Like everyone else, there are mornings when I am eager to jump out of bed and start the day. Other mornings, it seems like daylight comes way to early and I just want to roll over and go back to sleep. Ironically, neither of these scenarios is a true indicator of my physical condition.
Recently I have been experimenting with Heart Rate Variability (HRV). I get up every morning and strap on my heart monitor and plug a receiver into my iPad and when it detects my pulse, I launch the application.
The app compares my heart from day to day and determines whether I am fatigued and suggests whether I go workout at full throttle (which for me isn’t that fast anyway), moderately, or whether I should stay home and rest. The idea is to take a recovery day in a timely fashion, rather than pushing through it for several days and undoing all your effort through real fatigue.
The human will is fascinating in that there are days when I really do not want to go to the gym, but when I get there, I perform very well. Other days I feel like I’m gonna set the world afire, but then I can’t get out of my own way. But what does my heart say?
Well every time I’ve ever listened to my heart I’ve gotten myself in trouble, so now I listen to my heart through this graph (and occasionally through a blood pressure cuff). The graph give you a green line for full workout, orange for moderate, and red for a rest day. The blue line across the chart is the average.
For those who think I am now cherry-picking WODs, it just ain’t so. Last week I was looking forward to the WOD I had seen posted the evening before, only to wake up and have my HRV tell me it’s a rest day. Though I appreciate the technology, there is a major flaw. I still got out of bed at 4:45 and by the time I’ve taken the measurements, I’m awake, I’m dressed for the gym and my work clothes were packed the night before. So though the software suggests that I need rest, I can’t go back to bed. I am wide awake at 5:00, an hour earlier than Suzanne will get up. I guess I’ll go mow the lawn.