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the strange science of recovery

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Jun 2019
9:28am, 27 Jun 2019
2384 posts
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Somebody was talking about recovery recently, in a blog I think or possibly on a thread somewhere. Anyway, there's an interesting review of Good To Go: What the athlete in all of us can learn from the strange science of recovery, by Christine Aschwanden at The review summary:

This book argues persuasively that when it comes to optimizing the recovery portion of the exercise-recover-exercise cycle, nobody knows nuthin’ and most people who claim to know sumthin’ are wrong. It’s easy to read and has some nice anecdotes. Worth reading if you have a special interest in the subject, otherwise not.

The full review focuses mainly on methodological and statistical issues, as that's the focus of the blog it appears on.
Jun 2019
9:38am, 27 Jun 2019
43307 posts
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Thanks Drell. I'll try the link again:
Jun 2019
10:08am, 27 Jun 2019
1312 posts
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Thanks, enjoyed the review.

There seems to be such dogma in so many areas of running that I find the lack of hard conclusions refreshing - if not likely to sell many books!

“...Different things work differently for different people, so following the same recovery routine as your sports idol might not work for you; (9)

Some recovery methods, maybe a lot of them, really do help some people simply due to the ‘placebo effect’, and there’s nothing wrong with that: if it helps, it helps.”
Jun 2019
11:41am, 27 Jun 2019
7914 posts
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I get a accused of trolling sometimes (!) when pitching odd approaches or seeking data to back up "received wisdoms", but that review seems to chime with what I've read over the last few years - that whatever is felt to be good or right from a training perspective is probably equally as good or right as some other common sense thing. So just find something that feels like it works for you, and you'll be OK.

I like "different things work differently for different people".

(Of course, there is a valid debate about how big window is of "common sense things", but you know it when you see it, don't you?)
Jun 2019
12:21pm, 27 Jun 2019
1313 posts
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Quite so larks!

If I could put my finger on why yesterday’s run felt such a struggle and yet today’s was such a joy I’d bottle it and keep it for future use.
Jun 2019
1:19pm, 27 Jun 2019
7918 posts
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I'd actually like there to be more rules so that I could follow them - it gives me justification for going down a certain path beyond bare "faith".
11 Feb
4:21pm, 11 Feb 2021
455 posts
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SteveC NordRunner
I'm part way through the audiobook version of this. So far, it is a good book. It is chatty and easy to listen to, and at the same time delivers on the research on remedies that some might suspect to be fads and myths about recovery. It is quite well up to date, and the author has research credentials. So far in my reading, she has dealt with beer, ice baths, cryotherapy, sports drinks, electrolytes, and the post-exercise nutrition window. I recommend it if you want to de-complicate your day-to-day running.

If you are concerned with recovering on a very short time-scale, like running heats or multiday events, then there might be something to gain from one or two of these things, but, on the whole, a simple life with regular meals and sleeping is hard to improve on. A follow-up book could be Shalane Flanagan's Run Fast, Eat Slow.
11 Feb
4:38pm, 11 Feb 2021
4368 posts
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K5 Gus
If the book is about recovery, and the author is arguing that anyone who professes to know about recovery should be ignored "nobody knows nuthin'", then why should we read it as by her own definition she doesn't know what she's talking about :-)
11 Feb
4:44pm, 11 Feb 2021
456 posts
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SteveC NordRunner
She didn't say that, the first poster did. She knows a lot about things you think you know that ain't so :)

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Maintained by Drell
Somebody was talking about recovery recently, in a blog I think or possibly on a thread somewhere. A...

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