By Dr. Rick Kattouf II
As athletes, we have a number of variables that we can follow and monitor during training and racing. For example, we can monitor our speed, pace, power, perceived effort and heart rate. There is no denying that each of these has their place and each is very important. But, with that being said, let’s put one of these at the very top as the most important, and this would be heart rate. By following your heart rate, you will build a massive amount of efficiency (teaching your body to go longer, harder, faster, more repetitions at the same or lower heart rate; this is one of the greatest signs of increased fitness), reduce the risk of injury and overtraining, reduce the risk of illness, achieve your optimal body composition and enhance performance and recovery. Let’s take a look at these other factors and see why heart rate cannot be ignored (if you choose to perform at your best).