How Tinman Elite Trains with WHOOP
How Tinman Elite Trains with WHOOP
Learn how Drew Hunter and Tinman Elite uses WHOOP to maximize their training.
This story is sponsored by WHOOP. WHOOP is a fitness wearable that provides you with personalized insights on your recovery, daily activity, and sleep. Go to WHOOP.com to learn more or sign up now at join.whoop.com/flosports and get your first month free from us.
Drew Hunter knows that running fast is more than simply adding miles.
“As runners, we're super driven by numbers. We know the pace we're supposed to run, we know how many miles we've logged, how many laps we've done,” said Hunter, a member of Tinman Elite and a U.S. champion.
“But, we're not always great at listening to our bodies. We have a tendency to think more mileage is the answer.”
To help hear what their bodies are saying, Tinman Elite uses WHOOP, a wearable device that tracks their recovery, cardiovascular strain, and sleep. WHOOP provides data on important metrics that runners often don’t pay attention to, like changes in resting heart rate, heart rate variability, sleep quality, and how different lifestyle behaviors affect recovery. In short, it quantifies the other 22 hours of the day when they’re not running.
“WHOOP simplifies a lot of the complicated parts of my life,” Hunter said.
The group has their own team on the WHOOP app, a feature that allows them to see their training partners’ data.
“It's easy to keep each other accountable at practice when we're right next to each other all the time, but it's another thing when we go home at night, it's another thing when we're out and about doing different things that aren't necessarily involved with the team,” said steeplechaser Joey Berriatua.
“I love waking up and seeing all the guys sleep and kind of getting competitive with it,” Hunter said.
Hunter uses the information to guide his training: If his WHOOP is red he might back off a session or emphasize recovery. If it’s green, he knows it’s time to push.
Sam Parsons, who represented Germany in the 5000m at the 2019 World Championships, pays particular attention to the sleep data that WHOOP provides.
“Sleep is where you get better. Period. And I can run as many miles as I want. If I'm not absorbing those miles, it does not matter. So to make sure every single day I'm hitting those sleep scores and those metrics is so important to me. So if I can get those nine hours in, get those 10 hours in, I know I'm just absorbing more and more fitness day in and day out,” Parsons said.
WHOOP also helped to explain the impact of what Parsons was putting in his body.
“I very quickly started picking up on things like whether it was the one glass or two glasses of wine I was having at night or the melatonin I was taking and how that would affect small things within my body,” Parsons said.
For the group as a whole, WHOOP revealed useful trends that Tinman Elite applies to optimize performance.
They train in high-altitude in Boulder, Colorado and noticed that their heart rate variability spikes and their resting heart rate decreases when they go to sea level to train or race. Both are signs of better recovery. On the flip side, a return to altitude brings an adjustment period with more sleep interruptions and worse recovery for the first few days—which you can track with WHOOP.
As the group prepares for the lead-up to the Olympics, they know that small margins can be the difference on the biggest stages of the sport.
“There is no one day, there's no one magic workout that's going to make you a professional runner or is going to make your career,” Parsons said.
“It's day after day after day consistency and hard work. And in order to put in that consistent day in day hard work, I needed to be able to not only be healthy, but also feel good. And WHOOP allowed me to make sure I actually did feel good. And assured to me that I was ready to push. And it was that push out the door that I needed not only to know that, hey, I am healthy, but hey, you're ready.”
To join WHOOP and get your first month free, go to join.whoop.com/flosports
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