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Heart rate test set: slower-higher, faster-lower

24 November 2020

LA Fitness - Barrie Cundles Road - 25 yards

It's been about a month since I last did my Dave Salo's Pulse Plot test set (start reading on page 32, notated page 29 at this link for more details), so I repeated it this morning. Looking at the resulting pulse plot ...

... the goal is that, as your fitness level improves, you should see your pulse plot move in two directions, ideally at the same time -

  • left to right (get faster)

  • top to bottom (be fitter, measured by lower aggregate heartbeats)

The easiest way to see this is to compare my green line to the blue line, from back in 2016 when I was in most excellent aerobic shape, the year I swam Masters's bests in my 1000 and 1650.

While the comparison with last month (red line) is, effectively, the same, there are differences - a higher aggregate pulse at slower speeds with a lower aggregate pulse at higher speeds. I'm not sure what to make of this yet.

On the swim technology front, I'm still using a Pace Clock app on my iPhone to visually capture my swim times, but have been using the heartrate feature on my Garmin Swim 2 watch. On my next attempt at this, I might trying wearing my Form goggles to see if I can use those to capture more accurate swim times. To be honest, in spite of really looking forward to the Form goggles, I've not enjoyed wearing them so far: I find them to be quite bulky and the pop-up display to be more annoying than helpful. As with my heartrate monitor on my watch, though, I think I just need to find the right, targeted sets on which the Form goggles do add value.

Finally, as an added bonus, I was also able to make my evening Masters workout, doing a very rare double swim on the same day and logging 5,500 meters over the two workouts. A great day of training.


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