Monitoring Recovery- Foundation of Fundamentals


Some coaches asked how I monitor recovery and I ask are they doing the basics. I do attendance including equipment such as water bottles, and unless we do the fundamentals our foundation is going to be thin. I know the ithlete system is getting a lot of momentum because it takes one minute and captures 4 key data points. A general HRV score of the day in the morning (ideally) and resting heart rate with both a time stamp and indicator color. The Zeo system used by Josh Hurlebaus and other members captures a Z Score, a quarterback rating like summary of sleep performance with some metrics such as REM and deep sleep duration, and, times woken up. With two minutes of work done in the morning you are getting 2 of my 5 KPIs of monitoring.

After sleep and HRV, I move to my bodymap method of using the anatomical body, complete with joints and tissue and have the athlete use their finger to shade areas on the smartphone that are sore. I have tried color codes and notes but just a picture shaded works great. This takes about 30 seconds tops and is time stamped as well. This is KPI 3.

The fourth KPI is Nutrition and I use task lists and a nutritional system based on Jennifer Hutchinson’s questionnaire. A lot of nutritional information is out there but the systems are labor intensive for athletes who are not OCD with nutrition. Unless you are Mike Pigg or Lance Armstrong, very few people are weighing rice and getting into monk mode. Most want to sin and not take a lot of time planning and recording. I use a hierarchy of macro to micro. We worry about consistent meal times and eating good ingrates, the right balance of food options, basic hydration and post workout nutrition, and budgeting. Nutritionists need to be nutrition coaches to get change. Nutritionists love nutrition, but many athlete are not scholars and just want to eat food that tastes good that is convenient. This is the hardest KPI to work with as you can only spend 5 minutes a week dealing with this.

The Fifth KPI is an integrated mental health and sports psychology 1 minute log with warning sign screening. I am not a fan of Teskal and POMS since they are boring and repetitive. I do weekly mental screens to see if the micro cycles are matching up with the other KPIs. Sometimes athletes need a change of environment, a funny movie, a new boyfriend, or a better lifestyle situation. All of this can be done with tapforms and exported to excel for simple analysis.

I have spent a long time looking at what sustainable method of monitoring the athlete with daily scoring. If it takes 2 minutes a day to do and it can be shared and updated every morning coaches are going to make big benefits. Training logs don’t work as only one or two people actually do this and it has to be fast and reliable.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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