ATC 362: ‘Underrated’ Recovery Tools and Strategies, Morning vs Evening Workout Pros and Cons (Don’t Do This Exercise First Thing), Plus: Healing Post Antibiotics

February 9, 2024


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Intro Banter

  • Talking strength training
  • Tawnee’s go to set: SL RDLs, KB windmills, Turkish Get-ups (TGU), Pullup bar (dead hangs + pull-ups)
  • KB windmills are a bit tricky to get form right and do them safely, good tutorial here.


Recovery 101:

  • We talk about our favorite underrated physical recovery tool(s)/strategies that more athletes can easily take advantage of.
  • Scraping
  • Gua Sha (side benefit as a beauty tool)
  • Rest days
  • 10-Day training week to allow for more rest days

AM vs PM Workouts:

  • Is doing a hard interval workout at 6am equal in effectiveness to the same hard interval workout done at 6pm?  In other words, does the time of day affect the usefulness of any workout?
  • At the end of the day, workout when you can make it happen and be consistent.
  • From there we outline the pros and cons of morning vs evening training, many things to consider.
    • Chronotypes
    • Why Tawnee broke up with early morning workouts.
    • A case for working out when you feel sluggish and most tired.
  • Research shows we should avoid strength work that includes significant spinal flexion in the first hour upon waking (eg no good mornings right away in the morning)
  • Meanwhile, we may be able to perform our best in short-duration, high-intensity efforts in the evening (think track).
    • Study: “Time-of-Day Effects on Short-Duration Maximal Exercise Performance.”
    • “Short duration maximal exercise performance is affected by the time of day, peaking between 16:00 and 20:00 h. However, a similar performance may be achieved in the morning hours if exercise is conducted after: (1) short exposures to moderately warm and humid environments; (2) active warm-up protocols; (3) intermittent fasting conditions; (4) warming-up while listening to music; (5) prolonged periods of training at a specific time of day. This suggests that time-of-day dependent fluctuations in short-duration maximal exercise performance are controlled not only by body temperature, hormone levels, motivation or mood states but also by a versatile circadian system within skeletal muscle.”

Getting Back To It After Significant Illness & Antibiotic Setback:

Anonymous asks: You guys gave me the best advice this summer while I was training for 70.3- thanks so much!!!! I am switching from racing 70.3 to doing the chicago marathon in October and need to build a base after being pretty sick. I have had 6 (absolutely necessary) rounds of antibiotics in the last 6 months (4 in the last 2 months) and am a bit of a mess. 1.)in July- 2 antibiotics for UTIs due to training in the local reservoir  (stay out of the Boulder Rez, kids) 2) nov 22- Dec 30- 4 rounds of antibiotics to kill two strains of E. coli and Giardia that I picked up on a trip to Morocco late September. The Giardia started “eating “ my muscles and I lost a lot of strength and speed, couldn’t complete even a 2 mile run less than 2 months after finishing Ironman 70.3, and couldn’t stay awake during the day.  It was no fun. My body has been pretty effed up with all that it’s been through and I don’t take antibiotics lightly. Don’t worry Tawnee- I am very religious in getting in lots of  prebiotics and probiotics 🙂

I am looking for  a gentle way to start to build a base with the goal of hitting it hard in May! I struggle to stay in Z2 when running (even pre-infections), often completing long runs at 150-160 bpm (but can totally sustain z2 on bike rides). I know that I would benefit from building a better aerobic base. I started MAF, but it is not a good match for me right now, as doing it on the treadmill at such a low MAF heart rate due to illness (128 -138 with the 10 extra bpm Lucho says we can have) is leading me to recreate a gait associated with an injury, which I worked for over a year to retrain. I felt  acute pain in the injury area and radiating up my back on each run. My pace was 12:13. I don’t want to write MAF off and am interested in doing a block of MAF  in march/ april when I can run outside and have more control over the mechanics of transitioning between walk to run, which is part of the issue on the treadmill. I’m not a non-believer!

In the interim, any ideas of ways to build more of a Zone 2? Right now I have worked back up to 13 miles a week, which is low, I know. Last week I completed 5 miles at 11:07 pace. Before Giardia etc , I was very comfortable at 8:30 pace, so it’s a hard pill to swallow but this pace is pain free and it’s where my body is! My heart rate starts in 120s and ends at high 150s over the 5 miles, with the average being 145 bpm. I plan to work on durability too, but am holding off to decrease stress on my system (is this right?). This whole approach is hard because I like intensity- Lucho said I was a neurotype 2 when answering another question for me! And I’m definitely judging myself for this loss of fitness.

What the coaches says:

  • Don’t do the marathon this year, this was a significant setback for you. Let your body heal and once training naturally improves then start building momentum. Right now body still showing major red flags of recent issues, thus, not ready.
  • If it’s hard to let go of a race, why is that? If this is trouble, often that’s a sign that we need to focus our efforts on this: why do we “need” a race on the calendar; why do we need a race to feel a certain way? Ideally, this should not be the case.
  • Antibiotics – not just about loading up on probiotics but also addressing issues like biofilms, lifestyle, etc.

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