Improved heart rate recovery despite reduced exercise performance following heavy training: A within-subject analysis

Thomson, Rebecca L. and Bellenger, Clint R. and Howe, Peter R. C. and Karavirta, Laura and Buckley, Jonathan D. (2016) Improved heart rate recovery despite reduced exercise performance following heavy training: A within-subject analysis. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 19 (3). pp. 255-259. ISSN 1440-2440


Objectives: The recovery of heart rate (HRR) after exercise is a potential indicator of fitness which has been shown to respond to changes in training. This study investigated the within-individual association between HRR and exercise performance following three different training loads. Design: 11 male cyclists/triathletes were tested after two weeks of light training, two weeks of heavy training and two days of rest. Methods: Exercise performance was measured using a 5-min maximal cycling time-trial. HRR was measured over 60 s during supine recovery. Results: Exercise performance decreased 2.2 ± 2.5% following heavy training compared with post-light training (= 0.01), and then increased 4.0 ± 4.2% following rest (= 0.004). Most HRR indices indicated a more rapid recovery of heart rate (HR) following heavy training, and reverted to post light training levels following two days of rest. HRR indices did not differ between post-light training and after the rest period (> 0.6). There were inverse within-subject relationships between indices of HRR and performance (= -0.6, p ≤ 0.004). Peak HR decreased 3.2 ± 5.1 bpm following heavy training (= 0.06) and significantly increased 4.9 ± 4.3 bpm following recovery (= 0.004). There was a moderate within-subject relationship between peak HR and exercise performance (= 0.7, p ≤ 0.001). Controlling for peak HR reduced the relationships between HRR and performance (= -0.4-0.5, p < 0.05). Conclusions: This study demonstrated that HRR tracks short-term changes in exercise performance within-individuals, such that increases in HRR are associated with poorer exercise performance following heavy training. Peak HR can be compromised under conditions of fatigue, and needs to be taken into account in HRR analyses.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2017 07:03
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2017 07:03
Uncontrolled Keywords: athletic performance; autonomic nervous system; fatigue
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110604 Sports Medicine
Fields of Research (2020): 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320225 Sports medicine
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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