Today I want to give you some insight into my typical “work” day, training as a professional triathlete for Ironman, and how I apply the Masimo MightySat into my daily routine. More specifically, I will address the important benefits of using Respiration Rate (RRp, or breaths/min), one of the five Masimo biomarkers in addition to SPO2, PR, PVi, and Pi. RRp is a measurement of respiration rate based on changes in the plethysmographic waveform.
It’s all about Time: When to get up in the morning, when to eat, when to arrive at practice, when to start a workout, when to schedule bodywork… Structuring the day is key, there is a lot to schedule and manage and it certainly gets stressful. In fact, one of the hardest things for me is simply making time to shut off, relax, and forget about Time. But coming back to Time again: Each session is structured in minutes, if not seconds, over hours. It’s all about pace, Watts and splits.
Training for a professional athlete does not include stress relief- you have to work like a robot, embrace the pain, and be mentally sharp since every second counts. No time for the zone out!
Here’s a look at Time on Thursday, November 9th, 2017:
4:30 AM: Wake up. Take morning measurement with MightySat to assess state of recovery (main attention: SPO2 and PR), followed by a small breakfast.
5:30 AM: Workout #1. Swim 1.5 hours at the Olympic Training Center. The PikesPeakAthletics workout is all about sendoff times, intervals and pace.
7:30 AM: Home. Second breakfast, followed by 30 minutes recovery on the couch with the MightySat (focus: bring RRp below 10)
9:00 AM: Office work. Emails, social media, Skype call with coach.
10:00 AM: Workout #2. Running track workout, 12 miles total. Main set of 10x 800m in 2:35 with about 90 seconds rest.
12:00 PM: Home. Lunch, followed by a short nap and a MightySat check to see how I “digested” those two pretty hard training sessions.
2:00 PM: Bodywork. Chiropractor appointment including Active Release Techniques.
3:00 PM: Workout #3. 2.5 hour bike ride on SRM indoor trainer, with 10x 5 minutes at 400 Watts (if MightySat data showed lack of recovery priorly, I would cut back on those efforts)
6:00 PM: Bodywork. 1 hour massage appointment.
7:00 PM: Home. Dinner, finally sitting down with my wife. No sports related topics allowed on dinner table!
8:00 PM: Stretching with some TV time for a movie.
9:00 PM: Reading in bed, checking state of recovery with MightySat (same as morning measurement: Goal is to see a high SPO2 and low PR).
9:30 PM: Lights out!
Next day: Repeat- more or less- although training programs vary, such as swim in morning followed by long ride or run.
This is my typical training day, my work day. It can definitely feel like a whirlwind and it’s important for me to stop sometimes and just think about breathing. This brings me to the Respiration Rate biomarker of the MightySat. It is the only marker you can control voluntarily.
Both Oxygen Saturation and Pulse Rate even improve (SPO2 higher %, PR lower bpm) when you try to take less breaths per minute. Instead of flat “lazy” breathing, you will automatically shift to a deeper breathing, which comes more out of your diaphragm.
I still remember when I tried to measure my breaths per minute in the past, before having the MightySat. I needed a clock, which brought me right back to “time” and reminded me of stressful situations in training.
With the MightySat all you need to do is place it on a finger and try to lower the RRp number. If you feel like really zoning out, you can even track your relaxation session with the Masimo smartphone app, the phone on silent of course.
Being mindful of breathing is a big part of my recovery between training sessions, such as listed above in the mid-morning and after lunch. A good RRp number for me is 8, but sometimes I manage to bring it down all the way to 6. When I’m not paying attention and not focusing on breath I am at a 10-11.
Here’s the exciting part – The MightySat is not only useful in professional training, it is a great addition to normal, everyday life. It encourages a healthy, balanced lifestyle for everyone. Imagine finding those extra 5 minutes twice a day, at work or at home to focus on wellness. I guarantee that you will feel so much fresher and mindful of your body and breath.