Vaguely interesting 3 minute video from the GSK lab Jenson doesn’t beat Mr Brownlee…sorry for the spoiler !
Vaguely interesting 3 minute video from the GSK lab Jenson doesn’t beat Mr Brownlee…sorry for the spoiler !
Let’s talk “Monthly HRV Load”…
You’ve seen it in the box on the left, but you’ve been too caught up in what your daily HRV score is telling you about how to adjust your workouts to really care.
After all, you can’t go wrong with the simple “green means go, amber means slow” guidelines, right?
While it’s tempting to limit HRV data to its day-to-day utility, the real juicy information lies within the bigger picture:
Am I receiving enough training stimuli to achieve my goals (performance, body composition, or other)?
Am I continuing to see progress or am I at risk of plateauing?
Are my methods, intensity, or volume more than my body can sustain over time?
These are the kinds of questions that can be explored when looking at monthly HRV load.
A green monthly HRV load is indicative of a relatively low level of stress over the last 30 days, which can be good or bad, depending on your goals at the time.
If your primary goal is to improve your fitness and HRV, a low monthly load may mean that you are not providing with your body with a large enough stimulus to continue seeing improvements in your conditioning.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HRV is that if you’re training hard, you should expect to see a moderate or high load. The reality, however, is that if you’re been on the same program and aren’t seeing much improvement in the gym or in your training, chances are that the body has already adapted to the program and this will often result in a low HRV load.
Once the body adapts to a program, the body perceives it as a low level of stress, regardless of how hard you “feel” like you’re training.
What you feel and what the body perceives are often two different things.
When looking at Monthly HRV Load, this means that context is important.
Have you experienced improvements in your performance, body composition, or other goals?
If yes, then you shouldn’t worry about having a low Monthly Load.
After all, the purpose of HRV monitoring is not to train yourself until you see amber readiness scores.
The purpose is to monitor you training so that you see continual progress while avoiding injury and overtraining; so long as you’re seeing that progress, don’t worry.
However, if you have been experiencing plateaus and your progress has been stagnant, consider tweaking your training load to induce the changes you’re striving for.
More often than not, a MED Monthly HRV load is a sign that your overall program and lifestyle is the right mix of stress and recovery.
This will be reaffirmed with a positive change in Monthly Change, or how much your average HRV score has improved over the last 30 days.
So this means if you see an amber monthly HRV load, it’s probably a good sign.
You are likely providing your body with enough stimuli to promote positive changes in performance, body composition, etc.
The key to maneuvering this phase is to carefully monitor your HRV for signs of overreaching or plateauing.
Think of the amber monthly load as the fulcrum of a teeter totter:
You are currently balanced, providing yourself with enough stimuli to improve but not so much that you increase your risk of injury and disease.
However, with a slight increase or decrease in stress load you could easily tip the teeter totter to the right or left, into the regions of exhaustion or undertraining.
If you’re monthly HRV load is red, something needs to change quickly.
You’re placing a higher amount of stress on your body than it can recover from and you are at increased risk of injury and disease.
Does this always mean that your physical training is running you into the ground?
Since HRV looks at the impact of all stressors on your autonomic nervous system, several influences are likely at play at once.
Possible culprits could range from a lack of sleep, to a break-up, to increased work stress, to a change in diet…
Critically examine the components of your daily life to get to the root of the problem.
The Monthly HRV Load is an important gauge to understand how your body is adapting to your program and lifestyle as a whole. Most often, a MED Load is the right amount the majority of the time, though you always want to consider the context of your training and changes to performance/fitness over the last 30 days.
If you’re seeing LOW Monthly HRV Load and very little or no progress, it’s likely time to change your program and/or up the volume/intensity a bit.
A MED Monthly load, on the other hand, is generally a good the right balance between stress and recovery and is what you’ll want to see more often than not.
Seeing a HIGH Monthly Load, however, is cause for concern and you’ll want to review you current training program and lifestyle stress to see what may be causing it. Although it’s normal to see a HIGH HRV load on occasion, if this is sustained for very long, you’re at a high risk for overtraining and/or injuries.
I’m trying to help those who get Achilles (and maybe calf/soleus too) pains. Pains that sometimes you can run through and sometimes you can’t. Perhaps a pain that stops you training sufficiently to improve.
Firstly I’m not a physio and my ‘Achilles solution’ to all your 5k injury woes is based on my experience of ‘me’ and others I know who have had Achilles problems; sometimes chronic.
There could be some sort of unusual physical issue with you or perhaps you have torn your Achilles. I’m not trying to help you people. Sorry.
There are various places that you can get these pains. I’m not going to give you all the medical names for each of them. It could be your heel or various places on your tendon or on the soleus/calf muscle. That general ‘neck of the woods’.
RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. That is a good mantra. Indeed ice alone might be sufficient to control/manage your issues (eg heel bursa). Let’s say you don’t ice for a couple of days then what happens? Right the pain comes back VERY quickly. So RICE is NOT solving most of the Achilles problems. It is not addressing the cause. Fine for a one-off injury but it will not solve a chronic issue. Chronic means longstanding of over, say, 3 months.
So the ultimate cause of your woes lies elsewhere. It will be mostly in one of more of these 3 areas: sub-optimal technique; inadequate strength; lack of specific flexibility.
MANY physios will tell you, by default, to do some strength exercises. Normally involving stairs and “tip-toes”. You might strike lucky.
Technique: A LOT of force goes through that part of your body when running. It doesn’t take much to put that force in just the wrong place and BANG or SNAP. You know the rest. Running biomechanics are VERY complex think about these:
Strength: IF all the running muscles are not strong enough then you will favour the muscles that are strongest. Especially as you fatigue more. You become imbalanced and the forces are directed in the wrong place. You get injured.
But what is the point of strengthening some muscles if you don’t (technique) or can’t (flexibility) use them properly?
Flexibility: OK if you are a guy reading this then you probably aren’t as flexible as you could be (that’s probably the safest thing I‘ll write in this post!). If you are inflexible, think how hard your muscles are working to move themselves when they get towards the limits of your flexibility. All that wasted energy! That will tire you out and slow you down. So flexibility = speed gain. I only say that as it is more likely to make you actually do it to get faster! Inflexibility will also lead to incorrect or constrained muscle movements having a similar effect to a lack of strength in that the forces are ultimately directly in the wrong way.
Rollers, spikey balls and massage help too. They help manage the condition. They won’t solve it.
I reckon that all makes sense. I won’t solve the world’s Achilles problems in 1000 words but I might solve yours.
Questions ladies and gentlemen please.
“Caffeine is one of the few proven ergogenic aids- the current optimum dosage that is needed is 5-mg/kg in the 60-90 minutes pre race or heavy session- the dose response curve flattens out after this. Caffeine is rapidly absorbed from the gut and reaches peak plasma concentrations within 1 hour- the blood half life is 3-6 hours, so shorter races do not need “maintenance doses”
Dose response was done with cyclists given 5,9 and 13mg/kg caffeine and this was the trial that showed no improvement gains above 5mg/kg.
Caffeine has been shown to extend endurance in strenuous aerobic exercise and also improves muscular strength and endurance in prolonged exercise. This has been placebo control trialled. The benefits have been shown to persist up to 5 hours after the initial dose.
Caffeine also theoretically mobilises free fatty acids and increases fat catabolism and reduces carb oxidation, but one study did not demonstrate any increase in plasma FFAs
Studies also done on swimmers doing 1500m trials and showed that each 500m split improved with caffeine and total swim time improved on average by 1.9%, though I am not sure how statistically valid this is.
Running studies have taken ” time to fatigue” and caffeine gave significant duration increases.
Interestingly, one study subjectively demonstrated a reduction in perceived exertion for the same exercise.
Second surge energy gel has 100mg caffeine in it
High 5 Energy Source extreme has 180mg/ sachet
SIS gels have 50mg
High 5 gels have 30mg
If you are trying to lose weight through running then read this and ignore ALL the other nonsense that is out there.
The following is by Author: Andrew Hamilton BSc Hons MRSC ACSM (For High5 nutrition, they sell great sports nutrition products and the images below are from their site)
Quite apart from the aesthetics of a slim toned body, for most sportsmen and women, lower levels of body fat equate to better performance. Andrew Hamilton explains the nuts and bolts of fat burning and how you can manipulate your training to burn more fat…
INTRODUCTION TO FAT BURNING
Although increased fat burning has beneﬁcial implications for sport performance, many people who exercise regularly do so for general ﬁtness, health and aesthetic reasons rather than to increase fat burning per se. So if you wander into almost any gym and ask people why they train or what spurred them to begin training, it’s hardly surprising that weight loss comes right at the top of the list!
Any exercise programme that promotes increased fat burning therefore can help you to reach and maintain your target body weight more easily, bringing you all the associated health and kudos beneﬁts sooner rather than later. Together, these facts explain why there’s such an interest in fat burning and how to maximise it during exercise.
About Andrew Hamilton
is the commissioning editor of, and sports nutrition writer for, ‘Peak Performance’, the worldwide leading research publication for athletes and coaches. He is also commissioning editor of and contributor for ‘Sport Injury Bulletin’, providing the very latest sports injury advances into practical advice on prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
Andrew also writes for a number of other publications, including ’Cycling Weekly’, ’220 Triathlon’, ’The British Journal of Cycle Coaching’, ’Athletics Weekly’, and ’Workout Magazine’.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of maximising fat burning, it’s important to understand that the fundamental laws of chemistry and physics still apply (see box 1) and there’s absolutely no way of circumventing them. If you want to lose weight, you have to create a ‘negative energy balance’ in your body – ie expend more calories than you consume. However, by enhancing fat burning, you increase the proportion of your expended calories that will come from stored body fat. A second important fact that needs to be born in mind is that all of us, all of the time, are burning all three types of food calories (fat, carbohydrate and protein) to produce energy. The contribution from protein is minimal except when vigorous exercise is performed in the absence of carbohydrate (a subject we’ll discuss in part II of this article) so in actual fact, most of your energy is derived from carbohydrate and fat. It follows therefore that increasing the proportion of your expended energy from fat is associated with a reduced proportion from carbohydrate and vice-versa. You can think of it as a kind of seesaw effect. As the proportion of carbohydrate burning increases, fat burning decreases; as the proportion that you burn fat increases, the carbohydrate contribution decreases. A third fact that needs to be hammered home is that if maximising fat burning is desirable, aerobic type exercise (also known as endurance, cardiovascular or stamina training) such as jogging/running, cycling, swimming, rowing, skipping, X-country skiing etc should form the mainstay of any exercise programme. That’s because during aerobic type exercise, energy is provided by combining carbohydrate, fat and (to a small extent) protein calories with oxygen. The role of oxygen is especially important here because:
Very high-intensity exercise like sprinting or lifting weights (resistance training) uses different metabolic pathways to produce energy, most of which comes from carbohydrate burning. This is why it’s not an effective way to burn fat, although some resistance training can enhance a weight loss programme by helping to sustain or increase muscle mass (see later).
THE FUNDAMENTAL LAWS OF FAT BURNING
Body fat can be thought of as form of stored chemical energy. Each pound of body fat contains approximately 3500kcals of energy, so to lose a pound of body fat over any given time period, you have to burn 3500kcals more energy than is contained in the food and drink you consume. This can be achieved either by increasing your energy expenditure (ie by training/exercising more), or reducing your calorie intake (eg by following a calorie restricted diet), or, even better, by a combination of the two. Although there seems to be a small degree of genetic variability that makes the process of fat burning somewhat easier in some individuals than others, these fundamental laws of chemistry and physics (energy in versus energy expended) are immutable.However, while you can’t overcome the laws of thermodynamics, the good news is that by manipulating your exercise intensity/duration and food intake/timing, you can increase the proportion of your expended energy that is derived from fat burning, which (as we will see) can yield signiﬁcant beneﬁts.
One of the most powerful ways to manipulate the proportion of fat used to produce energy is to adjust the intensity of your exercise. The question that follows therefore is how hard should your aerobic training be to maximise fat burning? As we’ve hinted above, lower intensities favour fat burning but as the intensity increases, carbohydrate becomes more and more important until at very high intensities, almost all of the energy to fuel exercise comes from carbohydrate burning and none from fat-burning.
Figure 1 shows some actual data gathered from recreational cyclists. You can see that that as the exercise intensity (in watts) increases, the rate of fat burning increases, reaching a maximum of around 35 grams per hour at 180 watts. Above 180 watts, the amount of fat burned drops off rapidly so that by 300 watts, it’s contributing virtually nothing. Carbohydrate burning increases steadily too but at around 180 watts (just as fat burning drops off) it jumps dramatically so that by 300 watts, it’s contributing 100% of the energy for exercise.
DON’T RULE OUT HIGH INTENSITY EXERCISE!
You might think that exercising exactly at your Fatmax intensity is the best way to lose body fat but this may not necessarily be the case. There are a number of reasons for this:
Larger total calorie burn – suppose you exercise at 60% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) for an hour, burn 500 calories and 50% of those come from fat then you’ll have burnt 250 fat calories. But now suppose you exercise at 75% MHR for an hour and burn 700 calories (because you’re working harder). Even if only 33% of your energy comes from fat, you’ll still have burnt 230 fat calories but in total, you’ve also burnt an extra 200 calories from other fuels (mostly carbohydrate). This means that you’ll have an extra 200 calories to play with in terms of food intake and still stay the right side of the thermodynamic equation for the day (remember, you have to create a negative energy balance).
Increased fitness and fat burning – Training at a higher % of your MHR will progressively increase your aerobic ﬁtness; in very simple terms, as time goes by you’ll be able to train harder and burn more calories per hour for less perceived effort. Even more importantly, by increasing your oxygen processing capacity, your muscle cells will become more efﬁcient at using fat for energy, even at higher intensities. This explains why someone who is ﬁt ﬁnds it relatively easy to stay lean. For example, a ﬁt runner who can sustain 16kmh (10mph) can easily burn 1000kcals in an hour. If they can do that while working at say 75% of MHR, they’ll probably derive something in the region of 400-500kcals from fat. But suppose you’re only ever used to working at 60% MHR. This kind of intensity presents little challenge to the aerobic system, so there’ll be relatively little improvement in aerobic ﬁtness. With a total calorie burn of around 400-500 per hour and a maximum of around 50% from fat, it’s unlikely you would burn more than 200 fat calories in an hour. Of course, you could achieve the same fat calorie burn as our ﬁt runner by doubling the length of your workout, but quite apart from the boredom, most people simply don’t have time for 2-hour workouts, and you still wouldn’t be improving aerobic ﬁtness at these lower intensities.
Increased resting metabolic rate – as mentioned earlier, some resistance training can be a very useful adjunct to an aerobic training programme for fat loss. This is because very high intensity exercise such as resistance training increases muscle mass, which is a very desirable thing. Kilo for kilo, muscle mass is metabolically far more active than adipose (fat) tissue. Increasing your muscle mass with the addition of some resistance training means that the rate at which you burn up energy even while resting can be boosted signiﬁcantly, helping you to achieve your negative energy balance more easily. The best way to maximise lean muscle mass is to add one or two sessions of resistance training into your weekly aerobic exercise program. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym either; very signiﬁcant beneﬁts can be had by as little as two 30-minute resistance sessions per week. Sessions comprising of 10-12 exercises designed to work all the major muscle groups (one to two sets of 10-15 repetitions per exercise with enough weight set so that the repetitions can only just be completed) will produce good results in those who are not experienced resistance trainers.
Although several studies have looked at the relationship between exercise intensity and fat oxidation at a particular intensity, it was only recently that this relationship has been studied over a wide range of exercise intensities (2). In general terms, what happens is that carbohydrate oxidation increases proportionally with exercise intensity, whereas the rate of fat oxidation initially increases but decreases again at higher exercise intensities (see ﬁgure 2). The point at which fat burning reaches its peak is known as ‘Fatmax’ and the range of exercise intensities close to Fatmax is sometimes referred to as the ‘Fatzone’.
It’s often claimed that you have to exercise at low intensities to burn fat, but you can see from the graph this is not necessarily true. The right hand side of the grey Fatzone is quite vigorous but still close to Fatmax. Another important point to emphasise is that your ﬁtness level will have a big impact on the exercise intensity at which you reach Fatmax.
In a series of studies conducted by Professor Jeukendrup and his team of researchers at the University of Birmingham, it was found that for trained subjects, exercising at a moderate intensity (62-63% of VO2max or 70-75% of maximum heart rate [also known as HRmax]) was the optimal intensity for fat oxidation. However, for less trained individuals, Fatmax occurred at just 50% of VO2max(2,3). This is not surprising really as we know that regular aerobic training ‘teaches’ the body to burn fat more efﬁciently.
In reality, the exact intensity at which fat oxidation peaks is less important because within 5-10% of this intensity (or 10-15 beats per minute), fat oxidation will be similarly high (ie in the Fatzone), and only when the intensity becomes dramatically higher will fat oxidation will drop rapidly. Moreover, this intensity is usually identiﬁable because at this point, many people will perceive a signiﬁcant step up in their rate of exertion.
Taken as a whole, the evidence suggests that for maximum fat burning during exercise itself, you should exercise aerobically at the higher end of your Fatzone, which depending on your ﬁtness will be around 60-80% of your maximum heart rate (NB your maximum heart rate is roughly given as: 220 minus your age in years). As for duration and frequency of exercise sessions, the most important factor is your total energy expenditure over any given time period. So for example, six aerobic training sessions per week of 30 minutes’ duration at say, 70% MHR would be equivalent to three sessions of 60 minutes at the same % MHR (180 minutes in total). The goal is to increase your total volume so that you burn more fat calories (but see box ‘Safety ﬁrst!’).
However, there is evidence to suggest that fewer but longer sessions (ﬁtness permitting) may be advantageous to burn fat because we know that fat oxidation becomes an increasingly important fuel as the duration of exercise increases (4). So for example, in the example above, three sessions of 60 minutes may be preferable to six sessions of 30 minutes. Another beneﬁt of structuring sessions this way is that it allows longer periods of recovery in between each bout of exercise.
Another caveat worth adding is that the type of aerobic exercise undertaken may impact the amount of fat burning even when the exercise intensity is identical. For example, fat oxidation has been shown to be higher for a given oxygen uptake during walking and running compared with cycling (5). The reason for this is not well understood, but some researchers believe that it is related to the greater power output per muscle ﬁbre in cycling compared to running. Compared to running, the work done during cycling is concentrated in fewer muscle ﬁbres because fewer muscles in total are involved in the cycling action. For the same workload therefore, these ﬁbres have to contract more intensely and as we have seen, at high muscular intensities, carbohydrate burning becomes much more dominant.
Finally, and as previously mentioned, any fat burning programme should ideally include some resistance training for all the reasons given earlier.
When building up your total weekly volume, you need to ensure you do so only gradually to avoid the risk of injury or burnout. Unless you’re already an experienced trainer, it’s strongly recommended that you seek advice from a ﬁtness professional before putting together any programme. This will help ensure you derive maximum beneﬁts as safely and comfortably as possible.
For many people, lifestyle factors such as work and family dictate what time of day they will train! However, if you have a choice, some evidence suggests that the longer the period between your last meal and your exercise session, the greater the proportion of energy that will be derived from fat (6). The most obvious way to take advantage of this effect is to train ﬁrst thing in the morning before breakfast and indeed, research has shown that the total fat oxidised during exercise (and for two hours after exercise) is greatest when morning exercise is performed in the fasted state (ie before breakfast) (7).
It’s important to stress however that this approach becomes less appropriate for longer duration sessions (over one hour) where ‘training on empty’ could result in excessive fatigue as a result of low blood sugar and stored muscle carbohydrate (glycogen). A ﬁnal recommendation that follows from the studies above is that where fat burning is the number one goal (rather than performance), consuming a carbohydrate drink before or during training is not recommended because it reduces the proportion of energy derived from fat during subsequent exercise (8). More generally, your nutrition before, during and after exercise will play a powerful part in determining how much fat you’ll burn but that’s a whole different topic and one we’ll consider in part II of this series!
1. Data from Bradley J, University of Central Lancashire, 2002
2. Int J Sports Med 24: 603-608, 2003.
3. Int J Sports Med 26 Suppl 1: S28-37, 2005.
4. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Sep;15(9):2256-62
5. Metabolism 52: 747-752, 2003
6. Int J Obes (Lond). 2005 Aug;29(8):966-74
7. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2006 Oct;31(5):502-11
8. J Sports Sci. 2003 Dec;21(12):1017-24
It’s a hard question to answer. “How fit am I?”
Lots of triathletes would say VO2 max and there are probably a million other ways than what I’m going to briefly talk about here.
Q: VO2 max – how do you measure it properly?
A: In a lab
So maybe it’s not so easy to measure the thing that is the best. And really anyway what we probably want to know is “How race ready am I…NOW. Yep right now.” And that needs to be based on the stats that I normally record because I can’t be bothered to do a special test (sound familiar? :-) )
So you need something that is fairly easily accessible ON A REGLUAR basis.
If you’ve read this blog before you’ve probably seen me go on about TRIMPs and TSB (CTL/ATL). They seem pretty good measures on the whole.
My A race was in June and I actually did about as well as I could expect for once. But what did the stats say? Well my race readiness (TSB) was FAR from what I had historically considered the best and my CTL and ATL were also not in a great place historically.
If I look instead at FirstBeat Athlete (link to download a trial version – I don’t get paid anything for that link). It produces a METmax measure of fitness (based on estimated VO2max and a few other things). That said that 5 days before my race I was at the best I’d been all year. So that appears to be right. However 5 days prior to my race I was already well into tapering and so taking it a bit easier. In fact the ideal scenario to record a proper METmax figure (apparently). So it peaked because for once I was doing the reading properly. Nevertheless I’ll watch this one from time to time. I’m also going to do a review of Firstbeat Athlete at some point as well. Watch this space.
My HRV figure from bioforceHRV showed a high readiness level but then again it does that fairly regularly as and when I have my rest days. So that might be a good indicator in the sense that if it is not at its best for a race then something is wrong.
OK, OK, I’m the first to admit that I would not beat Steve Way over any distance except, maybe 60m. And even that’s doubtful – although it would be close if you look at the times :-)
Anyway. Steve kindly shares his Garmin stats to the world through his Forerunner 620. so here is some interesting info:
So it’s my 12 miles tonight vs a recent run from Steve.
Me: Avg Cadence 180
Steve: Avg Cadence 173 (avg stride length 1.35m)
Analysis: My cadence was near to theoretical perfection…but he’s faster :-(
Here is a look at his vertical oscillation and Ground Contact Time. Some of the new Garmin 620 metrics. Undoubtedly these will be in the new Garmin Forerunner 920XT and they are already in the Garmin Fenix2.
The reason for this post is that few of us were sure how to interpret the new Garmin data, as detailed on Garmin support forums and dcrainmaker’s excellent site to name but a few. I would propose Mr Way as a totally unscientific benchmark – although maybe you should instead be looking at improvements of these metrics over time FOR YOU ALONE rather than comparing to someone else?
He’s an awesome Vet athlete putting in some remarkable times. His age must be working against him so maybe his technique is super efficient (oh yes and he probably trains a bit too putting in HUNDREDS of miles over recent years :-) )
and here is one I recorded earlier for myself.
It’s a bit hard to compare the two. My vertical oscillation may well be lower/better. But he’s faster.
My GTC goes down to 200 when I’m running ‘fairly fast’. I think my ‘fairly fast’ was broadly similar to the speed he was running at in the session I have his data for. (IE the Salisbury 54321 50 K ultra which he used as a training run whilst, to some degree, fatigued).
So. The vertical oscillation data appears inconclusive and it seems that ground contact time is reduced the faster you go. Which is kind of a statement of the usually obvious!!
Oh well. Back to the stats. No need to train today if I can just knock of 10ms from my GTC and 2mm from my VO.
Summary: It’s very hard to compare stats from one athlete to another as there are so many variables. Perhaps compare to your mates running the same sort of speed over the same course. Or perhaps it’s best to target personal improvement in these stats over time.
Swim Run and Bike….wrong order; wrong to do all 3 on the same day (probably).
I had an early lake-based 3k to wake me up. Failed miserably to hit a PB there.
Off to a parkrun on a glorious day; aiming to beat my time from a couple of weeks back. Still that was 30 seconds or so off my PB, should be do-able.
It wasn’t. I treid really hard. The heart said I did as well but the legs weren’t there. OK not ideal after a swim I know but my time from a couple of weeks back was set in the same circumstances. In fact the only difference was a VO2 bike session I did on Wednesday night ie two and a half days ago. That one session cost me a further 30 seconds.
So for the doubters of the correctness of tapering…you’re wrong. Extended periods of fast exercise are not what should be in a taper. I reckon such a session costs you 2-4% of your potential performance. See how much training you need to do to get that much faster. Much easier doing nothing.
Too light or irregular training, no effect
Large part of the general public believes that they are doing enough physical exercise to keep fit. Contrary to their belief many people do not fulfil the criteria of training as their exercise is not vigorous enough to produce an improving training effect. This is a common problem of the developed nations.
Too hard training, too frequently
There are many amateur athletes who are very conscientious and tend to train too hard. They may want to follow the training programs that are written by the pro coaches to full time athletes. This does not work. The athlete very easily ends up overloading the body. As the training and recovery are not balanced and the body is not prepared for such training load, the risk of injury and overtraining runs very high. This is the case when a training program does not match the user’s fitness level and there is no mechanism to link outcome to needed change in training. Necessary time for recovery is often missing.
Always the same training, no improvement
It is very typical for amateur athletes (runners) and fitness enthusiasts to be very set in their own ways. This means that they always repeat a training pattern. This pattern may long since have lost its effectiveness. A lot of time is spent on training with no real improvement. In many cases spending less time in correctly measured and guided training would produce a far better result. This has been shown by many who have started to use Firstbeat tools.
I’ve just written a brief review of my experience with the BioForceHRV android app. I think it was an interesting experience. What do you think?
Basically HRV analysis is simple to do and the benefit is that it might stop you from training TOO MUCH.