Heart rate recovery as a guide to monitor fatigue and predict changes in performance parameters
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, The Sport Science Institute of South Africa, University of Cape Town, Newlands, South Africa
Determining the optimal balance between training load and recovery contributes to peak performance in well-trained athletes. The measurement of heart rate recovery (HRR) to monitor this balance has become popular. However, it is not known whether the impairment in performance, which is associated with training-induced fatigue, is accompanied by a change in HRR. Therefore, the aim of this study was to retrospectively analyze the relationship between changes in HRR and cycling performance in a group of well-trained cyclists (n=14) who participated in a 4-week high-intensity training (HIT) program. Subjects were assigned to either a group that continuous had a increase in HRR (GIncr) or a group that showed a decrease in HRR (GDecr) during the HIT period. Both groups, GIncr and GDecr, showed improvements in the relative peak power output (P=0.001 and 0.016, respectively) and endurance performance parameters (P=0.001 and <0.048, respectively). The average power during the 40-km time trial (40-km TT), however, improved more in GIncr (P=0.010), resulting in a tendency for a faster 40-km TT time (P=0.059). These findings suggest that HRR has the potential to monitor changes in endurance performance and contribute to a more accurate prescription of training load in well-trained and elite cyclists. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
adaptation; adult; article; athletic performance; endurance; exercise test; fatigue; heart rate; human; male; metabolism; physiology; retrospective study; adaptation; athletic performance; fatigue; heart rate; metabolism; physiology; young adult; Adaptation, Physiological; Adult; Athletic Performance; Exercise Test; Fatigue; Heart Rate; Humans; Male; Physical Endurance; Retrospective Studies; Young Adult; Adaptation, Physiological; Adult; Athletic Performance; Exercise Test; Fatigue; Heart Rate; Humans; Male; Physical Endurance; Retrospective Studies; Young Adult