Links from Q+A session- February 5, 2023

  • Participant
    George on #75402

    Forget about phone HRV apps. There is no need to invest a 1000 $ for the top of the line Garmin Fenix 6X pro solar with chest strap. I bought my girlfriend a much cheaper Garmin Venu for 150 $ without chest strap and it has almost the same capabilities and software as its bigger brother. Including an oximeter and alarm function in case of a fall. And if you are consistently wearing and using it the software knows for years how you trained and how you slept. No need for manual input. And if you are not prepared to invest in such a technology then why did invest in the Mountain Training Group a bigger amount? The UH site and the 7-hour video tutorial will give you more info to start with. And the coaches can not help you if your metrics is wrong.

    I have been using for 20 years top-of-the-line Suunto watches and I miss the real-time EPOC calculation on which the Training Effect is based. But Garmin is superior in regard to software integration. Both use in the background the Fisrtbeat algorithms for HRV analysis developed by a Finnish institute. Hope my advice helps!

    Chantelle Robitaille on #75406

    There are many different metrics we can collect with any number of gadgets- but it’s also helpful to know how that data is sourced, how it’s been validated (how reliable the data is), and how to use that data. We will get into more Training Peaks metrics and data in a future lesson for those that would like to dive into that a little more. It’s also important to really pay attention to how you feel- before, during, and after workouts and to track that information for yourself over time as well. There isn’t any one specific number that will tell you are tired, fit, ready, improving/not improving, etc. rather it is looking at your individual and overall information and data over time.

    Wearables these days have a lot of different functions, some more useful than others, some more accurate than others. For those who are interested in learning about HRV, the app that I mentioned is one that was developed by a researcher (Marco Altini, Ph.D.) who specializes in this area of research. This app does something that the popular wearables don’t- it takes into account individual variability and learns what is normal for an individual (rather than making a broad suggestion as wearables and data aggregators do). The app also takes into consideration the many lifestyle factors that also have an impact on your level of fatigue and readiness. For those interested in learning little more on how this data is used in different wearables, welcome to the rabbit hole 🙂 I am in no way saying anyone needs to track HRV or use this app, but putting this here for those who expressed an interest in learning about it.

    George on #75439

    For those interested in how the most advanced technology works I suggest looking at the Fistbeat page here: This is what good wrist-top computers like Garmin and Suunto are using. I strongly doubt that other smartwatches more inclined in transferring the phone to the wrist are paying to the Fisrstbeat, who are developing the technology in the past over 30 years. Probably some 20 years ago I purchased the Firstbeat Athlete software which uses EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption) as the main metric for the aerobic load. It was good software because it suggested what training should I do in order to improve my aerobics without overtraining. Training peaks go one step further with their hrTSS. They multiply the load by the duration, something that EPOC sortwares does not do. In EPOC-based metrics, a 30 min HIIT training on an elliptical would give me a higher value than a multi-hour ascent in Zone 2. Which is not true of course. Thanks Chantelle for linking the Scot’s post about modifications to the hrTSS depending on e.g. the backpack load. However, in my humble opinion, this is not entirely correct. Higher backpack load results in exertion which will be reflected in both HR and HRV. The steepness of the climb, which can be derived from the GPS and barometric data and again should be reflected in your HR and HRV data. The problem with the TP is that they do not use HRV directly in any way, which is a step backward. So, I would suggest, use the TP to monitor load but also look at what your Garmin is telling you about sleep quality, the necessary time for recovery, etc. Third-party software, which was commented on in Steve’s post is not that reliable, I agree with that. But just look at the source, in the Garmin or Suunto watch which is backed by over 30 years of science and research in the Firstbeat company and institute.

    Steve on #76459

    Sorry, maybe I missed it. @Chantelle How would we work in the mobility routines you have linked to the videos above? I did a fairly long hike over the weekend, about 13 miles and 6200ft of elevation gain. Snowshoes the whole way with a 20ish lb pack. I noticed that the outside of my hips (maybe glute med?) was tired after about 2/3 of the elevation which forced me to really slow down for the last bit of uphill. I noticed the videos while scrolling thru the forum and thought it might be something which could help me. Thanks, Steve

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