Heart rate. It’s one of those things runners either track obsessively or scoff at the mere thought of thinking about it. While I’m not quite obsessed with tracking my heart rate, I do find tracking it very helpful. For me and many others, tracking resting heart rate, if not while running but at the very least first thing in the morning, can reveal a lot about how our training is going or our overall health. If you wake up to a higher than usual heart rate, you know you might be getting sick or need a recovery day. Your heart rate getting lower over time at the same pace? Congratulations, you’re building aerobic fitness!
But as scientists have found in the last few years, your runner’s heart can tell you a lot more than that, if you know how to listen. You might have seen that some of the newer GPS watches will tell you not only your heart rate, but also your heart rate variability, or HRV. Some even purport to tell you how stressed you are based on this information. Apps like ithlete, Sweetbeat, and EliteHRV do the same, claiming to track your recovery and training progress using your HRV.
Should runners track heart rate variability?
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