A few weeks ago, listener Megan wrote to me on Facebook and said: "Hey Brock, would you explain heart rate variability (HRV) in layman's terms? I've heard a lot about it, but don't quite understand the concept or its use." I thought that was a great suggestion because HRV is a technique that has been growing in popularity and acceptance in the sport and fitness world. So here you go, Megan: HRV 101.
Most athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to performance. Still many of us overtrain and feel guilty or lazy when we take a day off. But relentless training can break even the strongest athletes and rest is a necessity to allow your body to repair, rebuild, and strengthen.
Given that it is so difficult for many of us to know when to train hard and when to back off, before we strap on a bluetooth heart rate monitor and fire up our HRV measuring smartphone app, let’s look at some non-HRV ways that we can measure our current state of recovery.