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Why you need adidas miCoach heart rate based coaching.

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MiCoach connect with phone adidas has announced a new heart rate monitor that works with the miCoach mobile app the company introduced last year.

MiCoach connect_

The monitor snaps onto an adjustable absorbant stretch belt (pictured below) that you wear around your chest. A small, connect device plugs into your iPhone or iPod Touch.

Sync your phone to the monitor once you have it on and off you go. Your heart rate data is transferred to the screen (and to your ears if you choose) in real time as you work out, right alongside miles, time, calories burned etc. The device (and built in personal coach) is excellent for fitness training. 

But, why should a healthy athlete be concerned about heart rate?

According to Dr. Kimberly Parks, Cardiologist, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School:

"Monitoring your heart rate during exercise is important both for safety and to make sure you are achieving maximum effectiveness from your workout.  

It can be easy to get caught up in the positive response your brain has to exercise…[and] It is easy to under or over estimate how much you are exerting yourself. Monitoring your heart rate is important to ensure that you are achieving the desired intensity of your workout."  

Determining your desired heart rate: Subtract your age from the number 220. The result is your maximum predicted heart rate (MPHR).

"For endurance training, your target heart rate should be between 70-80% of your MPHR," says Dr. Parks. "For maximum aerobic benefit, you should aim to maintain your target heart rate for a minimum of 20-30 minutes. It's best to avoid exerting yourself at greater than 85% MPHR [during endurance training]…" 

Dr. Malissa Wood, Co-director of the MGH Heart Center, Corrigan Women's Heart Health Program and Cardiovascular Performance Program comments that "Individuals hoping to increase their fitness can push their heart rate to a slightly higher range (88-90% max of MPHR) for short intervals..The benefits derived from higher intensity short periods are clear. Typical types of short burst activity would include plyometrics (jump training), sprints or interval runs and running the baselines on a tennis court."

A few notes:

The miCoach heart rate monitor is a great tool for those who want to add running or cycling to their training-for-tennis regime and well as for those who already do these activities. The app will run an assessment program that it will use to base your future workouts on. You can also simply use the heart monitor for short interval training.

This is not a time to lie about your age. Yeah, we all wish we were younger but it's important that the heart monitor make its calculations based on your true age.

Supernova glide bra I did not find the belt uncomfortable at all but I do not run long distances where chafing could be a problem. adidas offers a couple of miCoach heart rate monitor compatible garments, a sports bra (pictured left) and close fitting shirt for men, for those who might be bothered by the belt. Try it without them first. 

You may want to wear an armband style iPhone case if you want to keep your hands free when using the system for high intensity training.

Pretty neat little tool that adds to an already solid fitness app. The adidas miCoachConnect and the Heart Rate Monitor bundle retails for $69.99 and will be available soon at adidas. The miCoach app is free and available for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. The heart monitor, as noted above, is only available for iPhone and iPod touch.

As always, talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness regime.

Learn more at adidas.com/micoach . Their blog is a good resource for getting familiar with the app. Not available in all countries yet.