What trashes my recovery?

I started using hrv4t. So now im seeing that my recovery is getting trashed alot. Work, food, alcohol and dehydration.

I know they covered this in the podcast, but what does couch chat think of using hrv to move around his training protocol plans?

A recent study by HRV4t posted showed that hrv allowed better gaings than just doing a block plan?

Anybody use their hrv to move work outs around. or just do the block plans?

I work nights. So recovery for me is most important. I move workouts up of back one day due to work schedule or not.


I used a whoop for about 5-6 months in the fall which also gives an HRV reading. I found that it rarely didn’t line up with how I was feeling and was pretty predictable. If I stayed out late drinking the night before then my recovery was in the toilet. If I stayed in and got to bed early during a recovery week then my recovery was very high. At the end of a really hard week it was lower.

So I could basically look at a plan and chart a predicted HRV score through it and it would be pretty close. As a result, I never found that I was moving workouts around based on the readings it was giving me. Maybe this would have changed if I was a pro and had nothing else dictating my schedule other than how I was feeling. But with work and other responsibilities, I found that trying to adjust training based on my HRV just added another layer of work and stress that I didn’t want to deal with. Also, I wasn’t going to just waste a free Saturday with nice weather because I got a bad score. I was going to go out on my MTB regardless. Was that the optimal choice? probably not. But its fun and is a break psychologically.

However, I found it did help me to see how much alcohol, lack of sleep, and dehydration really screwed me up, so it did help me trend those things in a better direction. In the end, it did teach me something that will overall help my training and performance but I found it didn’t help with the day-to-day adjustments.
Sorry if that was a little rambling…



Thank you for typing the exact same thing I would have typed. Still using the Whoop though.

I’ve used FirstBeat HRV via Garmin Recovery Advisor to completely plan the timing of workouts in a plan. Back before PlanBuilder rolled out…so I selected a plan & progressed through workouts at GRA advised me recovery time was 0. I posted this result previously on the forum but when that exp’t started I said I was just going to let GRA blow me up…exactly the opposite happened. GRA kept me pretty fresh & I would say out of the ‘optimal training’ zone. Definitely, if you want to send yourself into overreach with an aggressive training load GRA/FirstBeat HRV analysis is going to keep you out of that zone.

I’ve also fiddled around with some 3rd party programs (in conjunction with a heart rate strap) to track day-to-day HRV. Wouldn’t say they lead me astray but also wouldn’t say they added more value than just the weight of experience adds. I guess my biggest problem with these protocols is that they keep you in one training stress spot all the time…so if you want to send yourself into an overreaching training state 6wks to 4wks before an event & then start a taper 2wks out…I’m not sure there is a HRV application that’s going to be able to do that. You need a coach for that or you just need to know your own performance/body well.


I’ve been using HRV4Training. I feel like the numbers are training me … to get more sleep, to not drink alcohol, eat the right foods. :slight_smile:

I can usually feel when I’m tired and the HRV number confirms it.

Monday was a good example of the reverse. My HRV was on the low side and I should have taken it easy. I didn’t do intervals but I rode outside on gravel for 2 hours which left me good and tired. The next day I was even more tired and today I’m still tired and feel like I’m getting sick. I should have listened to the HRV on Monday.

So I’m pulling the plug on this week and it will be a rest week. I’ll do my group ride on Saturday but try and stay out of the red and not take pulls or contest sprints. Sunday will be a full rest day. Hopefully I’ll be back in action next week.