This episode explores the crucial aspect of recovery in training, particularly for everyday endurance athletes. The hosts delve into how to identify when you’re fully recovered, why recovery is essential, and how it impacts performance and overall health. Discussions include personal anecdotes about recognizing recovery (or lack thereof), the use of technological tools like HRV monitoring, and non-tech methods like monitoring mood and sleep patterns.

Key Topics Discussed:

– Signs of insufficient recovery: mood changes, irritability, lack of sleep.

– The importance of “developing the feel” for readiness and recovery.

– The role of technology in monitoring recovery: HRV, Garmin watches, Apple watches.

– The science behind recovery in endurance training and general adaptation syndrome.

– Non-tech monitoring tools for recovery.

– Active recovery methods and their scientific rationale.

– The importance of personalizing recovery methods.


Paul (00:01.878)

Hello and welcome to the fifth episode of the Athletes Compass where we navigate training, fitness and health for everyday athletes. This week, we're talking about recovery, how we know we're fully recovered, why recovery is so important. I know one way that I can tell that I'm not recovered from training is I get a little crabby and a little irritable. And my wife lets me know that. But how do I know when I'm recovered?

Marjaanna, let's start with you. How do endurance athletes, everyday athletes monitor their recovery to ensure they're getting enough rest and not over training?

Marjaana Rakai (00:40.357)

I think I would say in a similar way as you. You know if you're moody and cranky, if you're short with your partner, maybe you're not getting enough sleep. But you can, I think it's important again, like the last episode we talked about developing the feel. You know when you're ready for a workout.

If you're feeling good and energized, which we often are not, if we are lacking sleep. So a really fresh reminder for myself is prioritizing sleep if you can. And if you can't, then stick to the plan until you can't. Meaning this weekend my sleep was...

Paul (01:12.877)

which we often are not.

Marjaana Rakai (01:33.705)

less than optimal because of kids' baseball games. And this morning I woke up really groggy, not feeling energized. Yes, my usual morning coffee didn't help much. So I went for a morning walk with my dog, and then I decided to jump on a bike because that was in the plan, recovery bike ride. And so I stuck to the plan.

Paul (01:44.941)

Thank you.

Marjaana Rakai (02:03.097)

and actually jumping off the bike, I feel a lot better. So that zone one, zone two training, that usually tells me if I feel groggy before the training session and I feel energized after, that was just what my body needed.

Paul (02:21.154)

Do you have a Garmin watch or an Apple watch that monitors your recovery? Does it tell you what you're using? I mean, sometimes I find the recommendations from my Garmin device are just like, they're crazy.

Marjaana Rakai (02:36.761)

would say they're crazy too. So I have a Garmin watch and most of the time the recommendations weigh off. Sometimes it's saying I am ready for training and I feel absolute garbage and sometimes opposite. So I wouldn't take the Garmin advice for granted. I don't think it's optimal.

Paul (02:56.119)


Paul (03:05.442)

Paul, you know, we've talked a lot about health, but what's the science behind actual recovery in the context of endurance training? Why can't we go hard every day? And does this go back to that general adaptation syndrome that we talked about last in the last episode?

Paul (03:23.513)

Definitely, definitely Paul. You just ultimately remember that exercise is a form of stress, right? So we, you both let off, you know, talking about your own stresses in your life and how your partner, you know, they'll, they'll tell you when you're a little bit cranky and whatnot. So you, I think we all know whether when we've, when we're feeling fresh or when we're, when we're not.

Um, so it really isn't, it isn't too much different in the exercise context, but perhaps with the added, um, the added part where there's a lack of what we call neuromuscular control or, and also sometimes, uh, muscle soreness, the two kind of go hand in hand. And one of the, in the coaching context, we often call it pop. Like how's your pop factor?

And it really kind of comes from the sport of running, really. Like runners know when they've got that pop in their legs and they can just, you know, it just feels, they feel light on their feet and they have a spring in their step and that's when they're, you know, they're fully recovered. And in the opposite, you know, if you are, you know,

at the end of an Ironman, we might talk about this later on, but at the end of an Ironman, say for example, or a marathon, you don't have much pop in your legs in the days, days later after, right? So now we're kind of, and this is where we're in the exercise context, we kind of go from this central fatigue to a peripheral fatigue. And both are, both are, there's two components of those, right? So you guys kind of let off where

Paul (04:55.566)

Thanks for watching.

Paul (05:16.041)

your partners notice the central fatigue in you and your crankiness. But then even though sometimes you can still take that crankiness, go onto the track and you still might have some pop in your step or you might not. And it's usually really at the end of an Ironman or days after an Ironman, you probably have lack of central fatigue and a lack of, or so you have a central fatigue.

and you have no pop factor as well, a lot of muscle damage. So yeah, I think that's probably the exercise context there. Go ahead. Well, I was gonna say, I guess what I failed to kind of mention was in the context of the general adaptation syndrome, which was your question. And in that, remember just a review on the general adaptations syndrome.

Marjaana Rakai (05:54.973)

the I think go ahead no go ahead

Paul (06:15.093)

or a Selye's model is basically you need to stress yourself and then you need to recover from that stress. And then if you stress yourself too much, you go into a like a downward sort of spiral. So in the recovery context that we're talking about today, we're in that phase where we're overstressed and we're just not, we're maladapting ultimately, we're not adapting to the stress that we're giving our body or we've given it too much. And we need time ultimately

to recover. That is the number one thing that is important is time. Time heals all wounds is the old saying, right? Well, it's the same. It heals our own wounds as well when we go and stress ourselves. But we have to give ourselves that time, take away stress, and we can talk about all the various different ways that we can do that and absorb stress and take it on board.

Marjaana Rakai (07:09.521)

I just wanted to give an example of the central fatigue due to weekends.

stressors. And so yesterday I felt extremely fatigued and sleepy. Had a long nap in the afternoon after baseball games, but I still had 90 minute run to do. So I had to gather all willpower to get on that run. But once I started running, I had the pop. So I was like my muscles weren't...

fatigued and the run was amazing. I had lots of fun, felt really good. So I guess my point is, yes, you have those times when you're tired, but you can still have a good training session. But if you keep doing, repeating the same cycle where you don't fully recover or your sleep is disturbed, and then you put on more training stress that...

that will ultimately lead in time to overreaching. And if you don't course a correct overtraining.

Paul (08:30.718)

Yeah. You know, I use HRV4Training, Marco Altini's app to help me monitor my training recovery, and I generally use it to double check my gut feeling and fatigue levels. Cause even when it sometimes gives me a green sign, I feel in your words, Marjaana, you know, like trash. And it's like, no, I'm taking a day off, but sometimes when it's yellow.

I still ride, I don't necessarily, you know, in cycling, we call it snap and not pop, but I don't feel necessarily the snap, but I still feel like, okay, there's value in this and I'm still feeling good. But sometimes HRV4Training gives me a red flag. And what are some red flags that athletes and coaches should watch out for when you are monitoring your training data?

Paul (09:23.961)

Well, I mean, the first one, Paul, just on your, you know, on the back of what you've just said, when you're monitoring HR, if you happen to be monitoring HRV, if you are, if you have a baseline level that you're quite confident in, which is what you would gather from a heart rate variability system. You know, this is forefront of mind for myself, as we're developing this in Athletica right now. But you basically you'll have a like, say a 60 day average up to that.

and you wind up getting like a band of those, of where that rolling average kind of sits, or sorry, your normal line sits. And then as you move through your day-to-day training, you will have values that are inside and outside of this, but we shouldn't actually look at a single day, just to your point. If you're looking at a single red day where heart rate variability is down,

You should be aware of it, but it could be a bad reading, and you should always trust your field first. Now, however, the key thing that we monitor when we monitor HRV is we monitor a seven-day rolling average, which picks up consecutive days of being in the dump, ultimately. So being in the dumpster is like multiple days in a row.

that seven day rolling average is gonna roll down below your baseline, your normal value. Well, that's one thing that you might wanna pay attention to, especially if it aligns with how you feel, right? So we should never just look at HRV as the be all end all. Nothing, we can't look at anything as the be all end all. But when you start to get more than one factor,

that's aligning up with the feeling, which is the most important thing anyways, then we should start to pay attention to it. So, but yeah, like, you know, in the monitoring context, reduced HRV, but then also all the ones that we're aware of, if you're waking up in the middle of the night, not sleeping well, if you're having trouble going to sleep, you know, if you just feel flat, if you lack your pop or your snap,

Paul (11:46.822)

These are all key signs that you need to recover and rest better.

Paul (11:57.455)

What about you, Marjaana? Are there red flags with your athletes that you tell people to look out for besides mood, sleep disruptions?

Marjaana Rakai (12:12.341)

Actually, most of my athletes don't measure HRV. I usually have a questionnaire at the end of the week where they write down how was their life stress overall? Did they sleep well? If they didn't, what is going on in their life? So I kind of get a little bit of a glimpse of what's going on in their lives.

Paul (12:16.244)


Marjaana Rakai (12:42.049)

But yeah, most of my athletes don't use HRV, but I do teach them how to use it. And it's totally like optional for them to start using it if they want to or not. But yeah, I talk about the importance of sleep and recovery and, you know, taking the life stress into your account.

Paul (13:04.45)

What do you see on your questionnaire when are people, you know, are trends changing in the questionnaire that you go, I need to talk with this person about their workouts.

Marjaana Rakai (13:15.941)

Yeah, yeah. So, you know, as everybody knows, like Christmas time is pretty stressful, like getting everything done, like get ready. So I usually see lack of sleep and more stress and more missed workouts. And that's usually when we have a little talk.

that how can I help my athletes to modify the plan so that they can keep the consistency going without it adding too much stress and they still can get everything done before Christmas.

Paul (13:57.355)

I have several athletes using Apple watches and some WHOOP straps and Oura rings. What's kind of the general.

Paul (14:04.861)

Thanks for watching!

Paul (14:08.174)

consensus, the science consensus on the effectiveness of those, Paul? I mean, are they worth the time? I know I don't want to necessarily call out products, but I mean, it's, these are things that are available to us as everyday athletes and are they worth our time and do they give data that's worthwhile knowing?

Paul (14:28.489)

Yeah, I think my honest answer is they probably relate to the personality of the individual. If you are into that, you know, what is it called, like the quantified self or whatnot, if you're into that movement, they can be very, very helpful. All of these wearables actually can be super helpful from an educational standpoint. Doesn't mean you have to wear them forever, but if you've never had them before, even a period of time when you're actually wearing them.

in going through this process, they can be incredibly enlightening. And I think of the first one that comes to mind is like a continuous blood glucose monitor thing, like a Supersapiens to get insight into when your blood glucose is all of a sudden high based on diet, exercise, stress. Without that, you really are blind. You have no idea. And it's the same with something like an Oura ring or a WHOOP strap, et cetera, right? So...

you might feel that stress, but are you really? And how is it affecting sleep, et cetera? So yeah, I think all of them have their place and I think the word on the street is that the Oura ring tends to be the best, especially the evening averages. Marco Altini, a colleague of mine who invented HRV4Training, he also happens to work.

for Oura Ring, but he, you know, he, in his work with that company doing the evening averages, I know he's, he believes those are equivalent to his morning resting HRV that he does on his iPhone. So yeah, I think they can be, and it's also really nice too, that it's relatively non-invasive and, you know, it's true invisible monitoring. So yeah, I would.

Paul (16:17.262)


Paul (16:23.185)

I would say certainly there's a time and a place in accordance with the individual. It's not gonna be for everyone. Some people just want all that stuff away and that's fine too. But some of us needs some assistance and especially helps coaches get insight into what's actually going on behind the scenes. Because you know, us as coaches, we often just, we're only able to get that.

glimpse of the training session and maybe a few comments, right? But what actually goes on the rest of the day? And to be able to have that 24 hour surveillance can be pretty helpful to generating conversations with the athlete.

Marjaana Rakai (17:05.469)

Is there a non-tech monitoring tool that you would use?

Paul (17:15.197)

and non-tech. Well, that's a good.

Marjaana Rakai (17:18.057)

Like what about like old fashioned, just measuring your heart rate in the morning?

Paul (17:22.613)

Yeah, that's a great start. So, we haven't even really gone into that. Like what's the rationale even for heart rate variability versus heart rate, right? Like we should even sort of start there. How did the whole heart rate variability craze even come about? And again, I have to thank some of my colleagues that I was alongside in contributing to this. And there's many about.

people like Martin Bucheit who wrote the book with HIIT Science, Dan Plews who did a whole PhD on this area starting back in, you know, would have been like 20, maybe 2010 we started on it and went on for a long time. But you know, you get into heart rate variability which is the beat to beat variation in your heart rate.

I think I did mention this last time. We talked about how the heart rate is like a metronome initially when you first think about it, but it's actually not. It goes, it's all over the place with lots of variation, meaning more parasympathetic drive, rest and digest. And then the metronome, the clock is more the sympathetic. So it turns out that just measuring the pulse is not

Paul (18:19.736)


Paul (18:46.001)

as sensitive to stress as heart rate variability. Heart rate variability is a much more, it's much more refined and precise in terms of its ability to pick up stress and various different things that are in your life. And there's various, there's lots of examples that are out there where we see, it's reflective data, but it's, you can see when the dip

before an athlete gets sick, or, and you certainly see a massive dip after something like a marathon or an Ironman, et cetera, like these big events. So it really, it picks up real events in your life. And the holy grail is that if heart rate variability is picking up these events that are occurring in you, you can stop them in their tracks. So in other words, if all of a sudden,

Paul (19:17.751)


Paul (19:44.457)

You get three consecutive days of low heart rate variability coupled with a feeling of not feeling great. And you and your coach decide, you know what? I think we're just gonna put some brakes on everything. You might capture, you might catch yourself before you get really sick and run down, going into over training, before you get an injury, yeah, as opposed to the alternate where if you're just following the plan, then you know, you...

you kind of, you push through. And I saw a really cool tweet from Alan Cousins the other day on this as well. Alan Cousins is a bit of a guru in the world of also AI and training science, he's a coach as well. So really in that middle space. And he was talking about how heart rate variability is indicative of your ability to absorb and adapt to the training.

So in the case where you imagine just doing the exact same session, let's just call it, you've got a, we've all got to do a HIIT session today. We've all got to do, you know, two sets of six 30 30s. All right, everyone's gonna get that today. But if you're on a situation with your recovery status and your heart rate variability is normal or elevated, you're gonna absorb and adapt to that 30 session. Awesome.

But if you're in the tank and you get fed and do that same 30-30 session, what do you think's gonna happen? You're not gonna adapt the same way. That's what the science sort of shows. And they've actually done these studies, they're really cool. They're called Heart Rate Variability Guided Training Sessions. In other words, what they did in these studies, there's gotta be about five or 10 now that have shown this. So it's a repeated.

Paul (21:32.685)


Paul (21:40.089)

It actually works and it's why we're implementing it into Athletica now. Basically, they showed in these studies that when you were prescribed HIIT training in the normal or elevated situation with HRV, you adapted and conversely in the blanket plan, you weren't being guided by HRV, you didn't adapt as well.

Clearly the better road to Rome in terms of your adaptation and your potential is to be paying attention to these signals, whether it's HRV or maybe you've just got this incredible intuition, but in doing these sessions when you're ready to adapt is far superior than the opposite, right? Then just flogging yourself because it's on the schedule in front of you.

Marjaana Rakai (22:32.321)

So when an athlete gets those three, four days of a dip in the HRV and there is a HIIT session in the original plan, what do you say to that athlete to do then? I know, I know, I've been there. I know what you're gonna say.

Paul (22:48.845)

I know what you're going to say. Well then why don't you tell everyone what I would say to you, Marjaana I'm coaching. What do you have to do?

Marjaana Rakai (22:59.589)

So coach Paul would say do some yoga or jump on a bike and go for a spin around the neighborhood with my son.

Paul (23:09.737)

Yep, exactly. Or go for a walk. Yep. Yeah, absolutely. All these various different things. Even a swim, even an easy swim is nice. Nice. Anything kind of L2 that's just going to be calming. I mean, you even did this, you know, I can't remember if it was off air, you even started with this, where you actually said, yeah, you did. You started the whole podcast saying that, you know, you were feeling a little cranky, whatever. And you just went and did that easy L2 sessions. And you felt a lot better after doing it.

Paul (23:10.794)


Paul (23:40.021)

But you imagine if you, you might not have felt as good, Marjaana, if you'd done a HIIT session, right? Like that's probably not what your body needed or wanted to do. And I don't think, you know, you might not have, probably wouldn't have felt as, as that great either.

Marjaana Rakai (23:48.594)


Marjaana Rakai (23:53.925)

No, I also have that experience back in the day when I was putting myself in a tank. I would ignore the HRV reading and go with the original plan and do all the HIIT sessions. And the next morning, same again, I felt horrible, tired, not motivated. And I still went with the original plan because that's what I wanted to do and ignored the HRV.

Paul (24:21.693)

Yep. So can I throw something in here as well? Because I is so interesting, you guys led off with saying how your partner knew you were not recovered because they can tell you that you're feeling a little bit, you're a little bit grouchy. Well, guess who got the same talk yesterday as well? And I was, because things with Athletica and HIIT have just been...

Marjaana Rakai (24:46.364)

Uh oh.

Paul (24:46.637)

I'm sorry.

Paul (24:51.053)

in a great way going crazy, right? Crazy good, which is awesome. But at the same time, that comes with a lot of stress, right? As you guys know, because you're in it with me. And well, so I knew I needed to do something. I wasn't sleeping well either, so I knew I needed to do something very, very unique and just to kind of change things for, change things up for me. So what I did,

Um, I did this morning. Can you guys see that?

Paul (25:28.822)

Something's happening.

Paul (25:30.049)

something okay.

Marjaana Rakai (25:32.583)

so slow.

Paul (25:33.676)


Paul (25:35.477)

This was the start of my morning here in Revelstoke.

Marjaana Rakai (25:41.729)

Did you do the polar bear plunge?

Paul (25:44.753)

It is what, so we're recording right in winter months here in Revelstoke, right? And, um, yeah, this is, okay, this is the Columbia river. And it is, that's snow in front of my, my camera and, um, yeah, shortly we should see me going in here. Let's just wait for it.

Paul (26:18.202)

You gotta get the boots off.

Paul (26:20.577)


Marjaana Rakai (26:21.057)

I'm going to go to bed.

Paul (26:24.162)

This is a great idea. I was thinking that you were going to say something like taking go for a walk, but this is even better.

Paul (26:31.389)

Yeah, you know, I mean, honestly, Paul, I was like, I'll admit, like I was, you know, I need, I totally, I totally needed this. So yeah, here I go.

Paul (26:37.589)


Marjaana Rakai (26:38.069)

Yeah, there we go.

Paul (26:43.905)

That is a little cold, I'll let you know. It's hard to position yourself. That river is flowing, right?

and I'll fast track it.

Paul (27:00.781)

You can hear me talking to a buddy there. It's like there's a few people here in Revelstoke that do this, right? They do it kind of for their mental health, right? And we're also really fortunate that right off, you know, maybe 200 meters away, the rec center where I swim is open as well. And there's a sauna that's going. So I have that luxury in dipping in here

Paul (27:02.891)

No, I'm-

Paul (27:30.369)

the zero degree water and then being able to go, you know, straight back up. So I'm in here for about five minutes.

Paul (27:41.005)

I should come back into the picture here. I'm like, basically the first 90 seconds is pretty excruciating if you haven't done this. And that's really the hard part to kind of get through. Because you need to, and I should say, this is very, this can be super dangerous. So be careful, like this is, I have done this quite a bit. I just knew I needed this stimulus today kind of thing to get my.

to get my mind out of any negative sort of thoughts. I think we all go through this, and this is why the Wim Hof method has kind of been so effective. And it's just, sometimes we just need this big shock to do this. But yeah. Well, yeah, so I'm just, now, so again, the first 90 seconds is pretty crazy.

Marjaana Rakai (28:27.209)

This is ... go ahead Paul

Paul (28:37.601)

But then you kind of come back in and you see, I'm pretty like, I'm coping with it, right? Like you look at my, you can just tell the expression on my face, no problem, right? Like there's, it's, I'm breathing and stuff like, but it's manageable. Literally the water level actually came up about a foot in this time. So I was a little bit worried actually that my camera was gonna get swashed with water. So I was, which, and this does this in the Columbia River, we're right above a dam right there. So

all of a sudden they'll let a whole bunch of extra water through at that time. But anyways, I'm making sure... Yeah, making sure... This is where I'm looking... I'm actually looking at the water level right now. I'm actually concerned that the water level is going to get up. But yeah, anyways, I reached my five minutes and now it's time to go.

Paul (29:18.1)


Paul (29:24.51)

Either that or you're a

Marjaana Rakai (29:28.693)

So... Eheheheh!

Paul (29:28.79)

Yeah, that or you're a penguin coming out looking for food, you know.

Paul (29:37.025)



Marjaana Rakai (29:41.245)

This is so cool because my hometown in Finland, it's at the Arctic Circle. And this has been going on for like, I don't know, decades. They have this little sauna. It's not actually a sauna. It's just a dressing room, like a little hut. And then they've built this pathway and...

One of my best friends, she's done it since she was like 12 years old. So 30 years something. And she swears by it. So she wanted me to try it a couple of years ago when we spent Christmas in Finland. She's like, yeah, you're going to come and do it with me. And I'm like, oh, no, I don't know. I was, I was a chicken. I couldn't do it, but my husband did. And

Paul (30:17.281)

Hmm hmm.

Paul (30:30.239)

I'm sorry.

Marjaana Rakai (30:36.157)

Yeah, it was pretty cool to see because they made it really dramatic. So they have these ice blocks around the hole. So they cut the hole in the river ice and the pathway leads in there. And it was pretty, pretty dramatic looking. But yeah, he went in and I wanted to ask you, like, when you go in, are you trying to control your breath? Like that's what you're supposed to do, right? You're trying to control the reaction. What you get.

Paul (31:02.56)


Marjaana Rakai (31:04.849)

and then just deep breathing or you just get in there and...

Paul (31:08.485)

Yeah, I think I've done this quite a bit, Marjaanna, and we can save this for the next episode, but it's like a lot of it kind of comes back to some of the meditative stuff that we'll speak on in subsequent episodes, and really just kind of becoming more in control of seeing these stressors for what they are in your mind. But sometimes, I mean, the mind and the body are definitely connected, right?

We know this. So this is a way to kind of take the body and complete an intervention that is going to have an effect on your mind. Because you guys were speaking previously about all of the various different, like again, kind of when going to that, the general adaptation syndrome, stress, stress. Well, then there's all of these hormonal and immune and neural.

issues that are taking place all across the body that are creating to that grumpy mood the way we started this podcast with, right? I needed something and I've achieved it with this. I can't tell you how much clearer my mind is now that I went and did that just before this episode. This was literally two hours ago. And I'm so grateful that I did that. So...

Yeah, again, there's lots of ways to kind of recover, but this is one. This is an extreme method, but I know that I needed this sort of today. And maybe we can, we're getting close to the time limit on this one, but we can potentially reflect a little bit and speak more on this in subsequent issues.

Paul (32:58.494)

So what, you know, we've talked about some of the active recovery, like yoga or walking or easy runs or easy rides. What's, what's the science behind that? Why not just take a rest day?

Paul (33:13.197)

Well, I think in all of those modes of movement you've described, Paul, they involve movement. They involve circulation. That's, you know, there's something fundamental to us humans with moving. And there's a stimulation of metabolism, mostly fat metabolism that occurs.

that tends to elevate things like ketones, but everything in terms of all the various different circulating metabolites, and they go to feed the mind, right? We're trying to get the mind under control again. And we might also be looking to try to remove some of that muscle soreness as well. So in all of those situations that you've just described, all of those modes will do that.

like they act on mobility, they act on body temperature, that improve flexibility, that, and yeah, these, you know, pain is just a real nasty one, right? Like pain in your body, it goes back to the brain and back to the mind and it makes us cranky. So if you've, any of us that have had a chronic injury for a long time, you know this. So we need ways to, and especially as we age, unfortunately.

It's just, you know, the more that these types of modes of exercise are, are vital to keeping us going on a day-to-day basis. Um, so yeah, that's, um, that's why they're, that's why they're good, Paul.

Marjaana Rakai (34:54.601)

If I were to add something, it would be... I would always choose to do active recovery instead of taking a full day off. But if you're feeling like you're coming... Like you have a sore throat or you have a horrible headache, then I would probably take a day off.

or just do meditation.

Paul (35:27.341)


Paul (35:28.206)


Marjaana Rakai (35:28.789)

But other than that, I would do something easy, yoga and to... Snow shoveling. I would love to do that. Bring in the snow. I love building snow castle. Oh my gosh. I was looking at the snow there and I'm like, I'm so jealous. I miss snow so much. But, um, like I think people need to find their recovery method. What brings them joy?

Paul (35:34.573)

snow shoveling. That's what I'm doing lately. That's what I've been doing lately.

Paul (35:38.138)

I'm sorry.

Marjaana Rakai (35:57.837)

And what I used to do four years ago, five years ago, totally looks different from my recovery methods now. Like I used to do every morning, I would foam roll and stretch and take my HRV measurements that I ignored. But now I do meditation in the morning. That's like my go-to. So first HRV and then meditate. And I can say that

I don't meditate every day, but those days that I do, I feel so much more ready for the day. So I'm trying to like, you know, get more consistent on the meditation part as well. But yeah, my recovery methods look totally different now than they used to, but I wanted to say that people need to find their recovery method that works for them.

Paul (36:39.722)


Paul (36:51.381)

Yeah, I agree. And I'll just echo a similar one with me. One of the things, one of my old bad habits was the first thing that I wanted to do when I wake up is go to my computer or go to my phone and check those sorts of things. And now that is, Dan Plews taught me that actually living with him and us sort of traveling various different places. And he, you know, he always just

He would pull out his book and he would just read a novel for a couple pages. But that doesn't work for me, but I meditate as well. The first thing that I do is I'll get the coffee pot going, but then I might switch on the fire or whatever. But I'm going to sit and really just with my thoughts for 15 minutes before I do anything else. And that's such a better.

as opposed to a big, I don't know, there's something, a big tech stimulus just doesn't work for me early, early on in the morning. So it's been really helpful for me as well, Marjaana

Marjaana Rakai (37:57.625)

Yeah, it's so powerful way to start a day instead of, you know, going into a place of reactivity, you know, checking mail or reading the news. That's the worst thing you can do first in the morning because there's nothing positive in the news anyways.

Paul (38:15.849)

No, and it's going to give you a big sympathetic stress that you don't need right off the bat. Yes, slow to rise, right? Let your body wake up naturally.

Marjaana Rakai (38:25.457)

Oh yeah.

Marjaana Rakai (38:29.066)


Paul (38:30.339)

I have to confess that's one of the first things I do is I check Google news in the morning. I'm going to have to work on that then. So here are my three takeaways from our conversation. We had a pretty wide ranging conversation, but I would say that number one, mood, sleep disruptions, nutritional changes, those are determiners.

Paul (38:35.245)


Paul (38:38.641)

Good. Yeah.

Paul (38:57.122)

factors, not factors. Those are indicators that somehow our recovery is going well or is not going well. Number two, it is a good thing to monitor recovery in some way, whether it's HRV4Training, whether it's some kind of app, whether it's simply checking your resting heart rate in the morning, there is an educational value in learning what your body is doing and how it's responding.

And number three, there is a lot to be said for active recovery, like yoga or walking, easy runs and rides, where there is some kind of movement to help you get your mind under control. Anything else?

Paul (39:41.399)

And even Wim Hof!

Paul (39:44.36)


Paul (39:45.65)


Paul (39:47.242)

All right, that's all for this week. Thanks for listening and join us next week when we talk about the most important tool. You can guess what that is for good recovery from Marjaana Rakai, Dr. Paul Larson. I am Paul Worlowski and this has been the Athletes Compass Podcast.

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