I’ve learned to use overnight HRV as one of several indicators of when it comes to recovery, but a new one for me is DFA Alpha 1. I’ve used it for several rides, and today I saw something really interesting. The first few rides my typical “zone 2” power in the 200-210 range kept DFA A1 in the 1.0-1.2 range on average, where 230 would push it towards the zone 2 limit of .75. Letting off the gas a bit and riding like 180 watts would increase it to 1.2-1.4.
Well yesterday was really atypical and stressful, I had a big ride early in the morning, I worked from 8am-830pm, got home late, missed dinner and ate a bowl of cereal before I crashed in bed, slept terribly (and short) and had somewhat low HRV overnight, but decided to try to get a plan zone 2 ride in this morning anyway. Well the weird thing was that my DFA A1 this morning would barely stay around above .75 pushing 180-200 watts, where my HR vs power was looking normal. Going above 200 and I’d dip well below .75. I decided to pull the plug and go home after an hour of that.
First, does anyone notice that DFA A1 dips when you’re under-recovered / stressed? Do you also use this as a recovery indicator? It appears to have some real uses, but I can’t seem to find a whole lot of info online about using it in this way. Seems like it may potentially be a very underrated tool for us.