I was talking to a few coaches over the last week and we all concluded that HRV (heart rate variability) is the new lactate. Promising but limited. Just like cybex testing before lactate, HR monitors in the 90s, VO2 Max in the 80s, blood pressure cuffs in the golden years, the numbers are nice but what does it really mean? If you are generation X or Y we will talk about sympathetic and parasympathetic balance but that’s the stride length and stride frequency equivalent debate rehashed. How is all of this changing training? Coach Skinner (the first man under 50 in the 100m freestyle) said he was slave to his lactate tester, and I think we could repeat the same syndrome if we don’t pay attention to the past. For example I never found HRV scores that shocking….what did people expect after intense workouts or recovery days? The chart to the right is HRV real time from one of two products I use (no omegawave here). Is it necessary? No. It’s not what you measure it’s what you modify.