Getting in the green


“That data keeps the wheels from falling off, lets me know when I have the capacity to maintain, that’s something I’ve never had before.”

When preparing for an event of such epic proportions, quantifying daily recovery is vital to ensure the veteran SEALs are training as efficiently as possible. With the Specter Series approaching, the team members have actually increased their recovery averages while simultaneously adding to the amount of strain they take on each week.

As his overall fitness improved from one month to the next, Bob’s heart rate variability went up and his resting heart rate went down, causing his average daily recovery to jump from 55% to 70%.

"I've always hated running, but I’m starting to get there, get into the zone. Proper recovery is crucial."

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The exercise of breathing into a balloon opens up the diaphragm and lets Jonny work on controlled inhales and exhales. Consistent breathing allows more oxygen into the blood stream and helps boost endurance. It’s something he’s focussing on during training and it will play a key role in completing the 100-mile run.

The team sets aside two “active recovery” days each week. “I plan what I do on those days based on my WHOOP recovery,” Bob said. “If I’m in the red, I just go for a walk or do as little as possible. If my recovery is yellow, I’ll get on the ski erg to save my legs. And if I’m in the green, I’ll get in the pool to get the blood flowing. I’m also doing Normatec and cryotherapy on those days as well, those are ‘must dos’ for me. That and drinking at least two gallons of water.”

“I haven’t been able to adjust my hard training days based on my recovery since the long-distance runs have to be on the weekends,” Bob added. “Running for 6-7 hours in a day isn’t really an option during the work week, if I wake up in the red on a Saturday I just suck it up and train. However, I have noticed that when I push myself on red days it takes me much longer to get back in the green again, three or four days instead of one or two.”

In spite of this, the team is still doing an excellent job managing daily strain and recovery. Here’s a sample week of Jonny’s data from the second month of training:

By balancing his strain and recovery so closely, he’s able to rebound much faster after high-strain days and avoid multiple days of subpar recoveries.