Heart Rate Variability is away of measuring the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) and is an efficient way of assessing fatigue in an athlete enabling informed decisions about subsequent training and identifying stressors which can be controlled to optimize performance, such as type of training, sleep, recovery etc. many of my athletes use the HRV4 App, it’s reliable, easy to use and quick to operate plus the data produced is accessible with excellent graphics.
This is a case study of an athlete who used the HRV4 App to optimize training effectiveness during the first Covid lockdown in the UK.
The athlete is an experienced runner with a training frequency at 3-4 runs, 2-3 bikes and 2-3 S&C sessions a week accumulating 3,500-4,000 Session RPE.
The graphics below are taken straight from the HRV4 App and labelled to explain the decision- making process, risks, rewards, and adjusted training.
Training also monitored subjectively (mood, fatigue, soreness, sleep quality) and objectively (heart rate and weight. Heart rate remained stable throughout at 40-45 beats per minute. Weight dropped by 5Kg in first 6 weeks which was considered excessive and seemed to be a reduction in upper body mass (lack of swimming and changed strength training?) so protein intake was increased to stabilise.
Overall, the athlete improved aerobic fitness levels massively and a major tool enabling this was the HRV4 App.
A really good source of information is the HRV4 website: https://www.hrv4training.com/ or contact Graeme by email, Facebook or Instagram for more information.