Low HR means overtraining or High HR


#1

I’m a little confused about this. I’ve been reading about HRV which it seems to be a case of a lower than usual resting HE means you may be overtraining but I also regularly see that if you have a higher than usual HE it also could be a case of overtraining. I’m probably missing something obvious but I’d like if someone could simplify this for me. My main concern is to avoid over training.


Anyone made much use of HRV (Heart rate variability) for indicating fatigue and deciding on rest
#2

HRV = heart rate variability. Higher is better relative to your own personal baseline.

Low resting HR + High HRV = you are in good shape to smash it
Low resting HR + Low HRV = you might need some type of recovery or just a regular aerobic ride
High resting HR + Low HRV = you probably need some type of recovery or a day completely off
High resting HR + High HRV = you might be stressed or experiencing a “fight or flight” response

(again, these are all relative rather than absolute)

HRV4Training does a good job of distilling this into a score and providing guidelines


#3

Thanks. I was under the impression that resting HR and HRV were the same so what is the difference in them?


#4

Here is a good article that explains what HRV (Heart Rate Variability) is and what it means:

https://elitehrv.com/what-is-heart-rate-variability


#5

This is the best summary of HRV and resting HR I’ve read :clap::+1:


#6

Agreed. I bookmarked it for future reference.


#7

If you have the luxury of time (yeah, don’t we all?!?!), do something like LSCT Warmup before your workout and keep a little paper log of your HR data. The key thing is to record your data on paper near your trainer, so you can easily and quickly look at the # before your main workout. Don’t use the HRR as an excuse/crutch for bailing on your workout – but over time, use the number as a really good barometer for your likely HR performance for the coming workout.

Yes, it’ll add a wee bit of TSS to your day, but for older folks like me, it also provides a bit of (needed!) warm-up before getting into the main workout itself.

… just my .02 TSS worth of advice.


#8

What kind of warm up in LSCT on TR.


#9

Bit counterintuitive, i’d have thought that when a heart is in good shape, it’s more regular?
There’s a bit of uncertainty with the apps, which convert HRV into a ‘score’?


#10

This article explains it well:

Generally, a low HRV (or less variability in the heart beats) indicates that the body is under stress from exercise, psychological events, or other internal or external stressors. Higher HRV (or greater variability between heart beats) usually means that the body has a strong ability to tolerate stress or is strongly recovering from prior accumulated stress.


#11

Thanks for the link - I can see it clearly explained, but my understanding of the physiology is too limited to pick up what’s really happening in the body and autonomic nervous system.

Ian

oggie41

    November 29

ian_reeves:
Bit counterintuitive, i’d have thought that when a heart is in good shape, it’s more regular?

This article explains it well:

Generally, a low HRV (or less variability in the heart beats) indicates that the body is under stress from exercise, psychological events, or other internal or external stressors. Higher HRV (or greater variability between heart beats) usually means that the body has a strong ability to tolerate stress or is strongly recovering from prior accumulated stress.

  [Heart Rate Variability Educational Courses – 24 Jun 16](https://hrvcourse.com/heart-rate-variability-vs-heart-rate/)

Heart Rate Variability vs. Heart Rate

What is the difference between Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability? What are the pros and cons of each? When should each metric be applied?


#12

That’s the beauty of an app like HRV4T - you don’t need to understand the physiology side of it, the app simply translates all the data to a single “recovery score” number.


#13

After being involved in hrv research and using it regularly with athletes for almost four years I would give a cautionary tale about relying on the apps only too much. These decisions are not as simple as it would appear and definitely are not infallible.

While the outline @stevemz provides “can” be useful and would not likely do harm, it can be misleading and very simplistic if you are looking to optimize training. Far more needs to be taken into consideration. Something as simple as what has been eaten can affect hrv and throw things out of whack. Same with fluids, sleep auality and quantity, and breathing.

Readings taken minutes apart can give completely different suggestions. Not breathing naturally or breathing in a controlled manner can alter results as well. Not just a little either. Even readings between two separate apps moments apart can give completely different recommendations. I now only use two at a time but at one point was using six apps in the morning to determine accuracy and reliability with research subjects. I can assure you it is not as simple as we would like to think and neither are the recommendations from the apps.

As an example, having had an “easy” recovery week as per a TR plan and then starting into a new plan the app suggested that recovery was needed by one app and the other app suggested proceed as usual. Then later in the week the exact opposite were the suggestions from the two apps.

I use the inner balance app regularly for meditation and breathing and it is surprising how much breathing, breath rate and thought patterns affect hrv.

To illustrate this, I did a sample reading (see below) with controlled breathing and because this is able to increase my hrv above my baseline it gave me a suggestion to tak it easy due to a higher than usual reading despite positive trending subjective scores. This was moments after a “good” score. The same thing happens when someone is relaxed and focussed on heart breathing. Moments later with normal breathing (not thinking about it) and anxious thoughts can produce exactly the opposite results. Then throw in what happened physically within the day’s or weeks proceeding this, as well as nutrition or hydration, and you can receive suggestions that aren’t necessarily optimal.

Breathing can change reccomendation examples:

Hrv while “can” be helpful, it should not be the only thing taken into consideration. I have tons more examples if people are interested but this should highlight the potential pitfalls of using hrv alone. Long term trends are far more useful than the day to day readings typically.


#14

A little question. I downloaded Elite HRV yesterday. Done my 1st test which was HR 59 and HRV was 67 which was fine. In my 2nd test today during the 2 mins my HRV was between 59 and 66 but at the end it gave my HRV as 73. Is this normal? I was more rested yesterday too, muscles a bit sore today after a 5 km run yesterday so was expecting lower.


#15

In other words on a day to day basis it’s actually useless and you should really go with feel, but looking at the trend over an extended period of time can indicate whether you are doing the correct volume and/or intensity in your training.


#16

Yeah probably right. I’ll track it every day for a few weeks and see if it is any use but I wouldn’t have a lot of faith in it to be honest. Could be a poor app as well.


#17

Elite HRV is supposed to be one of the top two HRV apps out there, although I’ve personally only used HRV4T. I’d say stick with it and try to keep the conditions of your readings as consistent as possible (take your reading first thing in the morning, use the same routine before taking your reading, use the same breathing pattern during the reading etc.) and see how you get on.


#18

@carytb that would not be entirely accurate. It “can” be useful, it’s just that you need a LOT of data and you need to consider other factors. The trend line can be used to determine general health, training stimulus, training adaptation, and adequate loading. It’s just that it takes some education on how to interpret the data as well as realizing that one needs to consider other possible factors that impact hrv.

As @oggie41 has mentioned, it’s important, as with many predictors of readiness, to keep things consistent and stable in regards to taking your hrv.

Also, the more data you have, the more reliable it will become. Then when you have a reading out of the ordinary to start to do some analysis and determine if there are other factors other than training that may have been an issue.

Then use that information to make an educated decision about whether to follow the suggestions from the app. If the app continues to make the same suggestions for decreased volume or intensity a opposed to making the suggestion once, and all other things being equal, then it might be worth looking at the training stimulus you are presently using and making a change.

One off suggestions however may be due to anything from a hard workout the day before ( which means you likely had a good training stimulus and the body is recovering but doesn’t mean you are “overtrained”), to lack of sleep, stress, nutrition etc… this isn’t a loss though as it means you just have to do some self reflection and see if some of those variables are present and make adjustments. It’s determining what those adjustments need to be that is the art/science of using hrv usefully😉

The longer you do it the more likely it is that you will have a sense of what, if any, changes need to be adhered to when the app makes those suggestions. So, definitely not useless, just potentially requires some time, identification of patterns and observation of details in your training as well as recovery processes.