Since this is the first in the ‘Simon’s HRV blog’ series, I’d like to give an introduction. I’ve been thinking about doing an HRV blog for some time, partly because I spent over a year researching the topic whilst designing the ithlete app, and partly because I needed an outlet for some of the interesting snippets I come across every day when interacting with athletes and sports / medical researchers.

I want to start with a subject that has concerned me for a while, in fact since I came across a couple of comments on running & cycling forums where some doubt was expressed that an inexpensive app combined with a regular chest strap could possibly provide accuracy comparable to dedicated HRV measurement equipment and high end sports watches costing several times the price.

We recently underwent ‘trial by fire’ in this respect by accepting an invitation to present at the 5th International HRV Symposium in Halle, Germany (www.hrv-sport.de)
An HRV Symposium sounds like a niche – right? In fact there were over 150 participants at the event, including some very learned Professors, as well as coaches, sport science practitioners and students. We were both presenting and exhibiting, and I must admit I was a little nervous of presenting to such a potentially critical audience, but I did not need to worry, because the talk went down very well, and we had one of the highest numbers of visitors to our stand. Not bad for a company only 1 year old!

What was particularly interesting for us was to see just how much practical work is going on to validate HRV as a mainstream training tool, and how well the results are converging. The Symposium abstract book is available here for anyone that would like to read our paper and the other 33 that were presented. Some, including ours are in English, though many are in German, Google translate does a pretty good job to make them readable.

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