In doing this, it's interesting to watch my fitness follow my RHR. After a very solid year of Olympic racing (mostly top-5 OA finishes for moderate sized races) my RHR hovered around 54 (I'm 150lbs, 5'10"). I should mention that at this time I would either take my own pulse or just spot check the HRM.
Anyway, I'm doing a LOT more base training this winter ... 15 to 18 hours, and I've watched my HRM drop into the high 40s. The interesting thing is that when it was dipping REALLY low, to like 44 or so, it would dip down, and then jump back to 52 or so. And I was perfectly still during this. It was like my heart was saying "PUSH ... there you go, take all that blood I'm going to take a quick nap." After a few seconds my body responds, "Uh, no, that wasn't quite enough, wake up!" So the heart pushes a few more, then slows down.
Unfortunately, I had to a lot of time off over the last 12 days, the RHR is a rock-solid 52 now, not much slow-down/catch-up.
What I am really curious to see is whether, during base training, the RHR minimum value bottoms out, and the RHR average value bottoms out at the same point. Mark Allen talks about doing base work (only) for a period of time and then doing intensity work only after you stop seeing improvements at a certain exertion level (180-age). My thinking was that this RHR min/avg would be another indicator.
Anyone ever keep an eye on this stuff?