Updated: Jul 24
What is Heart Rate Variability (HRV)?
HRV is the variation between heart beats.
A high HRV score (more variation) indicates you are in a more rested state.
A low HRV score (less variation) indicates a more stressed state.
If your HRV score is in the top 25% of your average baseline scores, then the coach may choose to prescribe a higher training load.
If your HRV score is in the bottom 25% of your average baseline scores, then the coach may choose to prescribe a rest day or recovery training session.
Scores are highly individual and you should only relate your HRV score to your 7-10 day average (not to other people).
Stress can be attributed to work, emotional, nutritional and physical stressors, not just training.
How do you measure it and interpret results?
I recommend using the HRV4Training app (once off purchase) which is one of two scientifically validated apps using your camera on your phone.
Alternatives include iAthlete app, Apple watch, Whoop strap or Oura ring. When recording data it is important to be consistent with the method each & every time.
The measurement takes 1min plus an additional subjective survey completed afterwards. This app can be linked to Training Peaks and will record down your previous day’s training and push the HRV score to TP for your coach to view.
It is very important to record the HRV most if not all days of the week regardless of how you feel. One month plus of data allows more effective conclusions to be drawn from the data.
Why is it useful?
Heart rate variability gives you an insight into how you are responding to endurance training & lifestyle stress.
Helps avoid over training, time off training due to sickness or encourage more training load.
Enables your coach to personalise your program according to your response to training & life load.
If you are interested in using HRV in your training please contact Kate for further information.