In this article we have gathered some of the frequently asked questions about the recovery and the Recovery report in Sports (4.7.x.) software.
What is the unit for recovery?
The unit for recovery is the Recovery Index. The value is based on the heart rate, heart rate variability and the respiratory rate calculated from the heart rate. The recovery index is presented as an absolute value, and is to be interpreted personally.
The recovery test will give the individual recovery index and the scaled recovery index. Scaled recovery index is calculated as percent from the person's maximal recovery value using the person's measurement history.
More information about the recovery can be found from here.
What is the best way to perform the Quick Recovery Test (QRT)?
The Quick recovery test should always be performed using the same protocol. For example: Same place and time of the day, same preparations and the same posture during the test. This way the measurements results are well comparable with each other and the external factors can be ruled out to minimum.
The test can be performed before the training in the field or in a locker room. Quick Recovery test can be performed in real-time or the reports can be created from already existing measurements. The test can also be performed remotely by using Suunto Movescount application and a Bluetooth heart rate belts. In this case the report will be created after the measurements are synced from the Movescount to Sports.
How often should the recovery test be performed and how long it takes to establish the recovery baseline?
In continuous use the QRT should be performed at least three times a week. The night recovery test can be performed once or twice a week.
To establish the baseline, it is recommended to create at least three night recovery tests in well rested state. This way the baseline can be established tom most accurately. Using the QRT the baseline requires at least 10 measurements before the analysis is able to see the recovery trend in measurements and thus determine the accurate baseline.
Why is it recommended to do the recovery test during the night?
When measuring during the it is possible to rule out external factors that might affect the recovery results. The long measurement time also gives the test a better reliability when compared to a shorter measurement time. Night recovery tests are also a more natural way of performing the recovery test because you don't have to specifically start the test - you can just go to sleep.
What is the meaning of the height of the stress and recovery columns in the Recovery report?
The height of the columns indicate the momentary percentage and the strength of the reaction during the measurement period. The higher the column presenting the reactions is, the more powerful the stress and recovery reaction.
What is the most important result in the recovery report?
We think that the most important result in the Recovery report is the absolute and the scaled recovery index, and the changes in the follow-up chart. With these values it is possible to see which way the recovery is going. Normally the recovery index values are decreasing during an intense training period and increasing during a lighter training period. The follow-up chart helps to find an optimal interval between training and recovery.
What are the minimum and maximum values of recovery index and how much they should vary during practice?
There are no set minimum and maximum values for the Recovery Index. The Recovery index is a personal value and scaling the value is based on the person's measurement history and anlysis of the physiological variables. The highest Recovery index we have measured has been 380 and the lowest 30.
Normally the difference in Recovery index between hard and light training periods is 50 to 70 recovery index units. However, the training philosophies vary according to the coach and the sport.
Is it rational to compare the Recovery index values between athletes?
The Recovery index itself if not a comparable value between different values. However, it is possible to compare the scaled recovery index values (the percentage and the yellow line inf the chart). For example, the recovery index of 120 can mean very different things to two athletes but when this value is scaled to the athletes' recovery measurement history, the scaled recovery index can be used for comparison between individuals.
How is it possible that the recovery report shows only green even after a hard training period?
(For example: The Recovery report shows good recovery but the feeling is that the recovery has been poor)
The physiological state recognition in the Recovery chart shows the dominating reaction at the time of the measurement. In general, endurance athletes have a very strong parasympathetic nervous activity at rest. This parasympathetic nervous systems activity keeps the heart rate so low that the whole night can been seen as good recovery. By looking at the recovery index values you can get more accurate information about the recovery during the night. There can be a rather big difference in the Recovery index value between two "green" nights.
What does the recovery follow-up chart tell?
In this chart you can see the trend of the Recovery index from a longer period of time. The follow-up can be used to identify the different factor affecting the body's recovery. During the hard training periods the Recovery index typically decreases and during the lighter training period it increases again. This trend should be seen clearly from the Recovery follow-up chart.