Managing Cardiac Drift during Running: An Important Aspect to Consider

Cardiac drift is a fascinating phenomenon that impacts athletes during training, often remaining underestimated. Understanding why the heart rate autonomously increases, even without changes in performance, can be crucial for optimizing one’s run. Let’s explore this crucial aspect involving heart rate and how to take it into account during training.

Monitoring Heart Rate: A Fundamental Step

In the realm of training, heart rate serves as a valuable indicator. In aerobic activities, as the effort increases, the heart pumps more blood and oxygen. This principle applies to running, where the demand for energy and oxygen rises in line with the training’s intensity. However, during a run at a constant intensity, the heart rate can surprisingly continue to rise. But what exactly happens?

The Origin of Cardiac Drift: A Deep Dive

Cardiac drift is more pronounced in athletes with lower aerobic training. Factors like heat, dehydration, or past fatigue can negatively affect heart rate. However, in well-trained athletes for that intensity, cardiac drift should be minimal. When starting from complete rest, an initial acceleration of heart rate is normal, but what matters is the average cruising heart rate.

The Why behind Cardiac Drift: Physiological Mechanisms

During exertion, a less trained heart becomes less efficient, pumping less blood per beat, and the lungs supply less oxygen. In this scenario, the heart increases its beats to ensure proper blood flow to the muscles. Additionally, metabolically, the demand for energy surpasses integration, leading to increased effort and subsequently, a higher heart rate.

Managing Cardiac Drift: Tools and Techniques

Calculating cardiac drift can be essential; a simple formula based on average speed and heart rate can help identify inefficiencies. A small drift might be normal, but a significant value might require a reassessment of your goal. Prolonged aerobic training, improving running technique, and adequate muscular strength training are strategies to reduce cardiac drift.

Dealing with cardiac drift during running requires awareness and a targeted approach: understanding your body’s signals and adopting specific training strategies can make a difference in improving your performance and limiting this phenomenon during training.