week the trot at 8 mph gave a heart rate of 130 bpm, this week the 8 mph trot gives a hear rate of 120 bpm). Conversely if you suddenly have a spike in heart rate you need to seriously evaluate the horse for injury as pulse is an early indicator of pain, or metabolic factors.

That was what I gleaned from it. Read the article and tell me what you think. ~E.G.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, great info. just pulled my HRM from the tack box this past weekend and will use it this week.