Endurance Innovation 43 – Heart Rate Variability with Marco Altini

Endurance Innovation 43 – Heart Rate Variability with Marco Altini

HRV4Training founder Marco Altini is on the show this week to explain heart rate variability (HRV) and how monitoring this metric can be used to guide endurance training.

  • 1:00 what is HRV (heart rate variability) and how is it relevant to training?
  • 2:00 a summary of the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system
  • 3:00 the state of the parasympathetic branch allows us to monitor global stress on the body
  • 5:30 on the usefulness of trying to quantify training and non-training stresses and the care that must be taken when doing so
  • 8:00 factors affecting HRV and the autonomic nervous system: sleep, alcohol, illness, travel, training, work, relationships. But the effects are very individual!
  • 12:30 how quickly do we see responses to stressors? Acute response occurs within 24-48 hours. Chronic response takes longer: 1-2 weeks or more.
  • 14:45 HRV measurement best practices
    • Measure daily, at the same time of day / night, use proven measuring methods
  • 17:30 what can you do knowing your acute and chronic HRV data?
  • 18:30 if acute reading is low, then the capacity for more stress is reduced. Marco recommends reducing intensity on that day of training.
  • 19:30 a case study in HRV-guided training – where training modification was only made when the HRV baseline (long-term trend) was below normal – demonstrated that this form of training was more effective than traditional programming with no accounting for HRV.
  • 21:30 stable HRV is the goal! It is not meant to ‘improve’ over time.
  • 23:00 interpreting low acute HRV score on race day. Lower is not necessarily bad.
  • 23:30 understanding atypically high acute scores
  • 26:15 interpreting chronic HRV data and trends
  • 27:00 stable or increasing baseline is a sign that you are coping well, whereas a decreasing baseline suggests accumulation of stress that is not being resolved
  • 28:00 coefficient of variation monitors the magnitude of variations between measurements. A high CoV could signal some trouble adapting to a novel training stimulus or life stressor.
  • 30:15 a low CoV combined with an abnormally low HRV trend is a sign of a system struggling with global stress and may be a signal for a state of chronic high stress – which, of course, is to be avoided.
  • 33:30 is HRV-guided training a substitute for a periodized plan?
  • 36:15 is it useful to try to measure HRV during training?
  • 38:15 what about live, but not-during-training HRV monitoring like Garmin’s Body Battery feature?
  • 42:15 Michael’s struggles with a single daily measurement
  • 45:30 body position in testing: all okay so long as the position is the same from one day to the next.
  • 46:45 the technology used by HRV4Training
  • 50:30 using the Big Data collected by HRV apps for studies and new features
  • 55:00 how does the athlete HRV4Training app work and what does it do?
  • 58:00 the HRV4Training Pro platform

Learn more about HRV4Training or Marco at their respective websites and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Read part 1 of Marco’s instructions for HRV-guided training on Medium. Then use the links in the article to access parts 2 and 3.

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