Friday, 16 April 2010 – the answer to monitoring athlete’s recovery

“The founders of Restwise™ teamed up with Dr Vern Neville from Loughborough University, Sports Technology Institute to develop the first non-invasive web-based software to quantify an athlete’s state of recovery. Restwise analyzes a number of known markers of fatigue, stress and over-reaching and weights them appropriately to calculate a personalized Daily Recovery Score™. With this tool, athletes and coaches are able to make better, more informed training decisions: Superior Performance through Intelligent Recovery™”
As athletes we are all aware that performance enhancement is the result of a balance between training load and recovery. But when to rest and how much recovery is needed is difficult to determine. The science of training/coaching has advanced massively over the past few years as has recovery protocols, but no one really understands how much or when rest is required for optimal performance, and as a result many of us end up over-trained or injurred.
The signs and symptoms of fatigue, stress and over-reaching in athletes are well documented, and despite the hundreds of studies and publications on identifying markers of fatigue and over-reaching, as yet no single reliable marker has been determined (although numerous have shown empirical evidence in specific circumstances or cohorts). In addition, there are few (if any) reliable diagnostic tools available. With this in mind, a diagnostic tool which has a combination of markers is likely to increase the accuracy of identifying an athlete’s state of recovery.
Restwise is the first tool to combine a number of evidence based signs, symptoms and markers of fatigue, stress and over-reaching into an on-line daily assessment tool.
The markers include:
1. Changes in resting heart rate
2. Sleep duration and quality
3. Changes in body mass
4. Blood oxygen saturation
5. Urine colour
6. Appetite
7. Muscle soreness
8. Illness or well being
9. Subjective energy levels
10. Subjective mood state
11. Subjective rating of training performance

The product login includes a small pulse oximeter, ideal for measuring resting heart rate and SPO2.

The data can be entered on-line using an iPhone (or any other mobile device) and the results are automatically generated in a useful format. An overall daily recovery score is given as a percentage and coloured according to the risk of over-reaching, i.e. red being high risk and green being low risk. The results are also displayed graphically which can be compared to previous days/weeks (see image below).

There is also a new Coach Platform which allows coaches to view the recovery scores of all their athletes. Coaches can also set threshold values for individual athletes which are then flagged if the athlete scores below the threshold. This is really cool!