Your Recovery Adaption Plan

If you are the type to go out do some hard training and then think, ok now I really need to recover. I am not going to do any yard work, or take the stairs and maybe I will just sit around and watch TV or the computer/phone to recover this article is for you.

Recover faster. Mow your lawn.

The endurance world has for the most part accepted the idea of managing training stress. This is important if you are serious about performance, health and/or over-training.

Advanced endurance athletes use the TrainingPeaks PMC chart, a Whoop device or possibly heart rate variability (HRV) to manage their recovery. The problem is all these methods are very hit or miss for most people. I would argue managing training stress is more art than science.

Math based training stress such as PMC can get you in the ball park especially if you are doing high volume training and that is the main stress factor in your life. Most people that get a Whoop and are serious about training ignore when it tells them not to train.

I would argue that when you train hard you should recover, but I would also argue that if you want to recover better, forcing your body to recover following less optimum than optimum recovery practices can bring large benefits when done right. The problem is that for many people doing it right is likely a razors edge.

Meet Recovery Adaption Training — The idea is move more to train more. There are a few key target audiences for this

  • I don’t have time to do a proper build phase and increase my training hours gradually before my target event or season. In many cases this means late winter / spring.
  • I don’t like to do lots of hours on an indoor trainer but when outdoor season comes I want to immediately ride as much as possible.
  • Even when I build slowly once I get to X hours per week or Y days per week I start to fall apart.
  • I want to get bad ass and I willing to be a little risky

Because we are advocating training more to push the limits on your training, instead of more recovery this requires very tight control and/or self awareness.

Mowing the lawn is stress, digging is lots of stress, cross training is stress, even walking is low grade stress. Because the science has not caught up with this idea yet there are no studies comparing the efficiency of this but we all know the best athletes tend to train a lot. They recover in adverse cases. For the most part they do put sleep as a very, very high priority. If you can sleep a lot, eat reasonable most of the time, you have the core of recovery handled. Now you need to make burning other calories a part of both building endurance as well as recovering.

You need to experiment on your own. Try slowly doing, more and more. Count steps if you need to. Stop sitting as much as possible. Break up sitting by moving as often as you can. On a side note sit with good posture (neutral spine).

If you take this on and start to see patterns like waking in the night and having trouble sleeping, irritability, bad Whoop/HRV readings, your training performance declines. Pay close attention. If you can become good at high volumes of work, even if it is not on the bike, your body is stronger. Count calorie expenditure. Whoop seems pretty good at this. Build up to 6,000 calories a day 4/5 days a week. Even if that is only 6-hours a week of actual training. Variety helps. Weight training, rowing, other cross training. Yoga…. Move more. Require less recovery. Get strong, and skinny (if you need to).

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