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Methods to Aid Recovery from Training and Racing Dr Gordon Wright Senior ABCC Coach Note carefully: The material presented in these notes is copyright.

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Presentation on theme: "Methods to Aid Recovery from Training and Racing Dr Gordon Wright Senior ABCC Coach Note carefully: The material presented in these notes is copyright."— Presentation transcript:

1 Methods to Aid Recovery from Training and Racing Dr Gordon Wright Senior ABCC Coach Note carefully: The material presented in these notes is copyright July 2006 and must not be used in any form whatsoever without the permission of the author A presentation given at the High Wycombe CC Club Room 26 th July 2006.

2 Stage 16 - lost 10 minutes !

3 Stage 17 - he effectively won the Tour de France How did he recovery so fast ?

4 Recovery Issues These notes cover a range of issues concerning recovery after training and tracing. They do not cover every aspect of recovery that you could wish to know about– that’s a substantial text book. But I do cover some important nutritional considerations and also some simple and some very advanced methods of tracking recovery – especially after hard training session or whilst in a heavy period of racing or training. Hopefully most riders will find some value in the information contained here

5 Training and Racing is destructive It has to be if we are to improve But recovery is the key to it all

6 The simple answer to most non injury recovery questions in sport is Active rest and early nutritional support But a key issue is ‘How long do you rest’ And the answer to that is – it all depends These note are intended to provide some methods and insights to these two key areas in particular

7 What do we mean by recovery ? Training and racing disturb the body’s balance with its environment. Fatigue is the result. Recovery restores the body to its previous condition Further recovery leads to ‘overcompensation’ We are stronger and faster the next time round The process can be summed up in the diagram which follows :-

8 Fitness level Train Race Phase Fatigue Phase Recovery phase Overcompensation phase De – training phase Increased fitness level The Train – Fatigue –Recovery – Overcompensation cycle

9 The recovery cycle seen on the previous page could be the result of the recovery from (a) a single training session or the result of a single race. (b) the result of a heavy week(s) of training or racing and the easy period which follows (c) or the result of many weeks, even months, of hard training and racing followed by a complete recovery period In fact such short, medium and long term recovery cycles are all occurring simultaneously all the time throughout a racing and training season

10 (a) The Early Recovery Period – the period immediately following the training or racing session. A vital aspect of this period is early nutrition to speed up the start of the recovery process (b) the Late Recovery Period – this is the period when overcompensation begins to set in. Many riders often do not get to this period - as a result they don’t get the benefit of over –compensation. The reason – they train hard again too soon, because they fear losing form. During the recovery phase there are two crucial periods in the whole recovery process:

11 Fitness level Recovery phase Overcompensation phase Increased fitness level The Train – Fatigue –Recovery – Overcompensation cycle Early recovery period Late recovery period For complete recovery you must get to at least here

12 The remainder of these notes address the two key issues of recovery in the (a) Early Recovery Period and (b) the Late Recovery Period The Late Recovery Period needs a steady nerve and confidence that a loss of fitness will not occur. It is the fear of losing form that will often prompt a rider to train hard again too soon and before full recovery has taken place let along allowing time for overcompensation to take place. To get over this fear objective methods of monitoring recovery are required. Before we look at these issues lets first have a closer look at Fatigue :

13 What is fatigue ? An inability to maintain performance. Body is damaged, various systems are disturbed Fatigue can be minor or severe. Fatigue is broadly proportional to load severity Fatigue results from both intensity and duration Very intense training and exceptionally long training or racing cause major fatigue.

14 Short term fatigue - hours to days Mainly due to short term ‘overloading’ Temporary imbalance - usually a fast recovery - normally within hours to one day Some fluid loss, lowered carbohydrate stores, Some mineral loss, minor muscle damage, Short term nervous system disturbance Short term fatigue is usually very obvious :-- Factors include : Feel tired, muscle soreness muscle heaviness, loss of strength, Muscle elasticity reduced, rhythm impaired Higher resting heart rates, lowered racing heart rates Recovery - 24 hours normally with appropriate action

15 Medium to Longer term fatigue - days to a week + More serious mainly due to persistent over-loading – termed ‘Over-reaching’. Serious glycogen depletion Major muscle cell damage Hormonal disturbance Serious nervous system disturbance. Seriously reduced energy substrates Recovery - Days if no further racing or hard training Results from many successive training and racing bouts with inadequate rest days in the programme – But one masssive overload can start the process

16 More Serious Longer term fatigue - weeks to months The effects often less obvious than shorter term fatigue Its more insidious - it can build up slowly without you realizing it - the end result -serious overtraining It can take many weeks even months to recover from serious overtraining Results from - serious and relentless ‘over-reaching’ Some indicators: Low unexplained performance, mood state changes, Irritable, withdrawn, excitable, night sweats, loss of Motivation, restlessness, aggressiveness Diagnosis can be difficult – hormone changes in blood stream, but not practical for the club cyclist Recovery - can be weeks, months in serious cases

17 Why is recovery important Full Performance capability is restored ONLY when fully recovered. As previously seen further recovery time leads to increased performance due to ‘over compensation’ -a ‘rebound effect’ occurs if you have the nerve to wait long enough ! Fatigue Recovery Overcompensation - the ‘Rebound Effect’ Similar ‘fatigue -recovery -rebound’ cycles are occurring all the time

18 Stagnation Slow decline Cycles to avoid Not allowing overcompensation to take place Always training hard too soon

19 The ideal outcome A gradual progression upwards

20 Multiple Recovery periods Does all the foregoing mean you have to fully recovery after every training session ? The answer is not necessarily. There are times in training when it makes sense to have several quality training session in quick succession. So full recovery is not possible until the sequence is over, BUT then full recovery MUST be allowed to take place. At other times full recovery from a single massive event overload may be very necessary before you can move on. Such overloads might for example be a 12 hour TT, Etape du Tour, or other very hard sportive

21 Recovery time is related to Age, fitness and genetics General health status Sleep quality and sleeping patterns General training load Training and race patterns -recovery days, easy weeks Nutritional habits and status –adequate nutrient intake Life style, social and work life- stress, + lifes demands All these factors help or hinder recovery

22 Inadequate Recovery - Some vulnerable groups Young riders - too much too soon – not durable until maturity Mature highly motivated riders - inadequate rest - don’t know when to stop Older riders - age related deterioration in recovery its inevitable but can be slowed down Come back riders - trying to run before they can walk Come back from injury or ill health - you can’t rush things

23 Recovery Strategies – can be based on : Regular Sleep and active rest – frequent recovery rides Nutritional support – need good eating habits Massage - can be self or professionally applied Hydrotherapy techniques – hot and cold methods Timed rest and recovery periods – using periodisation Need a Controlled lifestyle – maybe re-engineering Monitoring fatigue and Recovery by various methods

24 The Early Recovery Period is improved by : Good Re-hydration with micro nutrients Carbohydrate intake – 60 to 100 grms in 750 mls water Protein intake - 1/2 grm per kg of body weight Immediately following racing and training There is a two hour window of opportunity to replenish glycogen stores and start the process of muscle protein re -synthesis - so use this opportunity to speed recovery After this time the process slows down considerably – so you need to get the carbs down as a matter of priority

25 Research has shown recovery is improved by : A good protein source immediately after hard training and racing BUT also some protein intake in amino acid form - during the racing and hard training periods Protein is a key factor in recovery from hard training and racing Protein sources are appearing more and more in sports drinks

26 Eaten protein Proteins in food are large complex molecules But they can not be used for tissue repair until they have been broken down in the stomach into smaller units called Amino Acids These units then have to be recombined in the liver and other organs into the precise protein structure required to repair various parts of the muscles that have been broken down and damaged during training and racing

27 Eaten protein Amino acids A new protein For tissue repair Digestion Synthesis

28 Protein Synthesis The process shown on the previous slide takes some time for completion - certainly several hours at least So it makes sense to get the protein into your body as soon as possible after racing and hard training Better still use recovery drinks that have amino acids in them to speed up the tissue repair even faster as you miss out one stage. A Company called ‘All Sports’ have a product called ‘Amino Load’ for this very purpose. ‘CytoMax’ contains some amino acids Remember the faster you make a full recovery the sooner you can get back to quality training.

29 Energy Drink support to recovery Many products now on offer Some offer just ‘glucose polymers’ based on Maltodextrin -Maxim was the original Many now provide ‘add-ins’ minerals, vitamins and some protein as whey or soya protein or ‘free’ amino acids

30 Glucose polymer Minerals - Sodium and Potassium Some Amino Acids Before during and after training and racing Good for warm weather training and racing Glucose polymers, Fructose Plus plenty of Minerals

31 Slow release protein source. Night time recovery - Really ONLY for high performing riders REGO Rapid High Quality protein Good after training and racing recovery product REGO Nocte

32 Is it essential to buy sports drinks ? They are certainly of significant value but are relatively costly If you are a high performer and aspiring to make big improvements then for periods of HEAVY training and racing the investment is almost certainly worthwhile But don’t ignore the cheaper and nearly as effective alternatives

33 One 110 gram banana (without skin) 25 grams carbohydrate 1.O to 1.5 grams protein 2.7 grams of fibre plus vitamin C and Potassium 200 grams yoghurt 9 grams of protein 18 grams of carbohydrate Plus sodium and vitamins One yoghurt + one banana - cost about 50 pence

34 100 grams serving costs around £ grams provides : 26 grams of protein 58 grams of carbohydrate Fibre 4.9 grams Plus full range of minerals plus vitamins

35 Some healthy meal options Rice Fruit and vegetables various beans plus salad Chicken plus vegetables plus salad

36 Don’t even go there !

37 Ideal meals – pasta based - for the 100 or 12 hour TT or other major endurance events

38 Micro nutrient support Forget the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) - that’s for normal people Endurance athletes needs are much greater During periods of heavy training and racing you need additional micronutrients – vitamins and minerals :- High dose formulations

39 Some take home points so far Think more about what you eat and when you eat it Mixed Carbs (simple & complex) immediately after training and racing is essential Need Protein or Amino acids in the 2 hour window Need extra micro nutrients during hard training periods Early Re-hydration essential after all training and racing sessions Massage optional – useful if done on a regular basis Hold cold baths worth thinking about – to reduce inflammation and help flush out debris from damaged tissue Regular sleep essential - find our what is good for you. Frequent Active Rest and recovery days are essential

40 Monitoring recovery Early Stage Recovery is often very obvious and you do not need anything very sophisticated to tell you that you are tired - your legs soon tell you. Late Stage Recovery is far more complex. Think about it – when you are almost fully recovered you will feel OK to good and you will want to train again. But you may not have reached the overcompensation stage ! The fact is going on feel alone will not tell you where you are in the Late Recovery Period This is where sophisticated heart rate monitoring can play a very big role

41 Monitoring Recovery - What can be done ? General day by day feel - How do I feel today approach If in doubt - rest for a day – OK for Early Stage Watch resting heart rates - if 8 beats up –maybe tired if elevated over several days then rest Racing and Training Heart rates – if lower than normal it may be an early sign of medium term fatigue Use of Orthostatic Heart Rate Tests – can give deep insight into recovery processes at all stages

42 Advanced Heart Rate Monitoring New tools and techniques are emerging that can be used to track recovery and give a deeper insight into fatigue and recovery in the recovery cycle. The remainder of these notes focuses on Orthostatic Heart rate tests and heart rate variability methods (HRV). HRV is a new and emerging science as far as sport is concerned and it offers some significant insights into fatigue and recovery.

43 The Ortho static Heart Rate Test The Orthostatic Heart rate test is a simple test which can give some valuable insights to fatigue and recovery. The basis interpretation of the results on a day to day basis are straightforward, but more advanced interpretation is more difficult and it does need some experience -speak to me for advice The test is undertaken by recording the heart rate in the lying position (supine) for between 2 and 4 minutes. You then stand up and continue recording the heart rate for another 2 to 4 minutes. Your breathing rate must be controlled and regular throughout the test. Assuming you are using a Polar heart rate monitor download the data to your PC and the Polar software will display the typical Orthostatic heart rate profile as shown on the pages which follow

44 A typical Orthostatic Heart rate profile A well rested profile of a high performing rider

45 Parasympathetic drive Sympathetic drive Resting heart rate laying down Heart rate after standing up

46 Parasympathetic dominance Sympathetic dominance Sympathetic system snaps into action

47 The Central Nervous System The Orthostatic Heart rate profile is determined by the central nervous system (CNS) – more specifically the autonomic division of the CNS. There are two parts to the CNS - parasympathetic which slows the heart rate and the sympathetic which speeds it up. These two are always balancing each other. Lay down the parasympathetic is more dominant. Stand up and the sympathetic part becomes more dominant. Fatigue from racing and training shows up as a serious disturbance to the CNS and the shape of the Orthostatic profile changes as a result. But training affects the parasympathetic and sympathetic parts of the CNS differently and each part recovers at a different rate. The return to a normal orthostatic profile when full recovery has taken place will often reveal these changes.

48 Good resting HR with some irregularity Climb to a new stable balance – the oscillations are normal A nice sharp spike upwards as you stand up What to look for in the Ortho Static profile A quick drop and bottom out

49 Example Ortho test when very tired from endurance training Shows heavy fatigue in this component – climbing and unstable Abnormally low spike - no real drop afterwards

50 Rusko Example Ortho Test After very hard Interval Training This part elevated & not stable This part is depressed & unstable An example of a overall depressed HR signature

51 World TT Championship 2003 ’25’ Mile TT Championships 2004

52 6 th January 5 day Training Camp - Blue Mountains - Australia Day 1 - 3hours hard endurance riding Day 2 and 3 four to five hours endurance riding Day 4 one hour Mountain Time Trial Day 5 another 4 hours but steady Overall - a severe training overload This case study demonstrates just how long it can take to achieve full recovery. Riding during each recovery day amounted to one hour at an easy pace. Recovery day by day was tracked using Orthostatic tests as shown :-

53 Day before going on the training Camp

54 Recovery day 1 First day back after training Camp

55 Pre Camp Day 1 Recovery

56 Recovery day 2 Recovery day 1


58 Recovery day 3


60 Recovery day 4

61 Abnormally low resting HR

62 Recovery day 5



65 Day 5 compared to pre camp

66 Took 5 days ! Fatigue Recovery Rebound effect Train Fatigue Recovery Cycle Late stage recovery period

67 It took a full five days to fully recover from the Training Camp ! Any hard training in that five period would have only delayed the recovery process

68 What if my monitor has no memory, can I do Ortho tests you may ask. The answer is yes :- Observe the average heart rates supine and standing Note the peak HR

69 Record the following data - day by day : Supine = Peak = Standing = Difference (standing – supine) = Record values : Get to know your own values when you are fully recovered and have no fatigue at all

70 Case Number 2 Elite woman rider Orthostatic profiles after a successful 3 day 4 stage road race - 2 nd Overall and winner of the TT stage.

71 Friday 28 th April - Before RR Rested Ortho chart

72 Tues 2 nd May day after 3 day Road race - many fatigue pointers Lazy spike indicates lack of sympathetic tone Continually rising slowly = poor sympathetic recovery A bit too flat indicates likely reduced R to R HR variability Overall a very depressed Heart Rate signature Dropped too low Shows lack of sympathetic tone

73 Wednesday 3 rd May 2 days after race Rather flat here – delayed fatigue still coming out Too much regularity here Shows lack of nervous system tone Spike up much improved

74 Thursday 4 th May More tone beginning to return here although slightly elevated Overall slightly elevated as sympathetic drive (tone ) is increasing faster than parasympathetic tone Overall still slightly fatigued

75 Friday 5 th May - 4 days after Race Looking much better here and probably close to normal A bit flat here parasympathetic drive still struggling to get back to normal Overall a much better picture

76 Saturday the 6 th May Elevated here - indicates sympathetic drive still dominant over the parasympathetic Slightly elevated But looking better First day rider reported feeling better on the bike – 5 days later !

77 Wednesday 8 th March Indifference Chart. Not fully obvious if fatigue is shown here or not ! So where do we go from here ? Look at Heart Rate Variability Data as the next level of analysis

78 Measuring Heart Rate Variability The next level of analysis in heart rate monitoring of fatigue and recovery is to measure the heart rate variability. This is done by recording the time between one heat beat and the next - called R to R data recording. R to R is the time difference in milliseconds between R waves from an ECG trace. A typical ECG trace is shown on the next page These methods take a little while to prepare each day so you will need some motivation and a strong interest to spend the necessary time needed

79 Typical ECG trace QRS Complex The ‘R’ wave R1R1 R2R2 R3R3 ONE BEAT NEXT BEAT ETC To undertake R to R heart rate recording you need a Polar S810i or Suunto T6 heart rate monitor

80 Polar S810i Suunto T6 or T4 These are the only watches available for recording beat to beat Heart rate values - called R to R

81 Typical ECG trace R1R1 R2R2 R3R3 R to R R to R values can be captured by the Polar S810i or Suunto T6 heart rate monitors

82 R1R1 R2R2 R3R3 R to R The more variable the R to R values in an athlete the more conditioned is that athlete A fatigued athlete has low RR variability a recovered athlete has high RR variability Therefore heart rate variability using RtoR values can be used to track recovery

83 ECG Trace with High Variability ECG Trace with Low Variability

84 Time between each beat in milli seconds Equivalent heart rate in beats per minute R to R values from a Polar S810i A Typical set of RR data values from a Polar Heart monitor

85 There are a number of methods of measuring Heart rate variability One is the ‘Poincare Plot’ method This is undertaken by plotting a sequence of RR data values against itself but slipped by one place as shown next

86 RRRRn Plot RR values against RR n+1 values

87 An R to R Poincare scatter plot - shows great RR variability This graph shows a well rested rider before hard training

88 Measures SD1 Measures SD2 Polar S810i will produce this scatter plot and calculate the variability by the standard deviation scores SD1 and SD2 These values are measures of variability

89 Graph of same rider after hard training Note the marked reduction in SD1 and SD2 values The Variability in RR data is now markedly reduced and shows the fatigue in the rider

90 This rider is arguably not ready for the next hard session until SD1 and SD2 values have returned to resting levels That is until RR variability has normalised Heart rate variability is now much reduced

91 Poincare plot am on the day of a 10 mile TT

92 Poincare Plot 3 hours after the ten mile TT

93 Morning after the 10 mile TT Much recovered but still not back to normal

94 Tracking Data You don’t need to do RR data analysis and Poincare heart rate graphs to show that you are fatigued the day after a time trial – you will know that by feel alone But if the analysis is undertaken over many days you can track recovery from much harder races and much greater training loads A more objective and visual method of tracking recovery is available using ‘Poincare Plot analysis’ and it is especially important in the late recovery period.

95 Using heart rate variability gives deep insight into fatigue and recovery and provides an objective method of knowing when full recovery has taken place. Therefore it is a valuable tool in the late recovery period. Much of the guess work is removed But it’s a complex area that’s advancing all the time

96 That’s all folks for the time being !

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