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Original articles  CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2003 December;43(4):506-12

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Night heart rate variability during overtraining in male endurance athletes

Bosquet L. 1, Papelier Y. 2, Léger L. 3, Legros P. 4

1 Faculty of Sports Sciences and Physical Education, University of Lille 2, Ronchin, France 2 Faculty of Medicine Kremlin-Bicêtre, EFR-Antoine Béclère Hospital, Clamart, France 3 Department of Kinesiology, University of Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada 4 Faculty of Sports Sciences, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France


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Aim. The pur­pose of the ­study was to exam­ine wheth­er an unac­cus­tomed ­increase in train­ing vol­ume ­would ­result in char­ac­ter­is­tics chang­es in ­heart ­rate var­i­abil­ity (HRV), in ­order to deter­mine if ­this mark­er can be ­used to diag­nose over­train­ing.
Methods. Nine expe­ri­enced endu­rance ath­letes ­increased ­their usu­al ­amount of train­ing by 100% with­in 4 ­weeks. Night ECG was record­ed ­before (base­line) and ­after (­OVER) ­this peri­od of over­load, and ­after 2 ­weeks of recov­ery (REC).
Results. We diag­nosed over­train­ing in 6 sub­jects ­using ­both phys­io­log­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal cri­te­ria. No dif­fer­ence was not­ed in ­heart ­rate for ­night peri­ods (56±12, 55±10 and 53±15 bpm, respec­tive­ly; p>0.05). We ­found no sig­nif­i­cant chang­es of LF/HF (1.10±0.92, 0.96±0.57 and 0.59±0.43, respec­tive­ly; p>0.05) or HF ­expressed in nor­mal­ized ­units (54.81±20.12, 53.81±11.35 and 66.15±15.12%, respec­tive­ly; p>0.05).
Conclusion. In the con­di­tions of the ­present ­study, HRV dur­ing ­sleep ­does not ­seem to be a val­id mark­er of over­train­ing in ­male endu­rance ath­letes. Before con­clud­ing to the use­less­ness of ­this ­tool in the mon­i­tor­ing of the syn­drome, lon­gi­tu­di­nal stud­ies ­with ­elite or sub-­elite ath­letes are need­ed to deter­mine if spon­ta­ne­ous­ly devel­oped over­train­ing ­results in the ­same ­response

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