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ALMOST 2 YEARS AGO • 5 MIN READ

The Endure EQ Vol. 001 | How to recovery from endurance training without spending $1000s of dollars

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Sustainable Endurance Training

Welcome to The Endure EQ by Excel Endurance. Get a short tip for triathlon training, sustainable performance and reaching your personal potential in this weekly newsletter. Join here to get the next volume emailed to you:

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Hello Reader,

Welcome to Vol. 001 of The Endure EQ (previously the EE Weekly Performance Newsletter).

Each week, you get 1 deep dive that will cover a topic related to endurance training, maximizing your potential or reaching peak performance.

Let’s jump in.


Most athletes are wasting time and money with their recovery practices.

And here’s where most go wrong:

  • They feel recovery is a waste of time
  • It’s time spent not training (so invaluable)
  • Thinking it requires buying expensive gadgets
  • Building inconsistent recovery routines

The goal of recovery is to maximize your training gains.

But you don’t want to waste time on the things that don’t work; you’re busy enough already.

So let’s cut through the noise and focus on the only 5 things that matter when it comes to recovery: training, nutrition, sleep, rest days and supportive sessions. Nail these and you’ll be able to training at a high level. And not waste your money.

But first some things you need to know:

Recovery 101: What you need to know

Supercompensation

The science of why we need recovery from training comes down to supercompensation.

When we train we deplete the body. Following a short rest the body compensates back to the baseline. After a prolonged period of training and recovery you get a supercompensation where you actually bounce back further then before (as in the graph).

When multiple days stack together, you can thing of this as a series of steps on a staircase.

You start at the bottom step, training brings you down a step, recovery bounces you up 2 before you settle one step ahead.

It’s complex but underscores the importance of recovery in your training.

Growth Equation

Let’s put this a little more simply using the growth equation from Peak Performance.

  • Stress + rest = growth

This states that in order to see growth you need some form of stress (training) and some form of rest (recovery)

So, put in our context

  • training + recovery = performance

This is the simplest way to think about your recovery in training.

As you increase your training load you also need to increase your recovery so that you continue to see performance improvements.

You should always be looking to match the level of your recovery to your level of training.

Role of All Stress

All stress is interpreted the same in the body.

So you need to factor in life stress in the equation as well. If you are in a period of high life stress you will not be able to absorb your training in the same way. Which means you probably need a higher focus on recovery in those periods, so you can maintain a consistent training load.

Recovery is important in every facet of life.

It’s time to think about your recovery differently

Having the wrong recovery focus or worse no recovery practice will lead you to a plateau or decrease in performance.

Despite what you see on social media, spending $1000s on the latest gadget will not make it any better wither. You need to build a foundation of recovery habits first. Gadgets and devices are the top of the pyramid when it comes to recovery.

If you don’t have a foundation of habits then spending money is a complete waste

Here’s how:

The 5 key pillars of recovery for endurance athletes

Sustainable training is the foundation that all the remaining habits are built on.

The goal of your training is to consistently nail the basics, stay injury free, and do the races you want to do.

The way to achieve that is with sustainable training.

Heroic efforts will take so much out of you in one go that you will need weeks to recover: this is unsustainable training.

Sustainable training allows you to be consistent on the time-scale of years.

Aim for +80% of your training to be sustainable, while the other 20% can push you.

Regular Rest Days

Once you have a foundation of sustainable training we can look at rest days when needed.

I’m a big fan of having 1 complete rest day per week (non-negotiable).

This allows a natural reset for your body whether you need it or not.

Rest days allow for an opportunity for the compensation to occur without the temptation of squeezing in another training session.

If you don’t want to plan a regular rest day then you should consider using metrics such as HRV to guide your training decision to load or not to load.

Quality and Quantity of Sleep

Sleep is one of the biggest factors in athletes who consistently train and athletes who are injured regularly.

There are 2 factors with sleep that are important: quality and quantity.

Sleep quantity: How much sleep you are getting?

  • Aim for 7-10 hours of sleep
  • Consistent bed and rise time
  • You know you are getting enough if you can wake up without an alarm

Sleep quality: How rested do you feel?

  • Set your room up to be cool and dark.
  • Limit caffeine in the PM.
  • Avoid alcohol before bed.

Start with increasing how much you are sleeping, and then aim to get better quality sleep.

Periodic Supportive Sessions

Within your Sustainable Training week you will want to have some supportive sessions.

These are different then key sessions that drive endurance performance.

Supportive sessions get you away from the constant grind of training and take care of your body and mind.

Key supportive sessions to have:

  • Strength training
  • Mobility sessions
  • Walking/hiking
  • Other sports and activities you find enjoyable

Have things in your training schedule that bring you joy and break away from the need for everything to be performance focused.

Nutritional Foundation

Food is fuel for your training and performance.

What you eat and don’t eat plays a role in how you perform and how well you recover.

Here are some principles that can get you started with a nutrition foundation:

  • Eat as much real food as you can: fruit, veggies, protein sources, etc.
  • Avoid mindless snacking: listen to your hunger cues
  • Fuel the burn: eat enough to replenish what you burned training
  • Enough of each nutrient: you need some of every nutrient to train including carbs, fat, and protein.

Disclaimer: I am not a dietician or nutrition expert. I HIGHLY recommend connecting with one. A few sessions with a great one will be worth more than the latest recovery gadget promoted on Instagram.

Recovery pitfalls to avoid

Now that you know the pillars of recovery here are a few things to watch out for:

  • Taking too much recovery: back to the growth equation, you need both stress and rest to continue to see growth. Taking too much recovery will lead to no performance gains.
  • Avoiding training: recovery is meant to supplement your endurance and strength training. It shouldn’t replace it.
  • Adding too many extras: focus on sustainable training first. Your load should be manageable to begin with and then the other habits will support sustainable training.

Recap:

Some overall reminders about recovery:

  • Recovery is necessary to compensate for your training.
  • Life and training stress are similar in the body.
  • Match your level of recovery to your training.

You can recover well with a few key habits:

  • Build a sustainable training week
  • Include regular rest days
  • Get enough sleep
  • Use supportive sessions during your week
  • Build a foundation of solid nutrition

Thank you for reading this edition of the Endure EQ.

- Chandler


Ps. What did you think of this new format? What future topics would you like a deep-dive on? Reply to this email and let me know your thoughts and ideas (I read every response).


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Sustainable Endurance Training

Welcome to The Endure EQ by Excel Endurance. Get a short tip for triathlon training, sustainable performance and reaching your personal potential in this weekly newsletter. Join here to get the next volume emailed to you:

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