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Looking for some science behind the facts

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Jan 2015
9:25pm, 11 Jan 2015
100 posts
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Ambling Andrew
May be a good idea to monitor your resting HR for a couple of days. If it is 10 per cent higher than normal more rest called for.
I find my RHR is a very good indicator of over training.
Jan 2015
9:53am, 12 Jan 2015
502 posts
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Thanks AA - yes I have been monitoring HR since the weekend to see what is going on. It's settling at 48/49 but does take some time too get there. Will continue checking whilst taking an easy week and see if it differs as the week goes on.
Jan 2015
12:49pm, 12 Jan 2015
1232 posts
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I agree that resting HR is a useful guide to stress levels. When it is more than 10% above usual, it is a quite a good indicator of stress from some source. However there are times when it is not elevated despite the athlete being on the edge of over-training. I suspect this is because the parasympathetic nervous system (which lowers HR) acts to compensate the elevated HR, but does not deal with the underlying fatigue.

How you feel in yourself at rest and during sub-maximal exercise is probably the most reliable guide of all. However if you want to augment this with measurements, there are a range of measurements in addition to resting HR. When I am significantly concerned about over-training, which typically occurs about once every three months, I measure resting HR, resting HRV, and submaximal HR at a given work load (on the elliptical). When taken together, and interpreted in light of past experience, these measures provide a fairly useful guide, but doing all these measurements is a lot of faff; requires careful interpretation; and is probably only worthwhile for an elite athlete or an elderly person with dubious health.

So, in my opinion, the best strategy for most people is take note of how you feel and also measure resting HR. However if resting HR is not elevated, taking note of how you feel during submaximal exercise is probably the most reliable guide.

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