I experience something that is the opposite of most testimonials I hear. My resting heart rate is higher during training as I increase load and lower during recovery after a period of training. Here’s a visual:
I feel fine, normal fatigue of training but can meet workout goals, sleep is 7.5/10, nutrition is good.
Do other people experience the same?. What is the takeaway?
Personally, I wouldn’t overanalyze and overthink it: resting heart rate is just one data point and if you feel good, then it doesn’t matter as much what your heart rate does, especially over the course of such a short amount of time.
Resting heart rate is influenced by a ton of things, e. g. if you have an increased level of other life stress, maybe your body is fighting an infection or your body is just working harder to repair and build up your muscle tissue.
I’d personally not change anything if I were you, just look at several signals and if several signals point to exhaustion, then you may want to take your foot off the gas a little training-wise. One go-to for me is heart rate recovery time and heart rate in recovery intervals. In my experience when I am well-trained, well-rested and the workout’s difficulty is right, I recover in <90 seconds from Z4+ heart rate to Z2 heart rate (<130 bpm in my case). So I know when I recover quickly from a work interval that I can do the next one even if it felt mentally very hard. However, make sure to adjust your targets depending on training status. I am coming back from a month-long vacation where I couldn’t train at all. So my Z2 heart rate is much higher and my recovery will take longer.
My heart rate does the same but yours has gone up 3-4 beats over the course of a few weeks? Mine will vary 3-4 beats over the course of a few days lol. Nothing to worry about. Might consider giving yourself a recovery/rest week to let the body relax a bit, though.
thanks for your comments. I still think my body is trying to tell me something and I would like to figure it out, just for the self knowledge.
There could be some of this.
I track the same, and is all good so far.
Seems in line with what I’d expect. In the short term, RHR normally tracks higher with increased fatigue/stress, which is exactly what you’re seeing (and what I see with my RHR). In the medium to long term you can see RHR trend downwards by getting fitter, but those changes are observed over months and years, not days and weeks.
I find RHR a useful sense check. It tracks up when I’m doing a block of training, and/or have life stress, and/or am paying insufficient attention to sleep, recovery and nutrition. If it’s staying low during a training block that’s a good sign I’m nailing all the recovery things and might even consider pushing the training a bit more. If it doesn’t drop as expected during a recovery phase that’s maybe a sign that I’ve either pushed things a bit too far and need a bit more recovery (e.g. An off day instead of an easy day) or maybe an early sign that I’m getting sick. 9 times out of 10 it’s within a few bpm of where I’d expect, the 1 time out of 10 that it isn’t is often worth paying attention to.
Your RHR is lower when you take time to rest and remove the stress input (workouts). Perfectly normal.
I wouldn’t worry about a RHR unless its 0bpm
Everyone is different but mine usually rises slightly the day after excercise, then falls when I recover but it can vary for tons of other reasons, many of which are conflicting.
For me when my RHR goes up 5 to 10 beets I know I am getting sick. Body battery on my garmin works really well also and pulls of HR. Usually ignore it besides those 2 things.
That sounds right to me. When I’m in periods of heavy training my RHR is higher and toward the end of a recovery block my RHR goes down.
Looking at these charts, it may be that your RHR is going up and up because you haven’t taken a true recovery block for the last 4 months. Your ATL is always over your CTL. Granted, your training load was pretty low at the beginning of the year but you should still consider taking a week of reduced training to allow your body time to recover. Then you may see your RHR come back down a bit.
Thanks everybody for your input.
I’m trying to incorporate recovery with days off and/or easy endurance rides instead of full recovery blocks. So far it seems to be working ok, unless having a low RHR is a goal in of itself.
Yes, this is why I think is important to track
This is how I use it. But I always double check it with how I feel.
It’s not, so if you are feeling recovered after these shorter blocks then don’t change it! I was just going off this one chart but that isn’t the whole picture so just thought I’d throw it out as something to consider
Normal. As others have said RHR will be elevated at the end of a block of training compared to RHR 100% rested/recovered before the block. After months and years of training it’s normal to observe a lower RHR than when untrained due to increased left ventricle stroke volume (more efficient).
What also confuses riders new to HR is towards the end of a training block peak HR say during V02max or threshold efforts will be depressed. After a good week of rest the same V02max threshold HR will be noticeably higher.
I wouldn’t be too concerned about a 2-3 beat increase, but when was your last rest week? It looks like you’re due for one anyway…
I’m trying to incorporate recovery with days off and/or easy endurance rides instead of full recovery blocks.
My understanding is that it is generally accepted to have rest/recovery days every week, as well as recovery weeks. If you zoom out even farther than that, you’d get a recovery ~month (off-season). I’d guess with your last 6 weeks training load above 5,000kJs, your body is starting to get a bit fatigued. This can be good or even necessary to advance fitness, but if you push too far you risk overtraining and a long recovery back to your current form.
You might have a ways to go until you get overtrained, or you may be right on the edge right now. Based on you still feeling good, I’m guessing you still have some room, but I’d keep an eye on your RPE, RHR, and other metrics that could show you’re overtraining. Otherwise push on and keep getting those gains.
As others have remarked before, I observe a similar pattern. Elevated RHR when slightly fatigued due to heavy training. And a significant drop when I’ve done too much. It usually tracks nicely with morning HRV.
I do not do rest weeks either. I try to manage my load in such a way that these rest blocks are not needed. Currently, despite being in a threshold block with additional upper aerobic riding, this works out really well. HRV is almost constant, I sleep well, hit my targets. Despite some really tough training. Finally those base miles pay off.
I don’t know that that is the opposite of most people. It’s what I experience. As I fatigue over a training block, and my CNS fatigue builds, RHR goes up. Once I recover, RHR goes back down. I believe that’s normal, as I’ve read recently that as CNS fatigue grows, your HR will try to approach ~100 while resting or training, which is why RHR goes up and your ability to elevate HR declines during hard training blocks. (I’m being very crude in that description, but…)
Perhaps I am misunderstanding you?
Given the comments in this thread, it seems like I conflated the reports of ppl having lower heart rate in hard efforts when they are fatigued with lower Resting Heart Rate.
Yes, very common when you are fatigued to not be able to elevate your HR. E.g. if your normal LTHR is 168 and you do a threshold effort but HR won’t elevate to that level, or you’re riding Z2 and seeing depressed HR at the same power (like several bpm lower on Thursday than it was on Monday), there’s a good chance you’re experiencing CNS fatigue and recovery is called for. As you mentioned above, it’s possible that life stress is compounding what you’re seeing. Body doesn’t care where it comes from…
Ahhh, depressed HR during exercise. Yes, totally normal when fatigued. A spritely HR response is a good marker for recovery.