This review first appeared in the August issue of Competitor Magazine.
Written by: T.J. Murphy
Have you ever had a coach ask you to make a habit of checking your pulse rate when you wake up in the morning? The idea is that by consistently monitoring resting heart rate, upward spikes can be noted as possible red flags of overtraining.
The problem for many of us, quite frankly, is that checking heart rate in the foggy spell following the buzz of an alarm clock can be an annoying experience that is easy to bypass. This is the most immediate value of the Restwise Pulse Oximeter: Touch a button and slide your finger into a smooth plastic bracket and in a few seconds a small screen displays two key figures in the Restwise program, one pertaining to heart rate and the other oxygen saturation of the blood. The latter is a potential indicator of the early stages of chronic over-training fatigue.
Restwise is more than a handy gadget, however, as the core of the product is the software package and online tracking tool, designed to lead an athlete or coach toward the sweet spot of training—not too much recovery and not too little, ideally netting an optimal daily amount. The user not only logs pulse rate numbers, hours of sleep, oxygen saturation and weight, but also subjective observations on mood and how well a training session went. Daily reports feed enough info into the Restwise algorithms that display, for the user, a chart that tracks recovery and makes suggestions as to whether to back off or let it rip. Restwise hardware and software, plus a six-month subscription starts at $119.