Why do you need to know your heart rate? Once you've confirmed that, yes, you do indeed have one, what's the fuss about? The answer will depend on who you speak to. Training for a race will often involve running to particular average speeds, and training to an average heart rate is the next evolution of that. Trying to get faster? Run in a greater heart rate zone, to condition your cardio system. Trying to increase stamina? Keep your heart rate down and focus on getting the miles in.

Heart rate training is certainly valuable, particularly to elite runners for whom marginal gains make a noticeable difference. For anyone trying to pick up their own pace, emulating the experts could be the upgrade you need. Hannah James assesses your best options for success.