HRV folks, does this make sense?

I’ve been using HRV4Training (using my iphone to take readings) consistently each morning when I wake up for 25 days. To be honest, I’m not totally sure what to make of it, and I have to admit I may be biased because of what I’ve heard from Jonathan who shared the thoughts of a researcher regarding HRV. Leaving that aside, here’s my question:

I did back to back workouts of 3.5hrs this weekend (165 tss each), and my TSB happens to be -23 today. On Sat my score was 8.4 (RHR 54) yesterday was 7.6 (RHR 57.7) and today my score went back up to 8 and RHR down to 52. It’s not the first time in my short amount of time using the app that I seem to be more recovered after tougher workouts. I’m starting SSB HV next week so it’ll be interesting to see HRV in the context of that plan, but was curious why after a seemingly big back to back workout weekend why I’d appear to be more recovered (I do still feel good, and not feeling fatigued, to be fair)

I used to use HRV4Training and then I eventually stopped because I was doing nothing with it. This isn’t a comment on the value of the app etc, but there was never a situation where I felt it gave me advanced warning of something that I couldn’t feel myself. I think HRV is a really good example of YMMV data in its current form. I’m not a Whoop user and will never be at the current price point, but I think there’s benefit to have the constant 24 hour overview as opposed to the minute you sit down with your iPhone to do HRV.


Yeah I’m collecting data out of curiosity, not that I think there is anything actionable I can do with that data. Some folks swear by it, but so far I’m not seeing much that is worth it.

I have been tracking HRV for three months. I don’t find much of a consistent correlation between readings and individual workouts. The biggest day to day correlation for me is sleep quality. Weekend workouts are kind of unique beasts. Often, hard weekend work outs are offset by the extra sleep and recovery plus lack of work stress I have on the weekends.

Overtime though, my HRV does track pretty closely with my three week on one week off training regime. By the end of the work stretch , my HRV is pretty low. By the end of the rest week it’s recovered and it takes a few days for it to start trending down again.

I’ve been using a Whoop since the start of the year and don’t see any correlation between my recovery score (which includes HRV) and my performance that day. I’ve failed a couple of workouts with >90% recovery and smashed workouts with <40% recovery.

I do see a correlation between sleep duration/quality and recovery score, but since this recovery score has seemingly no influence on my performance, I don’t find that useful either.


The theory of HRV is is accounts for all stress, not just workout stress. 7 hours and 330 TSS over 2 days if coupled with laying on the couch for the rest of the weekend and sleeping in could very well be less stress then a tough 10 hour work day and a 60 minute 50 TSS evening workout. So, your results do potentially fit the theory. Or, it could be an anomaly in your readings :wink:

I’ve been collecting data and using HRV4Training for a month. Not seeing a lot of correlation yet, but holding out judgement.

About two weeks ago I had a horrible afternoon z2 workout, felt terrible and interestingly my Garmin 530 reported Performance Condition of -9 for most of the workout. That is the lowest I’ve ever seen it, and Fair is -2 to -10 while Poor is -11 to -20. The low scores I usually see are -3 or -4 - even if I felt fine on the bike. HRV4Training that morning looked fine. To quote the help “performance condition analyzes your pace, heart rate and heart rate variability to make a real-time assessment of your ability to perform compared to your average fitness level.” Its probably the first time I’ve noticed any correlation between HRV and training.

This is an interesting topic that I’ve been looking at for quite some time; Best I can tell, it’s a mercurial metric. I’ve experienced all that is described above.

Sometimes it makes sense, last Ramp Test I took at 4.5/10 Readiness to Train on Training Today, performed pretty poorly. Test before that I was somewhere above 8/10 on Training Today and had a really nice test.

For about the last 10 days Training Today has had me < 5/10 but looking back in my health app my HRV is right on target with historical data from Apple Watch. Load up HRV4Training the last few days and I’ve been within range for the last four days. Same data source of morning Breath session on Apple Watch for one minute.

I think the weird numbers are starting to have a negative impact on me from a mental perspective approaching a tough workout and am considering stopping tracking.

I’ve been using HRV4TRAINING for a couple months now. I used another app that required my Hr strap that I got tired of putting it on in the morning. More trying to remember where I left it.

I find big or hard rides or some sort of challenging training stimulus it takes 2 days for my Hrv to respond. I run between 8.5 and 9.0 pretty regular. If I go for a big ride or a harder VO2 workout, my weakness, if nothing else changes like extra sleep or a full lazy day, two days later mine will drop a full point or more and take two days to fully recover.

All this aligns with over stressing a muscle, which the heart is. Go hit the weights harder than normal and DOMS sets in on day two. I believe it’s a similar response but people smarter than me could explain it better.

Now time for a nap since it’s International Nap Day!!!

I have been using the app and tracking the data for a year. I really have yet to make any sense of what it reports. I do see my overall numbers for HRV decline in periods with outside stress. I do know that a tough workout will have me bounce back to normal readings the second day after that ride. I can see my HRV slowly decline over a period of time as my stress and rides are increasing. Now…nothing it tells me is different then how I feel. If I feel bad I dont ride. If my HRV score gives me a caution I dont have problems doing a workout. I havent been sick in a few years so no idea how it relates to any other problems going on in the body.

I have no confidence yet that the data means anything but I am still tracking it.

I will say though I get more information following my resting heart rate each morning then I do my HRV.

I have been using for a couple of years with some gaps. I have found if life stress is ‘normal’ HRV goes up and down a bit. I find workouts dont necessarily affect it tremendously. However, Pre-pandemic I had a very stressful project with a lot of 12 hour flight travel and towards the end of that period it plummeted…and I also got severely ill. I do find the perceived questions to influence more n what HRV4training to be better at advising hard workouts, even though the HRV number itself is in range.

In summary - I have found much more severe stress does affect HRV than more regular stress.

I use HRV4Training. I’ve actually used it for a while. I don’t think it has individual workout granularity.

Mostly I look at the trend lines. If HRV is trending down, I can probably feel that I’m digging a hole of fatigue too deep. If I stay up way too late or drink booze, HRV4Training will remind me that that wasn’t a good move.