Resting heart rate variability

I’ve been using the Elite HRV to monitor resting HR and HRV for the past year. Its definitely helped with avoiding over training by knowing when to skip a hard session because my rHR is up and my HRV is down. Combined with SYSTM training plans I’ve seen a 9% increase in FTP in my last 12wk training block and knocked 6% off my best time up a local hill despite not having the 24kph tailwind I had on the previous best effort.

But I’ve got a question about the amount of variability that ought to be expected in resting heart rate, mine varies by a lot compared to everything I’ve read which says a 5 beat or 10% change is a sign of fatigue or illness. Typically my resting heart rate is in the mid 40s when well rested and I am seeing more than a 10 beat almost 30% increase by the end of weekly cycle. Anyone else seeing this kind of variabilty or is this a sign of underlying illness of fatigue?

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I’d typically only see a >10bpm RHR increase if I’m ill or drank too much the night before.

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@JGreengrass I find HRV to be all over the place. I can have a bad night sleep and get a 10 and I can get a score of 3 and then go on to set a PR. I think it is a tool to be used along with other data - not relies on solely. I haven’t experienced a rise in HR over the course of a week but I also get my stress from several different places other than exercise so sometimes it is hard to tell what is driving things.

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Out of interest - what do you use for recording your HRV?

@oggie41 Polar H10. I am definitely getting a good signal. I just find the results can be different than expected.

:+1: I bought the same to use with HRV4Training. I’ve recently switched to using the camera on my phone and found that to be just as accurate (and more convenient to use).

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Quick check of the Apple Health app tells me my RHR is occasionally slightly higher than a 10% increase. Roughly once a month by looks of things and does seem to align with longer efforts

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I use a Tickr v1, its easy to tell when the battery needs changed because there are spikes of 200bpm+ scattered through the morning HRV reading.

Important Note: Please know that we’ve recently found the Wahoo TickR to be an unreliable HRV tracker and have removed it from our compatible devices page.

You could be best buying something like a Polar H10 if you’re wanting to track HRV.

Alternatively, phone camera can work well with HRV4T (so would save buying a new HR strap):

Hmm, disssing the Tickr because they’d much rather you bought a Corsense from their webshop for $165 or a Polar H10 via an affiliate link. I read it that their problem with the Tickr is to do with it not transmitting accurate data over ANT+ I can’t find any other sources that say the Tickr doesn’t report accurate R-R intervals.

I have been doing quite a bit of intense training lately, and combined with some recent work/life stress, I did see my RHR jump up around 7-8 bpm over the last couple of weeks. For me at least it is not common but explainable. You may want to look back at training weeks where you did not see such a jump and compare the training loads. I have found the tipping point to be quite sensitive, with something as simple as adding an hour of Z2 to the end of a hard group ride being enough to throw things out of whack.

For reference, I use an Oura Ring, HRV4Training and to analyze my RHR and HRV data. I prefer to stay away from “scores” and use the raw data to track how my body is reacting to training (and life) stress. This setup has served me well over the last 1.5 years that I have been using it.

My primary goal is to keep both RHR and HRV within a certain band of variability, so I am pushing hard enough to see gains but not so much that I am shattered and can’t recover properly. To dork out even further, I aim to keep my RHR within 1 standard deviation of my 7-day moving average and HRV within 0.75 standard deviation of my 60-day moving average.

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Actually, I’ve been seeing spikes of over 400 BPM on BTLE. This doesn’t happen with Strava, so it may be something particular to EleteHRV. My TICKR is getting towards EOL, so I may be switching back to a Garmin Dual Heart Rate Monitor as I had fantastic results with their ANT+ device. I’ve seen issues with the Polar ‘stuff’ though.

400bpm+ :exploding_head: When mine starts doing that I know its time for a new battery and a thorough clean of the contacts, why on earth HRM contacts aren’t gold plated I can’t understand would seem obvious for an electric contact permanently bathed in a warm salty solution.

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I went off the deep end and track RHR + HRV through a Garmin Epix2, Oura, and WHOOP. In the morning, while checking blood pressure & glucose/ketone levels, I do a check with HRVTraining.

Generally, or at least, directionally, they are all the same though I find Garmin’s Body Battery to be a closer approximation of how I actually feel when I wake and how I feel throughout the day.

Agree with @oggie41 - a single drink or a carb-heavy snack before bed and my HRV is wrecked, and my RHR overnight is at least 10bpm higher!


For myself, I’m not sure I can relate HRV to training load very well. I can end up with a score saying I’m ‘race ready’ following a few days training load, or that I need to rest after taking a few days off the bike. It seems to correlate better with quality of sleep and if I’m unwell, but even then it’s a bit hit and miss. Resting heart rate seems better for me to track training stress, although I’m not sure how good an Apple Watch is at this. I can record heart rates below what Apple thinks is my resting heart rate that day?!

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I’m using apple as well.

What I do find useful is that as apple is consistent, then I just use whatever it says to give me an indicator. I think what apple do is largely base RHR on overnight but they don’t necessarily take the lowest number - there’s a bit of averaging going on.

The wider thread in HRV - qI had zero fun with the hardware options for this stuff as apparently I’m a zombie for things like corsense - no consistency using a finger type device at all. At least apple give me numbers.
So I just use Apple HRV and again just use that as a trend. Though it’s so low I’m probably destined for the dump :rofl:

Have you had a look at Training Today? It’s an app that works with Apple Watch to give you a training/recovery score.

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Not seen that one !! Thanks

Edit: and that tells me to go lie down for a week. Oh Jings. Not good as about to get on bike. Never seen HRV that low despite my usual zombie status.

That app certainly saves a bit of button pressing and faffing. Probably worth the £4.99 in app purchase for the charts as well compared to the big subscription services that everything else uses.

Good call !!


Something that I’ve recently noticed is my RHR is DROPPING! That means I’m certainly doing something right.