Restwise is a new recovery program started by Matthew Weatherly-White and Jeff Hunt—both accomplished athletes who have experienced the black hole of overtraining. Lucky for us they climbed out and shared their solution. Check out their fan base here.--Heidi Volpe
What is the biggest missed opportunity about overlooking your rest period in your training?
There are three sorts of rest/recovery periods: days, blocks and phases. All play critical but very different roles in a coherent training plan. Recovery days are the building blocks for hard training. If you don't plan for regular, consistent, intentional recovery, the quality of your daily work will steadily, incrementally drop and the benefit of hard training will be erased or, at worst, reversed. Recovery blocks are the key to peaking, as they serve as the complementary second half of the concept known as supercompensation - the brief period of superlative performance that predictably follows a phase of really hard work. Everyone peaks differently, however, so athletes need to experiment to define their personal peaking protocol. Recovery phases are the longer periods during which an athlete recovers from a long season and prepares for the next. Carl Swenson, a World Cup Nordic Skier and World Cup Mountain Bike Racer, used to race all winter, take a full month off, race all summer, take a months off, etc. He once told me that the only way he could go so hard was that he took 2 full months off every year. How many amateur athletes can say the same?
What was the genesis of this tool? Were you overtraining yourself?
Two answers. First, yes, I have overtrained. Massively. I spent a few days in the ICU in 1985 after collapsing in the middle of a workout, with my HR over 260. I basically experienced complete metabolic breakdown, and required nearly a year of recovery before I could exercise steadily - and hard - again. A great learning experience, but a scary one. Fortunately, it has informed my training methodologies ever since. The second answer is that while coaching Rebecca Rusch, I needed a simple, objective way to capture the way her body was responding to the training load I assigned. To make a long story short, that is what brought me and my partners to the recovery monitoring system we call Restwise.