I like living actively, so generally I tend to push myself too hard. A few years ago, when I started biking for more than just leisure, I started logging data (with the help of a system Sydney introduced) so I could guess when I needed to back off and rest. I had a pile of data and only an inkling of how to interpret it. Then I stumbled upon this nifty app called RestWise.
In their own words, RestWise, uses evidence-based research, rigorously-tested variable weightings and a proprietary algorithm to provide the solution to the question that plagues every athlete: "am I training too hard... or not hard enough?" RestWise is a subscription service which allows users to try it for free 30 days before charging $19 monthly, $99/6 months or $149/year.
Each day you answer 14 questions. For the first few weeks the app teaches you how to fill in the data and answers your how and why questions with a series of emails. After this introductory period, the RestWise team tells you the program has gathered enough data to begin giving you reliable recommendations. Because the recovery number is based on the data you enter, the longer you use it, the more accurate it becomes.
The first image below is what the data entry looks like on a computer. The second image is what the data entry looks like on an iPhone. When you have entered your data, you can ask to see the results. You are given a percentage, a recommendation, and a chart. On the second website view, you will notice that you can email the chart, export the data, and even update your training peaks.
They have an easy to find "feedback" link on their site to get in touch with their team. I have found them to be quite accommodating and pleasant. Previously, I was tracking my tiredness by my week's workload; taking my perceived effort x minutes work. When my total reached a certain point, I'd better back off or I'd fall ill. When I shared this with the RestWise team, they generously added a perceived effort log to my program. Previously, it was only used by teams in the UK.
So far, I'm very pleased with RestWise. I have found I take a major knock in my recovery score if I don't get 8 hours sleep. Then, upon waking, I'm told, "Dude. Rest" So, in a way, I am rewarded for resting. Instead of viewing sleep as annoying dawdle, I now find myself thinking I need to get to bed so when I wake up in the morning, my app turns me loose and says, "Go kill it!"
In the end, I agree with Jesse Thomas. He says, "I think the system appeals to the analytical/logical side of my brain (which exists, believe it or not). I know that rest is absolutely key in training, but like most driven/competitive athletes, I’ve always struggled with allowing myself to take it easy. As an athlete, you don’t want to be the one that says, “I need to rest.” You want to always think that you can take more, it’s a confidence thing. So for me, that should be the coach’s job. What sold me on Restwise was that it was another “coach” that could tell me, rather objectively, “You’re tired, and you need to get some freaking rest, dude!” (my Restwise has an attitude, and I like it). It was a way for me to feel that someone (or something) else was telling me to rest, not myself. It’s another tool that gives me the benefit of rest but takes the burden off me and off my confidence."
|RestWise Enter Data Web Page|
|RestWise Enter Data iPhone|
|RestWise Recovery Score & Chart Web Page|
|RestWise iPhone Recovery Score|