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ourswimmer
December 17th, 2017, 09:51 PM
Does anyone here have any experience using a heart-rate variability tracking device to monitor and adjust training? I am not asking about a heart-rate monitor just to measure pulse, but rather a device like the Whoop or LifeTrak Zoom tracker or an app that works with a heart-rate monitor to measure between-beat variability.

AJDestin
December 18th, 2017, 09:25 AM
Does anyone here have any experience using a heart-rate variability tracking device to monitor and adjust training? I am not asking about a heart-rate monitor just to measure pulse, but rather a device like the Whoop or LifeTrak Zoom tracker or an app that works with a heart-rate monitor to measure between-beat variability.

I donít have much experience with it yet, since Iíve just begun looking into it myself but Iíve been doing a lot of reading on the subject. I had read a book about it long ago and forgotten about it until I went to a conference a few weeks ago. The researchers made a pretty compelling case for HRV as an indicator of general changes in health. What I found most interesting was a study they talked about in which they looked at EKG data from organ transplant patients. They found that patients who wound up with sepsis showed significantly reduced HRV 24 hours to the onset of symptoms. There are lots of other studies out there too that look at the relationship between HRV and various other stressors, like overtraining, burnout, etc.
Based on what Iíve read so far, everybodyís HRV is going to be a bit different, although one study said there are some ďnormsĒ. The key seems to be to look for changes in your HRV that show a REDUCTION in HRV. The main way most studies have done this is by looking at the variability in the interval between the R part of the heartbeat on the EKG.
To make these measurements, youíll need a suitable monitor and an app or some software. I found an app called Elite HRV for the iPhone. They have a website that lists compatible heart rate monitors. Thereís one called a Blue Wahoo that seems pretty reasonably priced, and some other ones by Polar and other manufacturers will work too.
As for how to actually use HRV measurements, one recommendation I read was to put the monitor on when you wake up in the morning and take measurements for a few minutes. Then, just look for trends over time. If HRV starts to go down, then thatís an indication that there is a little too much stress on the body. Overall, it seems pretty interesting and it could be helpful in fine tuning training. Of course, itís not going to be a substitute for a good coach or for listening to your body.