Best practice – a picture book like running season
We continue with our heart rate variabiltiy-“Best Practice” series.
From his point of view, Seppi Neuhauser (http://www.trail-of-life.at/) tells us what the 2019 running season was like for him.
How it all started
I did my first endurance competition 30 years ago. At national and international level, I took part in triathlon, marathon, mountain and trail runs. Until now, almost 130 000 kilometers have been run. Countless beautiful sports moments can decorate my athlete’s life. But there were also moments with lows in training and competition.
One thing still touches me – emotionally, mentally and physically – and that is the movement in nature. In 2006, my official trainer education gave me an insight into my training methods, both positive and negative. The training to become an HRV professional from Autonom Health brought also a change into my attitude in health, sports and everyday life. I took a lot of impulses home with me and kept developing new things for myself and the athletes I look after. A gentle path into sporting activity was created which allows me, but also others, to pursue their passion for a long time.
A picture book like running season
That’s how a picture book running season came along for me. I think every year: “More is not possible!”. But I somehow made a mistake this year. I no longer allow myself to be stressed out with success goals, such as placements, etc. For me, the performance goal is more important. The goal includes how I call my performance, how I feel about it, how the path to performance (effort and what comes out) is. Performance can be good, but the results often dampen performance.
The influence of the “My Autonom Health” app
This year, the new “My Autonom Health” app with a chest belt was added to my tools and I am thrilled with the results and what they give me. The app had an incredible impact on me this year because I was able to check my HRV data live and react immediately. It has been the foundation of my training plans for a long time, from this year the app influenced my planning like nothing before. Training days were changed into rest days, but also loose trainings during intensive units. I checked my sleep more often and decided in the morning how to organize the daily units. It was harder for me to skip a training session than to train loosely or harder. A question of conscience arose more often, and training sessions were set up online on social media, which concerned my conscience even more. For example, it says “remain calm and trust in your inner self”.
The app gives me security and sensitizes me to overstimulation. The first competitions were just around the corner and I often checked the intensity directly during the training in the app. Rest days were analyzed to ensure that the adjustment of the stimuli was initiated and that I was fresh on the training days. The result was that I invested less overall in the training. This left more time for activities that increase my feel-good range.
Here comes an important sentence, „“A lot of training is to become better, more training means to get even better, too much training means too much effort in too little performance”. This allowed me to get the most out of this season.
The first competition in 2019 was a trail marathon with 2 000 meters altitude in Madeira. I started the race calmly and carefree and immediately noticed that there was energy and freshness. This is how the race developed.
A lot of races followed. The highlight was certainly the Sky Race in Livigno. That is the highest league in trail running. In advance, I did the check with the app 3-4 days before the competition, as usual. There was enough time to do the setup. I noticed that my system becomes sluggish more often before being subjected to stress. It’s not a problem if you know it. So, I reacted with targeted impulses in the training and was recharged and motivated at the start. It was also interesting to learn how I should behave after the load or what I need the days after a competition. I experimented and checked some impulses with the HRV app. According to my HRV type, I built various activities into everyday life and it paid off. I completed my pre-competition and regeneration phases according to this scheme, the upcoming races were very positive.
Then the Trans Alpine Run (TAR) came closer and I still had 4 weeks to go. The HRV developed positively over the season and my goal was to be just as relaxed and strengthened at the start. That’s why I changed my training plan more often and relied on the measurements because the degree of overload became narrower. The focus on the upcoming stage race had risen sharply and became an additional burden. I managed to create calmness with breathing and movement meditation. This gave me great inner security. The starting shot was fired in Oberstdorf. I was very sure that I had a high motivation. That also corresponded with the HRV. Since the TAR has its own laws and stress resistance is a big factor here, I did 3 measurements this week. I changed little things from measurement to measurement like Pausing to reduce overstimulation at award ceremonies, I took care of my sleep hygiene etc. Sleep is the non plus ultra in a week like this because it is the most important regeneration phase. My changes gave me the best sleep score on day 8 by measuring my heart rate variability. It was thanks to the work with the HRV from Autonom Health that the values were still so good after approximately 260 km and 16 500 meters of altitude. I achieved a high level of athletic performance.
I don’t want to talk about placements, but first place in the TAR in this class and 4th place overall is something. Such a season, with so many positive impressions, and the high level of performance without overloading the body is a real success for me. The calendar age does not stop and if you can say after such a long time in sports: “That was the best season”, then it adds something special to the whole thing.
(The pictures were provided by Seppi Neuhauser.)