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Importance of Rest and Recovery (Read 1537 times)

    This is a repost of one I posted on another forum. I thought it might be relevant to this Running 101 category. My story and the links (posted below) might prove helpful to someone starting out. Please chime in with stories and advice about the importance of recovery in your training, OT, etc.

     

    I'm in a middle of a cutback week in which I have taken 4 days off out of the last 5, because I could feel that I needed it, mentally and physically. For me, it is always a battle between reality and the obsessive idea "If I  rest, I will lose fitness." The reality being that I am 50 years old, need more recovery time, and that I've never been an elite runner who can handle extreme volumes. My life isn't dedicated only to running, and there are other stresses that come into play as well. My first link below (I've included links) is to a .pdf file of a great essay about overtraining by Dr. Phil Maffetone, who had a practice helping broken down athletes back to health and to better performances. I learned a lot from the article that helped me understand what happened to me.

     

    In 2008, I over-trained. I trained for a marathon with my usual volume of 60-70 miles per week, but my aerobic speed was regressing (aerobic speed being the pace I can run at a particular aerobic heart rate at which I train). My marathon race pace at marathon HR seemed to be okay, but not the aerobic speed. I didn't know what to make of it. During this time, my life-stress levels had gone through the roof--the stress was abnormal and overwhelming at the time. You know how life can throw you curve balls. At the marathon,  I attempted to run a pace that  I normally could do, but hit the wall at mile 16! I hadn't hit a wall in a marthon in a loooong time---I had overtrained. For months afterwards, my body didn't feel right---it felt lethargic. My aerobic speed plummeted. 

     

    In retrospect, knowing what I know now, I should have cut back my training volume during the extreme life-stress period until my aerobic speed began progressing again. Abnormal stress that goes on for weeks or months essentially adds to your training load in terms of your hormonal biology. It can reek havoc on your aerobic system, just like too much racing, too much anaerobic work, or too much time training (even just aerobically) can do. Without a healthy aerobic system that is is running at peak efficiency, there is no endurance, and health is at a tipping point.

     

    I learned to use the MAF test  to guide me through this journey/experiment of one (link below). It's just a way to monitor aerobic speed. If the pace is progressing during training---good. If not, an adjustment in training might be necessary, or a trip to the doctor (e.g. iron deficiency shows up as regression in aerobic speed). It can be added to any training regiment.

     

    That's it! I just wanted to share my story and my cache of links about recovery and OT. Hopefully you'll find one of these links useful:

     

     

     The Overtraining Syndrome (.pdf file by Dr. Phil Maffetone)

    Your Best Rest

    Pfitzinger On Recovery Weeks

    14 Tips For Preventing And Treating Muscle Soreness and Aches

    The Maf Test 

    The Importance Of Rest

    Optimal Rest

    Getting Rest

    Rest vs. Active Recovery

    Cooldown for Faster Recovery

    Study: 2 minutes of rest optimal for interval training

    Recovering From The Marathon

    A Fresh Perspective On Recovery Runs

    The Essence Of Athletic Performance is Recovery

    The 15 Basic Laws Of Training

    Overtraining Detective

    Are you overtraining?

    The Perfect Taper (Mark Allen)

     

     

    Enjoy! And have a great weekend! --Jimmy

    Cool

    log   prs      Crusted Salt comic #143

     

      +142!!

       

      Recently I had a chance to talk with these two owners (twin brothers) of nutritional supplement company (no worries, I'm not selling their products!! ;o)).  What impressed me most, besides their very legit formula (I know enough to know what's good and what's not) is their philosophy.  When I was talking to them, they talked about "4 corners".  Interestingly, when I was coaching at Hitachi, we said the same thing.  Rod Dixon talks about a similar thing but a few different twists.  Basically, "TRAINING" or physical side is only ONE of these four corners.  You need training, REST, nutrition and care (massage, etc.).  It's like spreading a sheet over a bed; if you don't pull all four corners, you can't spread it.  Most people only look at training.

       

      This is why I have a hard time understanding when I see people talk about training really hard so close to the actual race (Lydiard used to always say that you need to be FRESH and SHARP in order to race well.  Most people are tired and "stuffed".  You just cannot run a good marathon with dead legs at the start.

       

      Okay, so not that I'm trying to sell our products (Running Wizard formerly known as Master Run Coach) but our training program comes with a special feature called Recovery Indicators.  This is a simple calculation, based on heart rate, morning weight and hours slept, to calculate if you had recovered well enough to carry on the next day's workout.  I know most people won't be too happy about checking morning weight, some may not even like the idea of checking morning HR.  But seriously, information of adequate recovery won't just come to you.  It DOES take some effort on your side to make sure.  We had tried to make it easier for you--as much as we can on our end.  Our previous website's RI looked like hell and I know not too many people even used it.  But our new site has a pretty darn cool one (with thermometer) as an easy-to-understand one glance visual.  The point is; you have to pay some attention to yourself to ensure your current condition and FOLLOW YOUR TRAINING PROGRAM, NOT ACCORDING TO THE WRITTEN SCHEDULE, BUT ADJUST IT ACCORDING TO YOUR OWN CURRENT CONDITION.  There is NO set rule like; "Take 3 days off the week before and then run 4 days..." or anything like that.  It's totally up to YOUR CURRENT CONDITION.  And THIS is when you have to say "Everybody is different."  Some need 2 easy days instead of 1, some may not even take 24 hours to recover.  And remember, good recovery can be enhanced by EASY JOGGING, may not necessarily by complete rest.  Complete rest is a static state.  You need to activate your recovery ability by pumping extra oxygen and easy massaging effect from "jogging".  And, again, this is why I don't like a program like FIRST (unless the user actually emphasize cross training part as well).  And THIS is the power of junk miles.

      northernman


      Fight The Future

        I think we do tend to underestimate the impact of stress. A little stress is good, but too much and too prolonged mental stress can really be a big drain on everything, including athletic ability as well as productivity. I think that cortisol is the culprit, but I also sometimes wonder if it is also related to just holding stress in your muscles during the day - doesn't give them a chance to relax and recuperate.

        Question for you, Knobby. I see why morning heart rate and hours slept would be good indicators of recovery, but why measure body weight? Are you saying that reduced weight signals more stress? (or the opposite?) and why?

          I think we do tend to underestimate the impact of stress. A little stress is good, but too much and too prolonged mental stress can really be a big drain on everything, including athletic ability as well as productivity. I think that cortisol is the culprit, but I also sometimes wonder if it is also related to just holding stress in your muscles during the day - doesn't give them a chance to relax and recuperate.

          Question for you, Knobby. I see why morning heart rate and hours slept would be good indicators of recovery, but why measure body weight? Are you saying that reduced weight signals more stress? (or the opposite?) and why?

          This "Recovery Indicators" was developed by Dick Brown, exercise physiologist/coach at former Nike's Athletics West (he was the coach of Mary Decker when she won 2 gold medals at 1983 World Championships in Helsinki).  As a physiologist, he was interested in what factors can "predict" onset of injury/over-training.  I can't remember the exact number but basically he gave a list of some 30+ "factors" to be checked.  Those actually included blood test and stuff like that which naturally we really can't afford to do frequently.  Like I said, I can't remember the exact number but it was something like, out of those 30+ factors, 12 actually had "predicting" property; 9 of them you can do easily at home; 3 of them really don't take much time at all and can be done first thing in the morning; wouldn't even take 5 minutes to do in the morning.  These are those 3.  So you can even imagine all those former Athletic West elite athletes were doing the same thing!!

           

          At any rate, (sudden) loss of weight COULD mean dehydration.  I know some people have come back to us and said that, after the long run, their weight actually went UP a few pounds.  I talked to Dick Brown about it but we felt that that's probably more of a water retention and shouldn't be an alarming thing in terms of inadequate recovery.  I guess we'll find out more as we gather more data as we move forward...

           

          I know some people are actually running for weight loss.  And I understand that this is the land of "quick-fix" and you hear more and more of "lose 20 pounds in 1 week" type of advertisement.  But, really, if you're losing weight that quickly, there's got to be something wrong going on.  It ain't healthy.  

           

          By the way, I sort of left the last post as more of our promotional piece than anything else; but, really, I guess what I meant to say is that stress is not just "workout".  I remember, when my wife was preparing for her first marathon, she was actually running maybe 3 times a week also (like FIRST) but she was always on her feet and, by the time she got home, her legs were shot.  So I figured; why stress even more?  Your body can't tell the difference between life's stress and "workout".  If it's stressed in excess, it would show in a form of these factors (HR, weight...and hours slept is actually a predictor warning).

            Nobby -- check your email.  Wink

            And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx

             

            Rob


            Fat butt on couch

               Your body can't tell the difference between life's stress and "workout".  If it's stressed in excess, it would show in a form of these factors (HR, weight...and hours slept is actually a predictor warning).

               

              Yup.....it's total stress load.  Work...family...too much caffeine...everything.

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               

                Love the new site Nobby, especially the recovery indicator. I was a little worried at how it was going to deal with a certain time of the month for women however turns out I had nothing to worry about. LOVE the little thermometer!

                Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." - Joe Henderson

                  +142!!

                   

                  Recently I had a chance to talk with these two owners (twin brothers) of nutritional supplement company (no worries, I'm not selling their products!! ;o)).  What impressed me most, besides their very legit formula (I know enough to know what's good and what's not) is their philosophy.  When I was talking to them, they talked about "4 corners".  Interestingly, when I was coaching at Hitachi, we said the same thing.  Rod Dixon talks about a similar thing but a few different twists.  Basically, "TRAINING" or physical side is only ONE of these four corners.  You need training, REST, nutrition and care (massage, etc.).  It's like spreading a sheet over a bed; if you don't pull all four corners, you can't spread it.  Most people only look at training.

                   

                  This is why I have a hard time understanding when I see people talk about training really hard so close to the actual race (Lydiard used to always say that you need to be FRESH and SHARP in order to race well.  Most people are tired and "stuffed".  You just cannot run a good marathon with dead legs at the start.

                   

                  Okay, so not that I'm trying to sell our products (Running Wizard formerly known as Master Run Coach) but our training program comes with a special feature called Recovery Indicators.  This is a simple calculation, based on heart rate, morning weight and hours slept, to calculate if you had recovered well enough to carry on the next day's workout.  I know most people won't be too happy about checking morning weight, some may not even like the idea of checking morning HR.  But seriously, information of adequate recovery won't just come to you.  It DOES take some effort on your side to make sure.  We had tried to make it easier for you--as much as we can on our end.  Our previous website's RI looked like hell and I know not too many people even used it.  But our new site has a pretty darn cool one (with thermometer) as an easy-to-understand one glance visual.  The point is; you have to pay some attention to yourself to ensure your current condition and FOLLOW YOUR TRAINING PROGRAM, NOT ACCORDING TO THE WRITTEN SCHEDULE, BUT ADJUST IT ACCORDING TO YOUR OWN CURRENT CONDITION.  There is NO set rule like; "Take 3 days off the week before and then run 4 days..." or anything like that.  It's totally up to YOUR CURRENT CONDITION.  And THIS is when you have to say "Everybody is different."  Some need 2 easy days instead of 1, some may not even take 24 hours to recover.  And remember, good recovery can be enhanced by EASY JOGGING, may not necessarily by complete rest.  Complete rest is a static state.  You need to activate your recovery ability by pumping extra oxygen and easy massaging effect from "jogging".  And, again, this is why I don't like a program like FIRST (unless the user actually emphasize cross training part as well).  And THIS is the power of junk miles.

                   

                  Great post, Nobby.

                   

                  I like the "4 corners" metaphor. I need to work on the massage corner! Cool 

                   

                  I took a look back at my training logs from 2005 recent;y. When I first broke through for a BQ was when I started to give myself extra rest. For that particular race, I went off schedule and took almost a week off about 4 weeks out. I was feeling spent from a tune-up half marathon a few weeks earlier. I also used sub-MAF running for my recovery days and quite a few medium long runs. I also kept my long runs at least two weeks apart.  Suffice it to say, I got to the starting line really fresh and nailed my goal, with no slowing. 

                   

                  What does your daily morning weight have to do with recovery? (I do weigh myself daily, only because I like roller coaster rides.)

                   

                  --Jimmy

                  log   prs      Crusted Salt comic #143

                   

                    This "Recovery Indicators" was developed by Dick Brown, exercise physiologist/coach at former Nike's Athletics West (he was the coach of Mary Decker when she won 2 gold medals at 1983 World Championships in Helsinki).  As a physiologist, he was interested in what factors can "predict" onset of injury/over-training.  I can't remember the exact number but basically he gave a list of some 30+ "factors" to be checked.  Those actually included blood test and stuff like that which naturally we really can't afford to do frequently.  Like I said, I can't remember the exact number but it was something like, out of those 30+ factors, 12 actually had "predicting" property; 9 of them you can do easily at home; 3 of them really don't take much time at all and can be done first thing in the morning; wouldn't even take 5 minutes to do in the morning.  These are those 3.  So you can even imagine all those former Athletic West elite athletes were doing the same thing!!

                     

                    At any rate, (sudden) loss of weight COULD mean dehydration.  I know some people have come back to us and said that, after the long run, their weight actually went UP a few pounds.  I talked to Dick Brown about it but we felt that that's probably more of a water retention and shouldn't be an alarming thing in terms of inadequate recovery.  I guess we'll find out more as we gather more data as we move forward...

                     

                    I know some people are actually running for weight loss.  And I understand that this is the land of "quick-fix" and you hear more and more of "lose 20 pounds in 1 week" type of advertisement.  But, really, if you're losing weight that quickly, there's got to be something wrong going on.  It ain't healthy.  

                     

                    By the way, I sort of left the last post as more of our promotional piece than anything else; but, really, I guess what I meant to say is that stress is not just "workout".  I remember, when my wife was preparing for her first marathon, she was actually running maybe 3 times a week also (like FIRST) but she was always on her feet and, by the time she got home, her legs were shot.  So I figured; why stress even more?  Your body can't tell the difference between life's stress and "workout".  If it's stressed in excess, it would show in a form of these factors (HR, weight...and hours slept is actually a predictor warning).

                     

                     

                    Thanks for this information about Dick Brown. I'll see if I can some links to his 30 indicators.

                     

                    --Jimmy

                    log   prs      Crusted Salt comic #143

                     

                      +142!!

                       

                       

                      Okay, so not that I'm trying to sell our products (Running Wizard formerly known as Master Run Coach) but our training program comes with a special feature called Recovery Indicators.

                       

                      Nobby, please post links to your website (with the products and the program with the recovery indicators). Even though it might be a business of yours, I think it's relevant to the thread, and your program might prove helpful to someone moving through here. 

                       

                      --Jimmy Cool

                      log   prs      Crusted Salt comic #143

                       

                        Love the new site Nobby, especially the recovery indicator. I was a little worried at how it was going to deal with a certain time of the month for women however turns out I had nothing to worry about. LOVE the little thermometer!

                         

                         

                        I second this!  

                         

                        http://www.running-wizard.com/

                         

                        MTA:  Not the time of month thingJoking

                        steph  

                         

                        OCD  If you don't laugh...   

                           (Running Wizard formerly known as Master Run Coach)

                           

                          After having read this thread, I went to this site, but I keep wondering...

                           

                          On Running-Wizard.com I read about the 5K program: "Fitness level: All fitness levels, from the couch potato to the seasoned runner.",

                          Whereas Master Run Coach states: "If you’re a keen runner, can run comfortably for an hour or more"

                           

                          I would like to sign up, because I would like to have a guide that helps me progressively build up my mileage again...

                          I'm not going to race... I'm 49, running (in)consistently for a few years now, and last year I was doing very well, until I considered running the half Marathon in Eindhoven in October.  However, I probably was doing to much to soon, because about July, I started feeling more and more tired, and eventually cut back my training and decided not to run that race.  However, It took me several months to regain ehough momentum to restart... And now I'm back, I enjoy my (short) runs again, but would like to find a 'guideline'.

                           

                          Would the Running-Wizard 5K be something I could do, or is a starting level of 30 minutes of run/walk not enough to begin with (maybe I could run more than that, but I won't risk an injury by trying...)?  And will the program be enough of a challenge 'in the long run'?  I don't intend to run a 5K race, but I want a program that helps me increase my mileage for the next 5-6 months, so that I will be able to make 'long runs' in my neighborhood in summer?

                           

                          (So I hope the running-wizard for a 5K will ask more than 5K training-runs at the end of the program...)

                           

                          I like the general aspect of the site, but it just doesn't give me an adequate picture of what to expect from the programs...

                          Running in Belgium
                          Ann

                           

                           

                           

                            I second this!  

                             

                            http://www.running-wizard.com/

                             

                            MTA:  Not the time of month thingJoking

                            Thanks, Steph!! 

                              http://www.running-wizard.com/

                               

                              It is now clickable

                              log   prs      Crusted Salt comic #143

                               


                              uncontrollable

                                You make a very good point & observation.  I have had a very similar story ... the same thoughts crossed my mind ... but I never really changed anything - keeping miles up to COMBAT the extreme stressors ... noticing a drop in quality & performance overall.  I just recently thought to myself that I should also start using my HRM just to have data to confirm that maybe my cardio is not recovering enough etc...  It is kind of silly & typical OCD that I can't just assess the situation logically!  I like data, otherwise I tend to feel like I just whimped out.  LOL

                                 

                                I am glad you posted this!

                                peace

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