Who Tracks HRV?

Discussion in 'Other' started by vegpedlr, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    From other threads I know some people have spent some time tracking HRV. I'm curious about other people's experiences. How do you track it? What have you learned? How have you benefitted?

    I'll start. I started years ago with iThlete as it was the only option I'd seen after reading about it in Maffetone's Big Book. I switched to Sweetbeat after listening to Ronda Collier interviewed a couple of times, and to have something closer to home (US) for support purposes. I measure first thing after waking, lying in bed. I have not always been consistent. I measure daily for weeks or months, but when not actively thinking about racing, I sometimes stop for awhile. Technical issues with equipment or batteries etc. sometimes stopped me as well. I've just gotten back to it. I waited a bit to let some lifestyle changes and issues settle down so I could reestablish a baseline. Compared to old readings, my new ones reflect improvement from those lifestyle changes.

    What I'm hoping to learn is how concurrent training affects me. (Meaning both strength and endurance) So far, combining Easy Strength and Easy Endurance (MAF) does not seem to interfere. I've had a little difficulty scheduling rest days, and HRV helps me see that. Maffetone writes that as aerobic fitness improves, HRV should also improve.

    What I've seen in the past is that if I'm coming down with something, HRV will plummet before symptoms arise. Also, sleep quality has a big impact. A late night will drop my HRV.

    What have others seen?
  2. Snowman

    Snowman More than 500 posts

    I've used it two separate times, for a few months each time. I used the Elite HRV app, and measured my HRV upon waking each morning. It was very instructive as far as teaching me how my body responds to different stressors (sleep deprivation, illness, training stress, etc). I think the most useful part was that I was able to start correlating how I felt with an objective measurement. I'll keep doing it periodically throughout the future to keep my "feelings trained" if that makes sense.

    I've seen that I can under-sleep myself into a bad spot a lot easier than I can over-train myself into one. Also, there seems to be a 24 hours delay on the effects of sleep deprivation. if I get a bad night of sleep on Monday night, I'll be alright on Tuesday, but Wednesday is going to be a problem if I'm not able to compensate with naps and more sleep on Tuesday night.
    Anna C likes this.
  3. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Certified Instructor

    +1 to both of your posts - I've found the same. I've learned a lot about how important sleep is to recovery, and how to monitor how I really feel a lot more accurately from what it's taught me to pay attention to.

    I don't get sick often, but it's almost eerie how a wacky HRV score predicts the sickness before any symptoms appear.
    Snowman likes this.
  4. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    I have found it to be a useful “second opinion.” My mind might think one thing, but my body have another idea, with the brain trying to bridge the gap.
    Snowman likes this.
  5. ali

    ali Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I'm amazed by people"s ability to function enough to track hrv first thing in the morning. Must be good getting such quality sleep to enable the fine motor skills required to fiddle with a chest strap. I have trouble with my socks. I dunno, can you track hrv later in the afternoon with any reliability?
    Snowman likes this.
  6. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    You can track it any time you wish. What the data means would likely differ a bit though. I know people check HRV at various times to evaluate their general stress level or response to something in particular. The reason for doing it first thing is to get an idea of how recovered you are. Like checking RHR but more sensitive. Also always doing it at the same time takes circadian issues out of it.
  7. ClaudeR

    ClaudeR Triple-Digit Post Count

    Same for me, I am happy if I remember to put on socks to start with ROFL

    I use an app called HRV4Training which uses the phone camera instead of chest strap, much much easier
    DrFierce likes this.
  8. ali

    ali Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Thanks @vegpedlr, might experiment a little with it once I can function. I'm a disaster in the mornings.
  9. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    My understanding is that the optical based ones are not very accurate, that to get good data a chest strap is needed. That may change. Even with that, it also depends on the software and algorithms used, so it’s important to pick a method and stick with it. It takes awhile to figure out what the numbers mean for you.
    ali and offwidth like this.
  10. ali

    ali Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I've got the kit, chest strap monitor and downloaded the elite hrv app. It's something that has always been another thing on the 'to do' list but involves me being organised. Always a struggle !
  11. Neal Sivula

    Neal Sivula More than 500 posts

    Check out the Oura ring. It is a “wearable” tech ring that tracks sleep, HRV, and other data automatically. I’ve been using it about 60 days and think that it generates some good data. A recent Onnit podcast with the company founder gives some good background.

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