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00005768-200305001-0154100005768_2003_35_s278_earnest_characteristics_5miscellaneous< 20_0_5_0 >Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise©2003The American College of Sports MedicineVolume 35(5) Supplement 1May 2003p S278HEART RATE VARIABILITY CHARACTERISTICS OF PROFESSIONAL CYCLISTS DURING THE VUELTA A ESPAÑA[F-12N FREE COMMUNICATION/POSTER HEART RATE VARIABILITY]Earnest, C P FACSM1; Chicharro, J L3; Hoyos, J4; Jurca, R1; Church, T S1; Lucia, A21The Cooper Institute, Dallas, TX, USA2Universidad Europea de Madrid, Spain3Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain4Asociación Deprotiva Banesto, SpainPURPOSEWe examined the relationship between quantifiable levels of physical exertion and heart rate variability (HRV) in professional cyclist during a 3-wk stage race.METHODSEight professional male cyclists (M [SEM]; 27 [1]y, 65.5 [2.3] kg, 75.6 [2.2] mL/kg/min) riding in the 2001 Vuelta a España were examined for HRV on the morning of d-0 (baseline), d-10 (1st rest d) and d-17 (2nd rest d). HR was also recorded during each race stage and categorized into three phases according to an intensity/volume schema (IVS) derived from preseason VO2max testing (Phase I=low; Phase II=medium; Phase III=high).RESULTSANOVA/MANOVA analysis showed total IVS for race days 1–10 (2467 [69]) to be greater than days 11–16 (2055 [44]; P <0.05). However, IVS/d was less for days 1–10 (274) vs. 11–16 (342; P <0.05) due to higher intensity riding during days 11–16. HRV indices showed no change in the supine position and modest increases in the standing position on d-10 and d-17. Pearson product correlations showed no significant relationship for any parameter through d-10. However, significant inverse correlations for IVR and most HRV parameters between race days 11–17 were noted in the supine position. These include rMSSD (r = −0.93; P <0.0002), SDNN (r = −0.94; P <0.0001), and log normalized total power (r = −0.97; P <0.0001), low frequency power (r = −0.79; P <0.02), and high frequency power (r = −0.94; P <0.0001). Similar correlations were noted for IVS and Phase III intensity.CONCLUSIONSWe conclude that: (i) HRV is strongly influenced by chronic exposure to heavy exertion, (ii) total training volume and relative degree of high intensity effort are prominent reasons for these alterations and (iii), the use of continued HR monitoring provides a simplistic method for quantifying this relationship.HEART RATE VARIABILITY CHARACTERISTICS OF PROFESSIONAL CYCLISTS DURING THE VUELTA A ESPAÑAEarnest, C P FACSM; Chicharro, J L; Hoyos, J; Jurca, R; Church, T S; Lucia, AF-12N Free Communication/Poster Heart Rate Variability535