Updated: Dec 24, 2019
The Next Big Thing? Heart Rate Variability
I need to start with a disclaimer on HRV, I haven’t been a fan, well up until now that is. Let me explain why. Every time I review the studies on HRV and review the Aps and associated software that interprets the data I have been left feeling that it wasn’t quite there yet. Well I now believe that the software (the really important part) is now at a level that it can provide meaningful analysis and interpretation of the readings.
Moreover, as a coach I can now use that data and information in a way that can benefit my athletes to ensure that we are backing off or loading depending on their scores. In the past it was just a case of well there’s not too much variance this week so we push on or conversely “oh there’s a big drop in a reading’ why is that and do we need to back off.
Now in taking the last scenario it was a case of speaking to the athlete and finding out what the possible external influencers were. And if you are a coach the ‘athlete’ will almost always certainly look to isolate the reading as just that, in isolation and want to push on.
Now the software has caught up with the concept and depending on which one you use will trend the readings accurately and allow the athlete to ‘add’ external influencers into the data trendline.
So what does that mean? Well it’s another way to measure knowing when to push and more importantly as a coach when to back the athlete off. The last part is the critical element in coaching, every athlete wants to do more, wants to get better and that is a great thing, but knowing when to reduce the volume and or intensity is part science and part art, having more tools to make an objective decision can only add to the athlete’s progression.
HRV now has the potential to provide that crucial metric to say when to hit those key sessions in a week. I think that now HRV is going to become a revolutionary way to track and help coach athletes.
Let me explain this concept a little further, at the moment plans are laid out, athletes and coaches talk (daily or at least a few times a week) through various platforms and sometimes its I have a meeting so I can’t do that session, or can I move this session due to family commitments. Rarely though do you get “I am not up for this”. Now if the coach had a tool that could allow them to dynamically adjust the athletes training schedule in line with the readiness of the athlete to deliver that session based upon their physiological markers, then that would truly be a game changer.
That would mean that as a coach we can move/change/adjust constantly based upon the athlete’s markers to ensure that every session is nailing the physiological response we want the athlete to achieve from that workout.
That is a game changer!
Sisu Racing World Class Triathlon Coach