I have been riding and racing for more than a decade and a serious TR user for about a year (dabbled in 2019 and too 2nd at the state TT).
I suffer from a number of mental health issues including bipolar, obsessive compulsive personality disorder, and severe anxiety. For most of my life riding, and everything else in general, has been more about surviving setbacks and the low valleys of my health.
As I have been listening to the podcast and using the programs (plan builder) it helped inspire me to make more changes in my life for the better.
After working with a mental health expert we have finally found medications that have helped me go from surviving to thriving.
That pursuit of improvement also carried over to my cycling. And just as I have been data driven in my attempts to understand and improve my mental health, I’ve done the same for training (bought my first ever power meter just last year-crazy, I know). The results have seen me breaking all personal records within two months of starting my 2021 season (I have had a smart trainer since 2017 or 18).
This Christmas I received a whoop 3.0 to help me further in my pursuit of improvement on the bike and off. So far it has been a great tool, but I’m wondering about my HRV specifically.
Have there been any studies that link medications for sleep/mood stability/anxiety to a decrease I’m HRV? From what I’ve read HRV isn’t a set number for all, but rather individualized and the changes are more important than raw numbers. That being said, mine seems low, and even when I’ve taken it easy it can drop for no reason (though I have seen a trend with one specific medication).
Do you coaches not readers have any input on this? I’d love to know how to further my health and fitness in all ways, and this seems like the next big topic to understand.
Cheers, and sorry for such a long question. I’m going to blame @chad for inspiring my thoughts and improvements with all his deep-dives
I don’t know if they have specifically looked at HRV and medications, but there is a lot of good information and studies on the HRV4Training Blog. You could even email Marco who runs that blog - he’s definitely a source of good data.
HRV is definitely individualized, and you shouldn’t really compare to others. It is more important to look at trends and try to identify influences on changes you see. This is not easy to do!
I’ve been tracking mine for 2-3 years now, and mine is also ‘low’ relative to the general population. In contrast my wife’s is very high. We are both fit and train consistently.
I think there is still a lot of unknowns around HRV and how to use it to guide training. So take everything with some skepticism and look more at your own situation rather than comparing to others. That being said, I do like having it as a check in each day, but I don’t necessarily let it determine what I am going to do - unless I see a dramatic change. I would say by far the most impact on my daily HRV is from my sleep quality, so any medications that might impact that would likely have an effect - but that is purely anecdotal.
Good luck exploring it all!