Shoes & Gear

Restwise: A Self-Coaching Tool

Restwise: A Self-Coaching Tool

The best way to improve as a runner is to run consistently. If you can keep from getting injured and just train, you almost can’t help but improve. Of course, staying injury free is challenging – especially as you try to increase your running volume. And figuring out the balance between pushing yourself and overtraining is difficult. Oftentimes it’s an injury that gives you that feedback about how you’ve miscalculated your recovery needs. One of the best tools I’ve found to help gauge recovery and consequently prevent injury is called Restwise. ( I stumbled upon tool when I was reading about Matt Dixon of Purplepatch Fitness ( and his coaching philosophy and its emphasis on proper recovery. (Check out the Purplepatch website and the education resources they have there. ( Dixon uses Restwise with many of his athletes. That, coupled with this testimonial ( convinced me to give it a try.

The Restwise software asks you to enter a series of objective and subjective values daily including:

  • Resting Heart Rate
  • Body Mass
  • Sleep
  • Oxygen Saturation
  • Hydration
  • Appetite
  • Muscle soreness
  • Energy level
  • Mood state
  • Well-being
  • Previous Day’s Performance

(The value of each marker is described on the site.

Then it spits out (well, displays anyway) a Recovery Score. 0-100%.

Here’s their demo video:

It’s very easy to ignore how your body’s absorbing training and plow pigheadedly along with a prescribed plan simply because it’s The Plan and you’re a dedicated runner who wants to excel. Restwise helped me (forced me) to pay attention to factors that were affecting my performance and recovery.

More than anything, I value the tool for this daily dose of forced mindfulness. Coach Brad Husdon wrote in his book Run Faster that the fundamental training mistakes runners make stem from “an underlying failure to gather and apply self-knowledge.” Certainly both gathering and applying self-knowledge can be accomplished without using Restwise. But if you’ve had trouble with either, the Restwise software is a great (and fairly inexpensive) tool to get you headed in that direction. (I’m not sponsored by Restwise or affiliated with them in any way.)

RestWise is a division of ReST, Inc. Photo and video property of ReST, Inc.

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This post was written by:

- who has written 3 posts on Trail Running Club.

Liza Howard is an ultramarathoner and coach who lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband and son. She has won several hundred-mile races, including the Leadville 100, as well as, the USATF 100k and 50-mile national trail titles in 2011. Her 15:33 100 mile PR is the second fastest time run by a US female on trail. She uses her running experience to coach athletes of all abilities to meet the many challenges of long distance running and achieve their goals.

Liza has been a field instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School since 2003, teaching leadership, backpacking, climbing and mountaineering skills to student groups on two-week to month-long wilderness expeditions. She also teaches emergency medicine for and the Wilderness Medicine Institute. Liza has a Masters of Education, a BSN, and a BA in History.

Liza's race results from 2009 to 2011 include:

• 2011 Javelina Jundred 101.4mi, 15:47, 1st female, 4th overall, course record
• 2011 USA Track and Field National Championships 50mi, 08:09:59, 1st female, course record
• 2011 Rocky Raccoon 100 mile, 15:33:09 , 1st female, fifth overall
• 2011 USA Track and Field National Championships 100k, 09:35:23, 1st female, course record
• 2010 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50mi, 08:48:46 , 7th female
• 2010 Leadville Trail 100mi, 21:19:47, 1st female
• 2010 Rocky Raccoon 100mi, 15:45:03, 1st female, 2nd overall
• 2009 Cactus Rose 100mi, 21:02:00, 1st overall, course record

Liza Howard is sponsored by:

Traverse Trail Running New Balance Drymax Sport Socks GU Pure Performance Energy Airrosti Rehab Centers. Dt. Stephen Offenburger, DC, ACP

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2 Responses

  1. Liza says:

    Thanks, Marc. I’m not much of a gadget/training software person, but it’s really forced me to pay attention to what I need to be paying attention to.

  2. Marc says:

    Thanks for the article, Liza. This is a very interesting idea. I think in my training I’ve neglected the recovery phase a little too much, so anything that will help me pay attention to recovery is welcome.

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