Individual endurance training prescription with heart rate variability

Journal article

Vesterinen, Ville, Nummela, Ari, Heikura, Ida A., Laine, Tanja, Hynynen, Esa, Botella, Javier and Häkkinen, Keijo. (2016). Individual endurance training prescription with heart rate variability. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 48(7), pp. 1347 - 1354.
AuthorsVesterinen, Ville, Nummela, Ari, Heikura, Ida A., Laine, Tanja, Hynynen, Esa, Botella, Javier and Häkkinen, Keijo

Introduction: Measures of HR variability (HRV) have shown potential to be of use in training prescription. Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of using HRV in endurance training prescription. Methods: Forty recreational endurance runners were divided into the HRV-guided experimental training group (EXP) and traditional predefined training group (TRAD). After a 4-wk preparation training period, TRAD trained according to a predefined training program including two to three moderate- (MOD) and high-intensity training (HIT) sessions per week during an 8-wk intensive training period. The timing of MOD and HIT sessions in EXP was based on HRV, measured every morning. The MOD/HIT session was programmed if HRV was within an individually determined smallest worthwhile change. Otherwise, low-intensity training was performed. Maximal oxygen consumption (V[spacing dot above]O2max) and 3000-m running performance (RS3000m) were measured before and after both training periods. Results: The number of MOD and HIT sessions was significantly lower (P = 0.021, effect size = 0.98) in EXP (13.2 +/- 6.0 sessions) compared with TRAD (17.7 +/- 2.5 sessions). No other differences in training were found between the groups. RS3000m improved in EXP (2.1% +/- 2.0%, P = 0.004) but not in TRAD (1.1% +/- 2.7%, P = 0.118) during the intensive training period. A small between-group difference (effect size = 0.42) was found in the change in RS3000m. V[spacing dot above]O2max improved in both groups (EXP: 3.7% +/- 4.6%, P = 0.027; TRAD: 5.0% +/- 5.2%, P = 0.002). Conclusion: The results of the present study suggest the potential of resting HRV to prescribe endurance training by individualizing the timing of vigorous training sessions.

Keywordsrunning training; training adaptation; autonomic nervous system; vagal activity; training programming
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Journal citation48 (7), pp. 1347 - 1354
PublisherLippincott Williams and Wilkins
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84959156418
Page range1347 - 1354
Research GroupMary MacKillop Institute for Health Research
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Place of publicationUnited States of America
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