Any experience with HRV-based training? (Read 81 times)

    I like the idea, but have no idea if it actually works...  


    Over the years, I've often had blocks of time (a few weeks), where I'm keen to workout (even 3x/week).  I've also had long periods of time where I'm  physically and mentally tired, despite plenty of rest.



    HRV (heart rate variability): normally, heart rate is not exactly steady... when you breath in it speeds up; when you breath our it slows down.

    If this variability is pronounced (high HRV), it implies you are relaxed, high parasympathetic tone, and ready to respond to intense workouts.

    It your HRV is low (not much variation from beat to beat), you are stressed (high sympathetic tone) and need easy aerobic workouts.

    You can check your HRV on awakening in the morning (90 seconds using an app).


    Anyone have opinions or experience?

      Yes, I did this for a while in 2016 and 2017 using an app (ithlete). I didn't organize my entire training around the HRV reading or app recommendation, though -- I started using it because I managed to train myself into some serious fatigue and wanted to make sure it didn't happen again.


      The app definitely knew a few times that I was coming down with something well before I realized it. My resting heart rate didn't change much but the HRV reading went way down and the app would tell me to take a day off, or several.


      I stopped using it mainly for practical reasons: With kids and cats it's harder than you'd think to get a reliable morning reading. You're meant to take the reading first thing after you wake up, but it doesn't seem to matter how much earlier than everyone else I think I'm awake, there's always a small human or animal jumping on me.


      One downside - and this probably doesn't apply to you - as a woman I found certain patterns with HRV and hormones/time of the month but wasn't sure what to do with that information. Also, I noticed that the app would often give me a green light to do a hard workout the day after a long run. Apparently long runs send my heart rate variability up, so it thought I was good to go. I never followed that particular advice. After using it for a while I could almost always predict what the app would say based on how I felt.


      Basically I think it can be very helpful, but for me personally, I wouldn't train solely based on what the app said. It would be an interesting experiment, though -- and is the idea behind that particular app.


      Finally, I can recommend ithlete if you want to try something like this. They have really good, responsive customer service.

      Running Problem

      Problem Child

        Sounds a lot like checking your heart rate during workouts and resting. I have tracked my heart rate over night a few times and maybe noticed a few times it changed and I wasn’t feeling too good. It never really stopped me from training. If it is only a Red/Green color system I’d say to try it out and see how it goes. If it has a Yellow where you’re supposed to make your own decision on training I wouldn’t see much of a point since it’s just an app telling you to train today, vs scheduled workouts you could make without the app.

        Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.


          HRV is much more complicated than regular heart rate stuff. I wonder how clear the science is. That said, I do find it interesting... I'm going to check out ithlete. My Garmin already measures HRV but it doesn't tell you too much.

            Sounds a lot like checking your heart rate during workouts and resting.


            You would think so, but it's actually a 60-90 second test each morning. The geek in me thinks it's cool, but with the app I used, it had a lot of subjective input questions after the HRV test that put me into Marylander's camp of wondering how clear things really are. I stopped doing it after a few weeks - not because I didn't think it didn't work, but it seemed to line up with my internal clock telling me when I needed an easy/off day.

            When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?