Heart Rate Variablity- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Heart Rate Variablity

    I just learned about HRV (Heart Rate Variability).
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/...-2017112212789
    I would like to know what Forum Folks think about tracking their HRV and any tips on doing so.
    (A search did not yield and results on this topic)
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    IDK much about it but do know it is used as a metric during athletic training. Not all heart rate monitors and read out devices have the capability to do this so if you want buy a setup, check to be sure. I got one a few months ago that can, though that's not a reason I got it. It's not something I though about doing but maybe with this prompting I'll try it out.
    What, me worry?

  3. #3
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    Had a play with it.
    Tracked my HRV daily for a month and realised that for me, resting HR was a better/easier indicator of recovery state.
    If you're closer to the pointy end of the field, it's definitely a good tool to fine tune your training.

    I get lapped by the pointy end of the field.

  4. #4
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    ^^^ Har! yeah. For the pointy end, "marginal gains" can be beneficial. For the rest of us, we need something more than marginal.
    What, me worry?

  5. #5
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    It's definitely a better indicator of recovery. Either when your previous hard session wasn't actually that hard or a session had more impact on your body than expected and you can tune the next workout accordingly.

  6. #6
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    Breathing affects HRV greatly.

    I coded bit of software to read HRV with PC, using Polar H7, so that I can see time between hearbeats changing realtime.

    So if my normal relaxed rMSSD runs between 20-30, after workout/eating rMSSD can get to 6 and if I take deep breath, variability jumps from 6 to 100 or even more.

    It does show clear drop if eating too much sugar/chocolate though...

    This shows milliseconds of change between hearbeat, dataset is 2161 heartbeats long (unfiltered), HR between 56 and 85 unless I remember wrong:
    Heart Rate Variablity-hrv_data_sample.jpg

    rMSSD is root mean squared value of chosen time interval, which according to papers I have read does tell much better changes from normal than some other measures of HRV.

    Mobile apps can then use their own formulas and choose different time intervals, filtering data can affect some too etc. Value is not too useful, if it is not known how they are getting the number.

    Also individual differences are quite big, your own moving average is what you can really compare it to, but with enough data, it can show if load is a lot more than optimal.

    So for me, if rMSSD of 5 minutes is 15 or less at the morning, I can tell there is need to take easy, if it is 30, I can push harder.

    As I coded program to monitor HRV, it has been much easier to see if my value is high or low.

    Simple measurement with Polar just is bit random as it is just one measurement supine and one measurement standing, noise vs data issue, at least with my case.

    With constant realtime measurments for 1 hour at the morning, I can see much more, I would not trust much to measurements that are done just one 5 minutes at the morning, as you can see from sample data, variation of variability is rather big

    If some programmer wants to experiment, here are some valuable sources, some basic information how to interpret Bluetooth HR sensor data:
    C#, pairing and receiving data stream from LE Bluetooth device Polar H7 [NEED HELP] | Brackeys Forum

    Sample program, which helps greatly as it is ready HRM with Polar H7 using Bluetooth, all that is needed to change is to read HRV data that sensor sends after HR, very easy modification to do.
    https://github.com/Ryan311/BluetoothLEForDesktopDemo

    You just need to reference few assemblies, namely System.Runtime.dll and System.Runtime.InteropServices.WindowsRuntime.dll

    After getting data from sensor, it is easy to do all sort of analysis, there are lot of scientific papers that have great information how to process data, best practices etc.

    But, HRV is just one indicator, use it in combination with HR and general feeling, it is not going to be absolute truth and salvation, just sometimes it can be somewhat good indicator, at least that is my experience.
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  7. #7
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    Variability is part of any Apple Watch and some 3rd party apps use it. I'm not a serious competitor so don't watch it too closely. I use the heart rate data and especially some Apple Watch features more as a tool to watch rate, watch for AFIB, recovery issues.

    My setup might not have the battery life or features an endurance racer might want but it is fine for many hours of riding, and unlike some setups I can leave the actual phone and have a wrist watch the is my phone. If I use watch only I can still import those rides into a more sophisticated multiple sport (activity) app I use.

    Abvio Cyclemeter and another app called Heart Analyzer are what I use beyond the default apps.

    I've owned Polar and Garmin devices but now the Apple Watch is by far the best for me. That's not putting others down. There are specialist products out there where the Apple Watch is more the leading generalist and with non-sports features I value.
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  8. #8
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    I saw the product review in Bicycling last month for Whoop Strap.
    https://www.whoop.com

    Interesting science.
    Their product seems a bit spendy on a per month basis for a bracelet. (no data screen) As mentioned above, and I agree, you've got to already be on the pointy end of the stick looking for that slim margin.

    Maybe if I can easily find an app that can share/digest the data from my basic $100 Fitbit unit I'd fool around with it.

  9. #9
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    I tried it for a couple months checking each morning using the free app Elite HRV on my iPhone and that was enough to make a non-believer out of me.

    There were many times where I did a particularly hard ride in the evening after work so I'd get home late, eat dinner late, not have time to get properly re-hydrated and have a crappy night sleep because my legs were all twichy and crampy yet when I got up and did the HRV test after practically limping down the stairs the next morning I'd get a 9 or 10 out of 10. And then there were many times after taking a couple recovery day I'd take the morning readiness test and I'd get a 6 out of 10.

    So I found the results to be mixed at best and most importantly not at all consistent with what my body was telling me overall.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stahr_Nut View Post
    I tried it for a couple months checking each morning using the free app Elite HRV on my iPhone and that was enough to make a non-believer out of me.

    There were many times where I did a particularly hard ride in the evening after work so I'd get home late, eat dinner late, not have time to get properly re-hydrated and have a crappy night sleep because my legs were all twichy and crampy yet when I got up and did the HRV test after practically limping down the stairs the next morning I'd get a 9 or 10 out of 10. And then there were many times after taking a couple recovery day I'd take the morning readiness test and I'd get a 6 out of 10.

    So I found the results to be mixed at best and most importantly not at all consistent with what my body was telling me overall.
    I never did the HRV thing but from my understanding it needs to pick up a difference of milliseconds between beats. Accuracy of the device tracking your HR is critical. Without very precise data it's completely useless.

    I doubt you'd get that kind of accuracy with anything other than a high end dedicated device. The science behind HRV is proven.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    I never did the HRV thing but from my understanding it needs to pick up a difference of milliseconds between beats. Accuracy of the device tracking your HR is critical. Without very precise data it's completely useless.

    I doubt you'd get that kind of accuracy with anything other than a high end dedicated device. The science behind HRV is proven.
    Could be. I failed to mention I used the app on my phone along with my Polar brand Bluetooth HR transmitter strap. For whatever that's worth....

    Perhaps I should revise my post to say non-believer in the use of consumer grade HRV systems.

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