HRV effects from Recoverite

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I am going to put this out for public consideration and comment. I am a fan of Hammer Nutrition, but more importantly I am a fan of staying healthy and the incredible complexity of the physiological responses of this incredible body that God gave us. 

I have been watching my Heart Rate Variance (HRV) closely for the last three months using HRV4TRAINING app, which allows for lab-quality testing using your smart-phone camera. It’s pretty cool and worth $10.

In the past two week or so, I kept running and biking in the heat (95+), and my HRV and rmSSD have not recovered. Two days in a row now I used Recoverite, and my rmSSD has bounced back much higher than normal. Nothing else has changed for those two nights.  I am no scientist, but it seems to me that Recoverite made it happen, and I feel much better and ready to hit the training every day.

In the screenshot below, you see the last two days rmSSD  are a lot higher than previews days and higher than the weekly average. The only thing different is the use of Recoverite. I suppose there is the possibility that my body turned a corner of some sort and is coping much better, but I think is not a significant factor here; my weekly volume and TSS is very similar to past couple of weeks.

Recoverite touts itself for protein and carb mix for muscle recovery, with only one sentence in its description regarding electrolytes, which I am guessing is the key to the RMSSD recovery.

SVT – supraventricular tachycardia

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If you are over 40 and train alot for any sport, you need to know what SVT is. 


Short Version: SVT is when your heart rate is stuck at a really high level. You can bring it back down by coughing, “bearing down” like you are pooping, or cold water on the face. It isn’t necessarily directly life-threatening but it will scare you (and your loved ones) a bit.

Long Version:

So there I was at the local pool, starting a fourth set of 200’s back at the end of April 2017. As I pushed off, my heart went absolutely NUTS…like 200b beats per minute nuts..for the first time ever in my life. And immediately, it felt like every bit of strength left my body. I simply couldn’t pull the water. I went back to the wall and decided to skip that 200 and do the next one on the same timing, so basically a three minute break. My heart rate came down a bit to probably 180-184, which is what I have until that point thought was my max heart rate. At the three minute mark, I pushed off and did another 200 at a very moderate effort. Then I quit for the day, not knowing exactly what happened.

Back at work, my heart rate was still stuck at 180 an hour later. I was a bit light-headed and really concerned that my heart hadn’t cut back to at least in the 80’s. A nurse friend looked at me and decided that yes I probably need to see a doctor. So I decided to go to urgent care.

We got in the car and headed out, and I called my wife, who we decided would take me in. On there way to urgent care, we talked to the nurse there who told us to go directly to emergency room.

Three hours now at heart rate of 180!

Thirty minutes later I am getting the medicine that brings my heart back to normal. Whoo! I was getting tired at that point. 

Swim Workouts

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I started posting my favorite swim workouts on Pinterest. Check it out at http://pin.it/sE3xIri

Some various sources include

– Kraken Masters 

– Triathlete.com

– Combinations I put together

Garmin 935 Review

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Here is a quick review of the Garmin 935 Triathlon watch.  I just want to point out a few things I like about the watch after I upgraded from the 920 in early May. For more in-depth review of what it can and can’t do, check out DC Rainmaker’s review.   For some step-by-step how-to videos, check out Alf Loenne’s youtube list. 

Weight and Size: This watch feels significantly lighter on my wrist. The screen seems a bit smaller but it is actually easier to read all the data, even with sweat in my eyes.

Apps and Widgets: The ConnectIQ apps and widgets are much easier to use. I never quite figured out how to upload all the cool apps on the 920. With the 935, it is pretty easy….just click on the app in the IQ store and it starts updating on the watch the next time I sync. Very Easy = Very Nice = Something that is actually useful and not a gimmick. I like the sunrise/sunset widget, the built-in weather and altimeter/compass widget, the basic stopwatch, and emergency info app (easy to use but any EMT’s would have to know to look for it).  

Strava Live Segments: I knew this was available before I bought the watch, and it was intriguing to see how it would actually work. It is AWESOME! Especially on the days when you want to go for a new PR.  As you approach the segment (which you have to have starred in Strava and then synced to your watch), the watch gives you a heads-up you are coming to a segment and then it says “Go!” when you hit the start and alarms you at the end.  On most days when I’m not actually going for a new PR on a segment, I like knowing that I am coming up to the segment and where it actually starts on the ground (as opposed to where I put it on the map), but then during the segment itself I move the watch to my normal screen so I don’t stress trying to beat the PR and how close I am…that’s not the purpose of most of segment runs. If you haven’t been able to get the live segments to work yet, check out Alf Loenne’s youtube tutorial.

Syncing: I only use the bluetooth sync with my phone, and with the 920 the syncing was sometimes difficult or slow to happen. With the 935, the watch normally initiates fairly quickly (I always have bluetooth enabled on my phone). If it doesn’t sync quickly, the connect app now has a manual sync button that has not failed to immediately sync.  For the data geeks, this is really nice to get your data quickly with no frustrations.

Screen durability:  I am still surprised at how incredibly durable the screen on the 920 was. I whacked that screen pretty hard at least once a week during the course of life (hitting doorknobs, side of the pool, various things you don’t really think about til it happens), and that screen NEVER scratched after three years. I don’t have the same feel about the 935 screen. I have one small scratch on it already (thankfully on the far edge) and it’s only been three months. I am seriously thinking about getting a screen protector.

Wrist-based optical heart rate monitor: I really like the OHR monitor! The impetus for getting this watch was to see my heart rate throughout the day and a graph of the day’s heart rate to see if my heart rate was spiking at any time. I think for this purpose, the OHR is doing a good job. For heart rate monitoring during exercise, I have some questions about it. My heart rate zones seem to have changed by about 6-8 bpm higher.. For example, top of Zone 3 used to be 142 bpm, it’s now 148.  Before getting this watch, I could not hold a running heart rate of 160+bpm for any significant time, and now I can run at 162-164bpm for up to 5-10 minutes.  I am now going to start checking the OHR against a chest-strap using a chest-strap monitor app to see if they are indeed different. Honestly, the difference could be real because it could be that my first SVT event flushed-out my system somehow and now I can (have to?) operate at higher heart-rates. Another possible cause is that I wear it somewhat loose (but it doesn’t move around freely), so I don’t know if it’s tight enough against my wrist for optimal reading. I’ll experiment more with the chest-strap app.

Heart Rate Variance: I haven’t strapped on the chest strap for an HRV test yet. Frankly, I don’t care to put on a sweaty strap first thing in the morning. I prefer the HRV4training app, (yes, it’s worth $10!). 

Performance Metrics: the watch comes with performance metrics such as training load and tells me if I am in an optimal training zone, recovery, over-reaching, and a few other training terms. I can’t trust this because the watch doesn’t include swimming as part of the training load! Seriously, I think Garmin is missing alot of opportunity here. Strava figured out how to get swimming to count in the sufferscores, so Garmin is behind the curve on this. But for the biking and running load determination and analysis, I have to say it feels pretty accurate.  Also, I use sporttracks, and that agrees with Garmin to the extent that swimming is not included. Although I can’t trust the overall training analysis without swimming being included, it is interesting and semi-useful to see the aerobic and anaerobic affects of an activity.









8. Alarms: The 920 had only one alarm available. On the 935, you setup multiple alarms for various situations, just like on your phone. And you can set noise or buzz, which is really nice for everyone else in the room when it goes off at 4:55am. 

9. Notifications: Same as the 920, you can get notifications on the watch during your activities. This is awesome so that you know who is contacting you before you stop your activity to look at the message. On the 935, it is a bit easier to read the entire text message if it takes up more than one screen.

10. Activities: There are many more pre-loaded activities on the 935.  I even used Stand-Up-Paddleboarding already, and Strava recognized it as SUP. Very nice.

11. Workouts: I haven’t done any activities using the workouts setup yet, but I don’t really see the use in it. I setup a swim workout and did the workout swim session with the 920 about a year ago, and I found that it was too difficult to track that along with the sets. I prefer a piece of paper on the deck telling me what to do and then pushing the appropriate buttons, including the drill log.

12. Viewing data on the screen:  I was originally concerned about the 935 circular screen being harder to read than the nice big rectangle of the 920. During swims, I find it easier to see the set total on the 935. During runs, seeing my pace or heart rate is about equivalent to the 920. 

A favorite swim workout – 500 countdown + 10×100

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This is one of my favorite swim workouts. It’s a nice mix of endurance training and intervals. You could mix it up a bit more by adding 200’s or 50’s on the second set.


More Heart Rate thoughts: bike vs run

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After looking at my heart rate spiking during runs, which is still happening, I thought to compare a bike workout versus a run. 

The run from last night has a spike in the first five minutes.

The bike  from this morning gradually goes up in the first five minutes as I warmup. 

Conclusion: heart rate spikes on run is clearly a lack of warmup. 

Causes of heart rate spike early in a run

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I haven’t been running consistently this past year, and now I am building back into some semblance of a consistent pattern.  As I do this, I am noticing a strange and kind of crazy spike in my heart-rate in the first few minutes of my run. I first noticed it back in November or December that month’s attempt to run consistently, and I saw it again.

Basically, in the first five minutes of a run, my heart rate spikes to nearly my max heart rate. It gets into the upper 170’s when my max heart rate is probably about 182-186. The thing is, I don’t even really feel it racing that hard, especially considering that most of the time it is happening on a nice downhill slope.

Here’s what I’m talking about, in this case today it hit 186:


So what could it be?

I’m calling it a lack of warmup for a body that isn’t used to it, event though it is new to me. I’ve been running an average of 20 miles per week for 8-10 years prior to this past year when I lost that average because of work schedules.  With significantly less base fitness, I think it is plausible that my body simply can’t start without a good warmup.

Below is arguments and evidence I used.

My first thought is that it is a heart rate monitor problem, with electric static or bad lead connections, similar to this from runnersworld.com:

I suggest it is due to static electricity.  It is quite common.  As soon as you start sweating then it stops.  To help avoid those spikes I spray the insides of my synthetic running shirts with Static Guard.  You’ll notice this problem is worse in the winter than in the summer because of the lower dew point resulting in drier air.


if the static guard doesn’t correct the problem, i might suggest that it is that monitor is having a hard time registering your pulse becuase you may have slightly low blood pressure.


Note that when I start running after a few minute walking warmup, my cadence is about 160, so I can’t rule out that explanation.  These are from both indoor and outdoor runs, but always running shirts, always wet leads, all from a Garmin HRM.

Screenshot from 2015-03-10 00:24:42


I’d be more concerned if your heartbeat wasn’t faster at the beginning of your run then after you had warmed up.   It’s perfectly normal.   Think about it, you are going from no exercise to stressing your body.


. In the meantime a had a physical with a full blood test.. Come to find out I’m iron deficient.. The doctor prescribed me a Iron supplement and a week later I’m seeing major improvemnets. I’ve had issues with this in the past but it’s also affected in daily life (Energy ETC.) So that’s why it never occurred to me this could be the problem.


And then this from RunningSystems.com

A lot of people who run with heart rate monitors often see their heart rate spike at the beginning of a run, only to subside after a mile or two. This kind of spike only happens if you didn’t warm up long enough.

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