Blog post by Marco Altini
This post is about our latest feature in HRV4Training Pro: Training Planning. Training Planning is currently being beta tested, and will be available for everyone on HRV4Training Pro around May 2019.
Training Planning is a Beta feature for advanced users and coaches. With Planning by HRV4Training, you can create a structure for your next main event either for running or cycling.
You will be able to choose between different types of periodization, high intensity sessions per week, long workouts, and more. Note that Planning will not create a detailed schedule for you (similarly to pre-compiled plans in training books), but only a structure based on the input you provide. Individual workouts will have to be specified by you or your coach.
When it comes to planning, flexibility is key. Training Planning (Beta) by HRV4Training will seamlessly integrate with your HRV4Training data, providing tips on how to make small changes on a day to day basis (e.g. push a hard session when not physiologically ready). You will also be able to swap weeks and change individual workouts whenever needed.
Creating your plan structure: how does it work?
The first thing to do is to pick a main event in the next year:
Then, you can choose between Linear and Non-linear periodization. You can also choose how many load weeks to alternate to easy recovery weeks necessary for training adaptations to take place, and how many high intensity workouts to perform weekly.
Linear vs non-linear periodization
In HRV4Training Pro, Non-linear periodization consists of mainly two phases, Generic and Specific. In this case speedwork is already introduced during the Generic phase, but without a race-specific focus. In this way aerobic endurance and basic (top end) speed are developed together. As you progress towards your main event, workouts should become more race Specific, for example including longer intervals or threshold workouts near race pace.
On the other hand, Linear periodization normally consists of the following phases: Aerobic, Strength, Speed and Race. The Aerobic phase aims at improving aerobic endurance focusing mostly on slow distance running. Strength includes faster threshold workouts or hills, while shorter intervals are introduced only later on in the Speed phase, before moving towards race specificity in the Race phase.
Other phases are common to the two periodization methods, before starting the plan (Transition) and right before the main event (Tapering). HRV4Training will create your training plan phases and allocate weeks to one phase or the other depending on the duration of the training plan and type of periodization that you have chosen.
Below are two examples of macrocycles sequence created by HRV4Training when choosing either the linear or non-linear periodizations. Linear:
Looking at one example for the linear periodization, in which speedwork is introduced only later on after aerobic base development, we can see that a Load week automatically generated during the Aerobic macrocycle could look like this:
While a Load week during the Speed macrocycle, could look like this:
HRV4Training generates a similar structure for you, based on the selected parameters, with some indications of what the workouts should look like. At this point, you should specify the individual workouts (for example what specific intervals session to do). You can also modify the structure by changing training intensity and workout type, as well as adding notes.
Training history and long workouts
After choosing your preferred periodization, you can schedule expected workouts based on your training history and target event. The weekly volume and number of weekly workouts will be modulated depending on periodization parameters (load and recovery weeks, etc.). You can also configure a preferred day off.
HRV4Training Pro We will pre-compile volume for easy trainings based on the information you provide, but all other workouts will need to be manually entered.
Finally, you can add a preferred day for your weekly long workout, in case you'd like to plan such workout. Additionally, you can choose to add a Long workout each week. Alternatively, a Long workout will be added each 2 or 3 weeks depending on your macrocycle structure above.
You can also add cross-training options to your training plan, for example strength training or yoga, and pick which days you'd like to cross-train.
Training volume example
Below are a few examples of what the platform can pre-compile for you, for example choosing to train 8 hours per week, and 5-6 times per week, HRV4Training Pro creates something as follows:
Using (and adjusting) your training plan
Once you have created your training plan for you or your athletes, you can edit individual workouts as shown above. Here is again an example of what an automatically generated week can look like for a non-linear periodization, during the Generic phase, which targets aerobic and speed development:
The top panel shows a few controls, for example you can hide past days from the list of planned trainings and you can show your workouts data as read from Strava or Training Peaks (these settings of course makes sense only if you are into your plan, so not the first day). Finally, you can enable or disable the daily volume information.
Workouts will be listed below the planned workout for each day, as shown here:
Add planned workout
By tapping the + button, you will be able to add an additional workout for that day:
Swap planned workouts
You can also swap two days by using the 'swap with tomorrow' button (double arrow):
Actions: pushing today's workout
As we have learnt from recent research on HRV-guided training, pushing a workout when our body is not physiologically speaking in normal conditions (e.g. the HRV baseline is below our normal values), can be an effective way to improve performance in the medium and long term.
HRV4Training Pro each day will look at your HRV score with respect to your historical data, similarly to what is reported in the app, and determine if the current condition matches the planned workout.
If the workout matches your physiological and subjective score, normally Pro will recommend to proceed as planned. Otherwise, Pro will recommend to push the current high intensity workout to another day, when we might be in a better state, and therefore potentially capable of better assimilating the hard stimulus.
The final call is always up to you, as you can see from the control panel below, where you can decide if you'd like to push the workout to another day or not. You can also simply edit it, if there is no time another day for a hard session.
And below is an example in which the planned workout does not match our current physiological and subjective state, for example in case we have a moderate workout planned:
Or a hard workout planned:
Let's look at the planned workouts:
And let's tap swap with tomorrow, considering an easy workout is planned then. We are obviously still in a bad physiological and subjective state, but we have an easy session planned for the day, hence a "proceed as planned" message:
And our swapped workouts:
And here is the same story in a video:
That's all for now, we hope you will enjoy the new training planning feature.
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This blog is curated by
Marco Altini, founder of HRV4Training
The Ultimate Guide to HRV
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3: Case studies and practical examples
1. Intro to HRV
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4. HRV and training load
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