Resting Heart Rate, Recovery, and Subsequent Performance on that Day

3 weeks ago I purchased a Finger Pulse Oximeter OLED Display to use in the mornings to record my resting heart rate. I have found that using this little device is a lot easier than lifting up my shirt and putting my normal HR strap on and then taking a look at my watch. I just slip this on my fingertip and turn it on, and then try to relax as much as I can and take the lowest reading that maintains some steady state. Minimal movement is key here, because once you start moving around, your base HR increases. So I want the lowest HR reading possible, which I can achieve my slipping this pulse oximeter on my finger and taking a reading.
A while back, I had learned about taking resting heart rate readings in the morning and using that as a measure of how recovered I was. I’ve been doing this for about 3 weeks now and the results have been enlightening.
My usual, fully recovered resting HR is about 58. If I can get a reading that low, then usually that day I can have a pretty decent workout. On the days after my long runs, I can usually only get a reading of 62. I also know, by the soreness in my legs, that I am not fully recovered. So a mere increase of about 4 beats per minute is enough to signal that I am not fully recovered.
These last few days have been really interesting. Yesterday, I measured my resting HR and found it was 66! No matter what I did, trying to relax all tension in my body, breath slower, etc., I could not get it lower than that. Then I went out to run an 18 miler, but pooped out only after 12 miles: my effort to maintain pace was increasing, my mind’s focus was dwindling, my thighs were also getting more tighter than usual. So I finally stopped on my 2nd 6 mile loop and called it day.
In analyzing what could have caused this, I looked back to the day before. I had an ART session, which I have seen in the past can hamper a workout because ART does cause actual trauma to the muscles and vigorous ART sessions can have a detrimental effect on performance in the short term, even as it helps healing and recovery in the long term. I also had an extra large glass of red wine, and these days I’m not drinking much so alcohol has been hard to purge from my system, even at amounts as low as one glass. Perhaps the biggest issue was that my son had trouble sleeping, and I’m pretty sure I woke 4-5 times in the night due to his crying. Interrupted sleep does not have a good effect on recovery!
This morning, my resting HR was 68 – even higher than yesterday! Looking back at the night before, I had a large glass of beer at dinner, I was wiped out from running 12 of the 18 miles I wanted to run, and then last night my son would not sleep from 130a to 400a and of course my sleep was disturbed multiple times. I was going to go for a swim, but just decided to take the day off.
Very interesting results tracking my morning resting heart rate. Now that I’ve started, I’m not going to stop as I’ve seen the useful data it provides.

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