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Heart Rate Training Paperback – March 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


“Roy Benson has more specific coaching experience for every age and competitive level than anyone I know. Combining that practical knowledge with the scientific expertise of Declan Connolly, this book is an unparalleled guide to maximizing your training using a heart rate monitor, providing both the how and why for each element, and putting it all together in an accessible, easy-to-apply package.

Jonathan Beverly -- Editor in Chief, Running Times

"Heart Rate Training offers unparalleled exercises and advice for athletes of every sport, every level, and every age."

Alex Krebs -- Eastern Development and Competitions Manager, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association

“In Heart Rate Training, Benson and Connolly show you how to interpret and apply your heart rate data into a practical science-based training program that provides results.

Malachy McHugh, PhD -- Director of Research, Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma

About the Author

Roy T. Benson, MPE, CFI, is an exercise scientist and distance-running coach. He has run competitively for more than 40 years, and he has coached professionally for 46 years for military, club, university, and high school teams. From 1993 to 2008, his boys’ and girls’ cross country teams at Marist High School in Atlanta, Georgia, won a total of 16 state championships and his cross country and track runners won 21 individual state titles. Benson is also the owner and president of Running, Ltd., a company that has been operating Nike-sponsored summer camps for both adult and high school runners since 1972.

Benson has been a consultant about heart rate training for both Polar and Nike and has written three books for runners on the subject. He also serves as a special contributor to Running Times magazine and has been a contributing editor for Running Journal magazine. His booklet Precision Running, published by Polar Electro, has sold over 200,000 copies and has been translated into seven languages. Sales of Coach Benson’s Secret Workouts book have reached more than 7,000. Benson lives on Amelia Island, Florida.

Dr. Declan Connolly, FACSM, CSCS, is a professor and exercise physiologist at the University of Vermont where he is also director of the Human Performance Laboratory. He consults to numerous sports organizations including the National Hockey League, the National Football League, U.S. Rowing, and U.S. Skiing and has served as a consultant to the International Olympic Committee on several occasions. In addition to more than 300 publications in scientific journals, his work is widely quoted in the popular media, including stories in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, London Times, Runner’s World, Prevention, Health, and Self. His work appears on more than 24,000 Web sites and has been the subject of news stories on Fox, BBC, CBS, and numerous other TV and radio networks.

Connolly is a lifelong exerciser and athlete, boasting several national cycling championships as a school boy in his native Ireland. More recently he has turned his focus to triathlon and Ironman competitions. Connolly lives in Burlington, Vermont.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics; 1 edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736086552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736086554
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Vista Beasley on April 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books that I wish, wish, wish I could have read sooner. Now I understand more fully how I could have used a heart rate monitor to detect and prevent overtraining injuries. It doesn't just say 'rest is important'; it explains why and then actually teaches how to use a heart rate monitor to measure 'rest'. As a distance runner entering the cycling and swimming sports, I could have used the details this book gives about applying heart rate zones to all three disciplines. As a coach, I can tell who is working too hard, and who isn't working as hard as they think they are, and the book describes exactly how the heart rates should/shouldn't shift in each part of each workout in each sport. The book also addresses the variations. Every time I've worked with athletes the first time, they always seem to protest the low heart rate ranges used early on in training, but this book really helps with adjusting and fine-tuning the zones, and shows how to measure and handle the variations caused by factors such as cardiac creep and dehydration; I can adjust my coaching accordingly, specific to that athlete on that day. Plus, I see now how to use the different heart rates (maximum, resting and anaerobic threshold) along with the VO2 max specific to each person I coach. I underlined and dog-eared the sections that explained tests athletes in each sport can use to calculate these heart rates and VO2 maxes, especially for those who don't have access to lab equipment or funds or Ph.ds. I liked that the authors explained the science behind the monitors without using the too-formal, dense tone of a textbook yet not dumbing it down excessively.Read more ›
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Roadrunner Press on March 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
Walk into any running store lately, and you see as many "gadgets" as shoes and apparel: global positioning watches, music-players, heart rate monitors, many features sometimes combined in a single device. We runners love our toys. If I had to pick the one device that I consider most useful for training, it would be that last one, the heart rate monitor.

Recently, I did a survey among runners visiting my bulletin boards, asking: "Why use a heart monitor?" Most popular (checked by 32% of respondents) was: "It helps me analyze my training." But the one I liked the most was because heart monitors are "fun." While researching the first edition of my best-selling Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide, I used a monitor to do what coaches often recommend, "Listen to your body." I watched the numbers both during workouts and analyzed body responses afterwards.

But I was flying somewhat blind and now runners have a resource to teach them all they need to know about monitors, a slender book logically titled Heart Monitor Training, co-authored by Roy Benson and Declan Connolly: They write: "The beauty of heart rate training is that it relies on a system (your cardiovascular system) that reflects your overall state of stress 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It reflects when you're tired, overtrained, sick, cold, or hot and therefore can guide you in making changes to your plan. More important from an exercise point of view, it provides immediate and consistent feedback about your stress level."

Before you proceed to your running store to purchase your new gadget, a couple of caveats: The data you receive from any monitor is only as good as your ability to interpret that data.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Mijares on October 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Prior to this book, the one book on heart rate training that I always referred to was Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot by John L. Parker. It was a brilliant book that used layman's terms to talk about the concepts involved with heart rate monitor training, but it focused mostly on running.

Now this book expands on some of the concepts of training zones and glycogen production and storage, and provides sample training programs (including Fartlek) that one can use for their training. I'm primarily a runner, but will often swim or cycle for fun and also like to use the rowing machine on occasion. Some of the programs for running are helpful for me in tweaking some of my zones so that I'm not over-doing it on most days.

Kudos to the authors too for not steering readers to one particular brand of heart rate monitor. A decade ago, consumers had very few choices in heart rate monitors (Polar), but today there are quite a few choices out there (Polar, Garmin, Suunto, etc), many of which allow you to program the training sessions in this book directly in to the watch.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Roger on May 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
Coach Benson's knowledge and experience over the past 40 years speaks for Itself. He has been at the forefront of distance running training from his time coaching both the revered and highly successful Florida Track Club in the 70's up through his champion high school teams in Atlanta in the 90's and 00's. Coach has always been known for a scientific approach to coaching and has led the trend of heart rate monitor training for more than 20 years so is well-qualified to write this updated text. Dr. Connally, while younger and less experienced than Benson, has an equally scientific view and approach to training. Together in this latest publication, the authors have achieved a good balance and combination of "how-to" and "why". Even the complicated physiological energy systems are succinctly and clearly explained, which adds to the readers understanding of why the proposed training programs will be successful. The chapters on a variety of endurance sports expands the readership beyond runners. And runners are provided with a training specificity application for cross-training activities. While I have followed Coach Benson's work and writing on training for many years, the new text and the addition of Dr. Connally, provide a fresh take sure to precisely assist with carefully planned training. "Heart Rate Training" should be a must read for coaches and athletes alike. Well done!
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