How to use Heart Rate for Athlete Performance Monitoring

Having a deeper understanding of internal load during training can aid in long term athletic development training and help coaches cater for individual athletes.

Heart Rate Monitoring (HRM) is a widely used tool that coaches across many disciplines have looked to for years. Measuring the internal load/stress an athlete is under during training help coaches understand what physiological effects may be occurring as well as what the overall demands of sessions are.

Load is characterized as many different metrics and measures. A common way to start putting load metrics in to context is to separate them in to Internal and External measures. 

Heart Rate  Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Session Time
Oxygen Uptake Power Output
Saliva Measures Time Motion Analysis

Physiological Adaptation and Efficiency: Athletes whom over the course of time (through appropriate training methods) become 'fitter' will tend to exhibit and increased ability to transport oxygen to working muscles. This improvement in efficiency is directly related to the post physiological adaptations of the circulatory and  

Highly trained athletes typically posses lower resting heart rates, this is a direct result of efficient circulatory and cardio respiratory systems.

Training Demands: Coaches are able to gain information as to whether or not training sessions are matching the physiological demands of competition and adjust accordingly.