Acta Gymnica, 2017 (vol. 47), issue 4

Acta Gymnica 2017, 47(4):161-170

Heart rate variability recovery after a skyrunning marathon and correlates of performance

Michaela Mertová1, Michal Botek1, Jakub Krejčí1, Andrew J. McKune2,3
1 Faculty of Physical Culture, Palacký University Olomouc, Olomouc, Czech Republic;
2 Research Institute for Sport and Exercise, University of Canberra, ACT, Australia;
3 School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Background: It is well known that vigorous physical activity induces functional changes in cardiac autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity that is sustained several hours after exercise. However, data related to ANS recovery after more extreme endurance events, such as skyrunning marathons, are still lacking.

Objective: The aims of this prospective cohort study were firstly, to determine the ANS response to a SkyMarathon, and secondly, to examine correlates of run performance.

Methods: Ten male skyrunners aged 37.2 ± 9.2 years were recruited. The race was performed at a mean intensity 85.4 ± 3.7% of heart rate reserve, and lasted for 338 ± 38 min. Morning supine heart rate variability was measured at 10, 2 and 1 days before race, on the race day, at 5 min intervals for 30 min immediately post-race and then at 5 h and 30 h post. High-frequency power (HF, 0.15-0.50 Hz), low-frequency power (LF, 0.05-0.15 Hz), and square root of the mean of the squares of the successive differences (RMSSD) were calculated and transformed by natural logarithm (Ln).

Results: Sympathovagal balance (Ln LF/HF) was most likely increased above baseline during the 30 min post-race and returned to baseline by 5 h. Vagal activity (Ln RMSSD and Ln HF) was most likely decreased below baseline during the 30 min post-race and 5 h of post-race, and recovered to baseline by 30 h. Race time correlated with resting heart rate (r = .81), body mass index (r = .73), maximal power output (r = -.70), and maximal oxygen uptake (r = -.61).

Conclusions: The SkyMarathon elicited disturbances in ANS activity, with relative sympathetic activity increased up to 5 h post-race and vagal activity recovering by 30 h. Resting heart rate, body mass index, maximal power output, and maximal oxygen uptake were associated with SkyMarathon performance prediction.

Keywords: vagal activity, vigorous exercise, fatigue, endurance, cardiac stress, environmental conditions

Received: August 8, 2017; Accepted: November 30, 2017; Prepublished online: December 18, 2017; Published: December 31, 2017Show citation

ACS AIP APA ASA Harvard Chicago IEEE ISO690 MLA NLM Turabian Vancouver
Mertová, M., Botek, M., Krejčí, J., & McKune, A.J. (2017). Heart rate variability recovery after a skyrunning marathon and correlates of performance. Acta Gymnica47(4), 161-170.
Download citation

References

  1. Akselrod, S., Gordon, D., Ubel, F. A., Shannon, D. C., Berger, A. C., & Cohen, R. J. (1981). Power spectrum analysis of heart rate fluctuation: A quantitative probe of beat-to-beat cardiovascular control. Science, 213, 220-222. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  2. American College of Sports Medicine. (1986). Guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lea & Febiger.
  3. Arai, Y., Saul, J. P., Albrecht, P., Hartley, L. H., Lilly, L. S., Cohen, R. J., & Colucci, W. S. (1989). Modulation of cardiac autonomic activity during and immediately after exercise. American Journal of Physiology, 256, H132-H141. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  4. Åstrand, P. O., Rodahl, K., Dahl, H. A., & Strømme, S. B. (2003). Textbook of work physiology: Physiological bases of exercise. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  5. Baron, B., Deruelle, F., Moullan, F., Dalleau, G., Verkindt, C., & Noakes, T. D. (2009). The eccentric muscle loading influences the pacing strategies during repeated downhill sprint intervals. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 105, 749-757. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  6. Batterham, A. M., & Hopkins, W. G. (2006). Making meaningful inferences about magnitudes. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 1, 50-57. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  7. Bernardi, L., Passino, C., Robergs, R., & Appenzeller, O. (1997). Acute and persistent effects of a 46-kilometer wilderness trail run at altitude: Cardiovascular autonomic modulation and baroreflexes. Cardiovascular Research, 34, 273-280. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  8. Botek, M., McKune, A. J., Krejci, J., Stejskal, P., & Gaba, A. (2014). Change in performance in response to training load adjustment based on autonomic activity. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 35, 482-488. Go to PubMed...
  9. Botek, M., Stejskal, P., Krejci, J., Jakubec, A., & Gaba, A. (2010). Vagal threshold determination. Effect of age and gender. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 31, 768-772. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  10. Botek, M., Stejskal, P., & Neuls, F. (2008). Monitoring of the autonomic nervous system activity during post-marathon recovery by spectral analysis of heart rate variability: A case study. Medicina Sportiva, 12, 31-35. Go to original source...
  11. Botek, M., Stejskal, P., Šafář, M., & Smékal, D. (2011). Autonomic nervous system activity assessment in recreational half marathon runners. Acta Universitatis Palackianae Olomucensis. Gymnica, 41, 7-14. Go to original source...
  12. Buchheit, M. (2014). Monitoring training status with HR measures: Do all roads lead to Rome? Frontiers in Physiology, 5, 73. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  13. Buchheit, M., Chivot, A., Parouty, J., Mercier, D., Al Haddad, H., Laursen, P. B., & Ahmaidi, S. (2010). Monitoring endurance running performance using cardiac parasympathetic function. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 108, 1153-1567. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  14. Buchheit, M., Papelier, Y., Laursen, P. B., & Ahmaidi, S. (2007). Noninvasive assessment of cardiac parasympathetic function: Postexercise heart rate recovery or heart rate variability? American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 293, H8-H10. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  15. Cornolo, J., Brugniaux, J. V., Macarlupu, J. L., Privat, C., León-Velarde, F., & Richalet, J. P. (2005). Autonomic adaptations in Andean trained participants to a 4220-m altitude marathon. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 37, 2148-2153. Go to original source...
  16. Dalla Vecchia, L., Traversi, E., Porta, A., Lucini, D., & Pagani, M. (2014). On site assessment of cardiac function and neural regulation in amateur half marathon runners. Open Heart, 1, e000005. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  17. Daniłowicz-Szymanowicz, L., Raczak, G., Pinna, G. D., Maestri, R., Ratkowski, W., Figura-Chmielewska, M., … Ambrach-Dorniak, K. (2005). The effects of an extreme endurance exercise event on autonomic nervous system activity. Polski Merkuriusz Lekarski, 19, 28-31. Go to PubMed...
  18. Ernst, G. (2014). Heart rate variability. London, United Kingdom: Springer-Verlag. Go to original source...
  19. Flatt, A. A., Esco, M. R., & Nakamura, F. Y. (2017). Individual heart rate variability responses to preseason training in high level female soccer players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 31, 531-538. Go to PubMed...
  20. Fridén, J., & Lieber, R. L. (2001). Eccentric exercise-induced injuries to contractile and cytoskeletal muscle fibre components. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, 171, 321-326. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  21. Goldberger, J. J., Challapalli, S., Tung, R., Parker, M. A., & Kadish, A. H. (2001). Relationship of heart rate variability to parasympathetic effect. Circulation, 103, 1977-1983. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  22. Hautala, A. J., Mäkikallio, T. H., Kiviniemi, A., Laukkanen, R. T., Nissilä, S., Huikuri, H. V., & Tulppo, M. P. (2003). Cardiovascular autonomic function correlates with the response to aerobic training in healthy sedentary subjects. American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 285, H1747-H1752. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  23. Hautala, A., Tulppo, M. P., Mäkikallio, T. H., Laukkanen, R., Nissilä, S., & Huikuri, H. V. (2001). Changes in cardiac autonomic regulation after prolonged maximal exercise. Clinical Physiology, 21, 238-245. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  24. Hopkins, W. G. (2007). A spreadsheet for deriving a confidence interval, mechanistic inference and clinical inference from a p value. Sportscience, 11, 16-20.
  25. Hopkins, W. G., Marshall, S. W., Batterham, A. M., & Hanin, J. (2009). Progressive statistics for studies in sports medicine and exercise science. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 41, 3-13. Go to original source...
  26. Iellamo, F., Legramante, J. M., Pigozzi, F., Spataro, A., Norbiato, G., Lucini, D., & Pagani, M. (2002). Conversion from vagal to sympathetic predominance with strenuous training in high-performance world class athletes. Circulation, 105, 2719-2724. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  27. International Skyrunning Federation. (2017). Skyrunning rules. La Massana, Andorra: International Skyrunning Federation.
  28. Kaikkonen, P., Hynynen, E., Mann, T., Rusko, H., & Nummela, A. (2010). Can HRV be used to evaluate training load in constant load exercises? European Journal of Applied Physiology, 108, 435-442. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  29. Kiviniemi, A. M., Hautala, A. J., Kinnunen, H., & Tulppo, M. P. (2007). Endurance training guided individually by daily heart rate variability measurements. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 101, 743-751. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  30. Millet, G. P., Libicz, S., Borrani, F., Fattori, P., Bignet, F., & Candau, R. (2003). Effects of increased intensity of intermittent training in runners with differing VO2 kinetics. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 90, 50-57. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  31. Mourot, L., Fabre, N., Andersson, E., Willis, S., Buchheit, M., & Holmberg, H. C. (2015). Cross-country skiing and postexercise heart-rate recovery. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 10, 11-16. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  32. Nakamura, F. Y., Flatt, A. A., Pereira, L. A., Ramirez-Campillo, R., Loturco, I., & Esco, M. R. (2015). Ultra-short-term heart rate variability is sensitive to training effects in team sports players. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 14, 602-605. Go to PubMed...
  33. Noakes, T. D. (2000). Physiological models to understand exercise fatigue and the adaptations that predict or enhance athletic performance. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 10, 123-145. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  34. Penttilä, J., Helminen, A., Jartti, T., Kuusela, T., Huikuri, H. V., Tulppo, M. P., … Scheinin, H. (2001). Time domain, geometrical and frequency domain analysis of cardiac vagal outflow: Effects of various respiratory patterns. Clinical Physiology, 21, 365-376. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  35. Perini, R., Orizio, C., Baselli, G., Cerutti, S., & Veicsteinas, A. (1990). The influence of exercise intensity on the power spectrum of heart rate variability. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, 61, 143-148. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  36. Plews, D. J., Laursen, P. B., Stanley, J., Kilding, A. E., & Buchheit, M. (2013). Training adaptation and heart rate variability in elite endurance athletes: Opening the door to effective monitoring. Sports Medicine, 43, 773-781. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  37. Pomeranz, B., Macaulay, R. J., Caudill, M. A., Kutz, I., Adam, D., Gordon, D., …. Benson, H. (1985). Assessment of autonomic function in humans by heart rate spectral analysis. American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 248, H151-H153. Go to original source...
  38. Roi, G. S., Monticone, M., Salvoni, M., Sassi, R., & Alberti, G. (2015). Self-reported knee symptoms assessed by KOOS questionnaire in downhill runners (skyrunners). PLoS ONE, 10, e0126382. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  39. Seiler, S., Haugen, O., & Kuffel, E. (2007). Autonomic recovery after exercise in trained athletes: Intensity and duration effects. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 39, 1366-1373. Go to original source...
  40. Shephard, R. J., & Åstrand, P. O. (1992). Endurance in sport. Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell Science.
  41. Stanley, J., Peake, J. M., & Buchheit M. (2013). Cardiac parasympathetic reactivation following exercise: Implications for training prescription. Sports Medicine, 43, 1259-1277. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  42. Stejskal, P., Rechbergová, J., Salinger, J., Šlachta, R., Elfmark, M., Kalina, M., … Rehová, I. (2001). Power spectrum of heart rate variability in exercising humans: The effect of exercise intensity. Sports Medicine, Training and Rehabilitation, 10, 39-57. Go to original source...
  43. Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology. (1996). Heart rate variability: Standards of measurement, physiological interpretation and clinical use. Circulation, 93, 1043-1065. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  44. Vernillo, G., Savoldelli, A., Zignoli, A., Trabucchi, P., Pellegrini, B., Millet, G. P., & Schena, F. (2014). Influence of the world's most challenging mountain ultra-marathon on energy cost and running mechanics. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 114, 929-939. Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  45. Warren, J. H., Jaffe, R. S., Wraa, C. E., & Stebbins, C. L. (1997). Effect of autonomic blockade on power spectrum of heart rate variability during exercise. American Journal of Physiology. Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 273, R495-R502. Go to original source...

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original publication is properly cited. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.