If running is instinctual, why do I need a heart monitor?
Physical activity is in our genes, and running is an important way to be active. The question is how we express that genetic information, so we want to workout in a healthy way. In other words, we're in charge of how our genes express themselves.
Culturally, we're influenced by the "no pain no gain" attitude. As a result, we tend to train too hard. When training with others, we tend to compete even during an easy workout. A HRM keeps these emotional unhealthy features out of your training.
There’s a few athletes out there who can truly follow their instinct. When these few put on a heart monitor and run at their normal training pace, it turns out to be the MAF pace. But these athletes are the exception.
Once you have re-trained your body by building a great aerobic system, training without a monitor can work fine for many people. But you still want to use a monitor for MAF Testing, aerobic speed workouts and other situations. This will help you get the most out of each workout with the least amount of risk.