Christie Aschwanden has a new book that’s getting a lot of attention, especially from coaches of endurance athletes.
The main takeaway for me was improving quality and quantity of sleep had the best potential for feeling more READY for the next training.
In one study a group of athletes spent 10 hours / night in bed, whether or not they were sleeping the whole time.
She found that many of the commercial products on the market had negligible effects on recovery. Often the placebo had the same result as the supposed recovery aid.
Recovery is very individual. And complicated.
She found that ice baths can “work” in that they make many athletes feel better (later), even if you’re not actually changing anything in the body.
Personally, I find the best strategy for the coach is to do an assessment of readiness to train at the beginning of workout, and adjust the plan based on that assessment. On a GOOD DAY do more. On a BAD DAY do more basics, less impact.
One season I had the girls do one rope climb during the warm-up reporting back to me how it felt. That was a good indicator, I found. We changed the load (e.g. tumbling reps) based on how they were feeling that day.
Christie Aschwanden is an award-winning science journalist.
She was the lead science writer at FiveThirtyEight for many years and is a former health columnist for the Washington Post. …
She was a high school state champion in the 1,600-meter run, a national collegiate cycling champion, and an elite cross-country skier with Team Rossignol. She lives and occasionally still races in western Colorado.