The best way to improve as a runner is to run consistently. If you can keep from getting injured and just train, you almost can’t help but improve. Of course, staying injury free is challenging – especially as you try to increase your running volume. And figuring out the balance between pushing yourself and overtraining is difficult. Oftentimes it’s an injury that gives you that feedback about how you’ve miscalculated your recovery needs. One of the best tools I’ve found to help gauge recovery and consequently prevent injury is called Restwise. (www.Restwise.com). I stumbled upon tool when I was reading about Matt Dixon of Purplepatch Fitness (http://www.purplepatchfitness.com/) and his coaching philosophy and its emphasis on proper recovery. (Check out the Purplepatch website and the education resources they have there. (http://www.purplepatchfitness.com/education/recovery) Dixon uses Restwise with many of his athletes. That, coupled with this testimonial (http://restwise.com/blog/2011/10/19/my-secret-sauce-to-a-sub-9hr-hawaii-ironman-unconventional-wisdom/) convinced me to give it a try.
The Restwise software asks you to enter a series of objective and subjective values daily including:
- Resting Heart Rate
- Body Mass
- Oxygen Saturation
- Muscle soreness
- Energy level
- Mood state
- Previous Day’s Performance
(The value of each marker is described on the site. http://restwise.com/whatwedo/theprocess/)
Then it spits out (well, displays anyway) a Recovery Score. 0-100%.
Here’s their demo video:
It’s very easy to ignore how your body’s absorbing training and plow pigheadedly along with a prescribed plan simply because it’s The Plan and you’re a dedicated runner who wants to excel. Restwise helped me (forced me) to pay attention to factors that were affecting my performance and recovery.
More than anything, I value the tool for this daily dose of forced mindfulness. Coach Brad Husdon wrote in his book Run Faster that the fundamental training mistakes runners make stem from “an underlying failure to gather and apply self-knowledge.” Certainly both gathering and applying self-knowledge can be accomplished without using Restwise. But if you’ve had trouble with either, the Restwise software is a great (and fairly inexpensive) tool to get you headed in that direction. (I’m not sponsored by Restwise or affiliated with them in any way.)
RestWise is a division of ReST, Inc. Photo and video property of ReST, Inc.
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