We have mentioned before how important heart rate is to swimmers, but many coaches and swimmers are still unsure of how to best utilize heart rate during workouts. So to get you started, below are a few a few suggested uses on how to leverage heart rate in the pool with the AquaPulse™:
Track your Warm-Up.
A good warm-up is an essential element of any workout and crucial to success in competition. Studies suggest that 15-20 minutes of low to moderate intensity effort (50%-60% of maximum heart rate) can increase endurance performance by 6% and sprint performance by 7% (compared to no warm-up). Use the AquaPulse to continually checking your heart rate throughout warm-up. Once you have reached a sustained heart rate in the 50%-60% of maximum, you are probably ready for competition or the more intense portions of your workout.
Workout at a Specific Heart Rate Goal
In swimming we often set target time goals for aerobic repeat sets. To try something different, set a specific target heart rate for your swimming set. For example, try swimming 10 x 100 freestyle with the AquaPulse at a heart rate of 140 with 10 seconds rest between each 100. You can gauge how well you are doing by comparing your times to your heart rate to better understand your performance. Are your times slowing or is your heart rate increasing towards the end of the set?
Warm Down by Heart Rate
After a big competition or tough practice, many swimmers don’t warm-down enough. They may swim until they feel “loose”, but in reality they probably need to go further. When worked to the max, the muscles need more time to recover and the lactic acid build-up needs more time to flush out of your system. One good way to make sure you have warmed down enough is to continuously warm down until your heart rate is below a certain threshold. A good target would be around 80-90 bpm. At this point, your body is telling you that it has recovered and your cardio-vascular system has relaxed. Continue swimming with the AquaPulse (without stopping) until you hear the voice call out a heart rate between that 80-90 bpm target. You may have to do a few more laps than you’re used to, but your body will be much happier and you will be more prepared for your next swim.