HRV – More than you ever needed or wanted to know

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HRV – All you ever, ever, ever (did I say ever?) wanted or needed to know about it

I’ve added some links to some of the excellent HRV content from Marco Altini further below. He makes HRV4Training which is a cheap app and you can use anything from the phone’s camera to a Polar H10 strap to get valid results with it. Marco defined the Strava Relative Effort Algorithm

Naturally, there are other HRV apps available like Elite HRV.

I condense my advice down to Use a Polar H10 before you get out of bed each morning to take a 2-3 minute HRV reading with HRV4Training. Create or use a Strava account that only contains your correct HR data from workouts and link Strava to HRV4Training. Use HRV4Training’s train/no-train recommendations set in context to your plan and how you feel each morning.

If you want to know why then read the stuff below or just believe me! The latter is quicker.

If instead, you want to leverage your Oura Ring data or contrast your Apple Watch HRV readings or correlate your Whoop readings then all that’s possible too.

Perhaps you’ve seen that rises in HRV mirror falls in HRrest. Why bother with HRV? There is an answer.

Then if you want to understand why HRV can never predict Covid but why it could detect the onset of ‘some illness’ then read on. If you want to know why high HRV is not always a sign of great readiness to perform then read on.

If you want to know why ‘Readiness Metrics’ or ‘Garmin Body Battery’ is not science…read on. If you want to know why your HRV readings throughout the day are probably a waste of time then…you guessed it, read on.

There are even considerations on countering the effect of weird heartbeats that some of us have some of the time and which others have all of the time. #ItsComplicated


The Following Is Directly Linked To: HRV4Training

This is not sponsored nor do I benefit at all from your clicks, though Marco did give me the $10 app for free about a year ago. Enjoy:



In this guide, we cover many aspects of HRV measurement, data interpretation as well as plenty of examples that you can look at to better understand how to make use of the data, and how HRV relates to training and lifestyle stressors​Check them out at these links:


​There are key differences between resting heart rate and HRV, which need to be understood to make good use of the data. In this series, we cover the physiological underpinnings, technological requirements, and show plenty of data at the population and individual level, which will help you master these aspects. You can find the other parts of this series at these links:


The blogs below provide key insights on more nuanced aspects of HRV data collection. In particular, we explain why some devices can only provide noisy estimates, while others  are able to provide a reliable assessment of resting physiologyLearn more here:

  • What  you need to know about night HRV data: here
  • How to make sense of your Heart rate variability Apple Watch data, here
  • Artefact removal for PPG-based heart rate variability analysis, here


Below you can find additional blogs covering various aspects of HRV analysis:

  • Heart rate variability (HRV) and Readiness, here
  • Heart Rate Variability (HRV) trends: going beyond daily scores, here
  • Heart rate variability (HRV) during taper, here
  • HRV-guided training to improve performance, here



Please feel free to comment below. However, this Facebook community called Wearables for Human Performance Tuning & Performance is THE place to go on the web to talk about HRV. Markus and Daniel, who run that site, are friends of and REALLY know their stuff. Image, below, clicks to that Facebook site.



Image|Wearables for Human Performance Tuning




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Rui Pereira

In the misc section you could also link to HRV specific use cases, like for example using it to determine the AeT (with DFA Alpha1).