Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Sport Sci. 2018 Aug;18(7):965-974. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2018.1458907. Epub 2018 Apr 10.

Investigating the use of pre-training measures of autonomic regulation for assessing functional overreaching in endurance athletes.

Author information

a The Human Performance and Health Research Laboratory, Human Health and Nutritional Sciences , University of Guelph , Guelph , ON , Canada.


The use of heart rate variability (HRV) to inform daily training prescription is becoming common in endurance sport. Few studies, however, have investigated the use of pre-training HRV to predict decreased performance or altered exercising autonomic response, typical of functional overreaching (FOR). Further, a new cardiac vagal tone (ProCVT) technology purports to eliminate some of the noise associated with daily HRV, and therefore may be better at predicting same-day performance. The purpose of this investigation was to examine if changes to resting HRV and ProCVT were associated with alterations in performance, maximal heart rate (HRmax), or heart rate recovery (HRrec) in FOR athletes. Twenty-eight recreational cyclists and triathletes were assigned to experimental/control conditions and underwent: 1 week of reduced training, 3 weeks of overload (OL) or regular training (CON), and 1 week of recovery. Testing occurred following the reduced training week (T1), post-3 weeks of training (T2), and following the recovery week (T3). Measures of resting HRV/ProCVT were collected each testing session, followed by maximal incremental exercise tests with HRrec taken 60 s post-exercise. Performance decreased from T1 to T2 in the OL group vs. CON (Δ-9 ± 12 vs. Δ9 ± 11 W, P < .001), as did HRmax (Δ-8 ± 4 vs. Δ-2 ± 4 bpm, P < .001). HRrec increased from T1 to T2 in the OL group vs. CON (Δ10 ± 9 vs. Δ2 ± 5 beats/min, P < .01). HRV and ProCVT did not change in either group. Same-day resting autonomic measures are insufficient in predicting alterations to performance or exercising HR measures following overload training.


Overtraining; cardiac vagal tone; endurance athletes; heart rate recovery; heart rate variability

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center