Sunday, June 2, 2013

Measuring Stress Levels

What a great week of training (work wasn't too bad either)! The holiday weekend travels messed with my schedule a bit as I ran long on Sunday last week. So, that put Monday as a rest day. Tuesday was strength and core plus a one hour bike ride. My wife and I did a "Burpee Hell" routine. We planned five rounds but only made it through three. It was tough - 1 minute of burpees, 30 seconds rest, 1 minute of core, 30 seconds rest. We'll try again next week. Tempo run on Wednesday and an easy ride on Friday.

Saturday is my usual long run day. I headed into Louisville to meet Andre around 620am. Big black clouds greeted me on the western horizon. Hmm. Didn't check the radar. Oops. That's a lot of rain coming our way. We decided to bail on it. Heh. Barely a light rain came of it. So, I did some chores around the house which led to the need for a trip to the hardware store. After realizing it wasn't going to rain, I hopped on the roadie and headed into Taylorsville for a 20 mile round trip (Yes, you can park without locking!). Decided to hit a 5K run after I got home for the first brick of the year. Can't believe it is already June and I hadn't bricked yet!

So, it's Sunday and that's my rest day. I definitely need the rest day. I've been tracking my stress levels via a heart rate variability app as well as my resting heart rate. I generally try to measure before bed and again when I wake. I've been hovering around 1-2% stress and a resting heart rate of 52 BPM. However, I was at 22% stress and RHR of 65 BPM before I went to sleep last night. I measured again this morning - 14% and 58 BPM. RHR is a bit higher than I like to see but the stress level is certainly in the balanced range. I didn't check the RHR while still in bed. So, it would have probably been a bit lower.

Tracking these keeps me in tune with how my body is really doing. If the data says I'm tired, it's a lot easier for me to check my ego instead of pushing through and over stressing my body. I honestly wanted to run a bit this morning as it's cool and cloudy. However, I know my HRV is usually less than 3%. So, a rest day is needed and I'll enjoy it. Time for a bit of yoga and a little project work in the basement.

If you're interested in the apps that I'm using, they are both by Azumio. The heart rate app is called "Instant Heart Rate" and can be found here: The heart rate variability app is called "Stress Check" and can be found here: