I recently stumbled upon a new and unique tool designed to address one of the biggest challenges faced by many runners. Injuries are problematic for runner’s of all ages, especially middle age athletes. The founders of Recover Athletics have just launched an app that provides customized recovery and pre-hab plans for runners of all abilities. I reached out to the team, including CEO, Nick Stewart and asked if I could take the app for a “test spin.”
In this article, I provide a thorough review of the Recover App.
Recover Athletics is the first performance recovery platform for endurance runners. Their goal is to help runners manage and proactively prevent overuse injuries.
Their website consists of the gateway to primary product, the Recovery App, which I review below. They also have a blog with detailed articles focused on running and injury prevention. They host the Run Healthy Podcast. The latest episode is an interview with 2020 Olympic Marathoner Qualifier, Molly Seidel (a Notre Dame Alum like myself).
Once your profile is created, the app walks you through a series of questions to gather data on the extent of any current injuries or nagging pains. The app actually asks “What’s Sore Today.
The app also integrates with Strava or allows for manual input of weekly mileage, pace and duration of workouts. One of the goals of the app is to use AI to provide users with custom pre-hab or recovery plans. These routines are professionally developed by medical professionals from Massachusetts General Hospital.
- Next you can create a “Recovery” for your specific injury or weakness.
- Recoveries consist of set of 6-7 specific exercises that address your issue.
- The app contains 100+ exercises for runners
- The goal is to use your “Recovery” routines to recover and stay injury free
- You can set up a daily recovery reminder for a specific time and days of the week.
In my case, Plantar Fasciitis has been a problem for the last 10 months. I’m at the back end of the injury, so I followed the prompts to create a Plantar Fascia Recovery. The app generated a 6 exercise x 10 minute recovery that’s comprised of various stretches and strength exercises.
Below is a screenshot of my Plantar Fascia Recovery
The recovery begins when the user clicks on the start button. Next you simply complete the exercises as directed by the app. Easy to follow directions are provided for each exercise. The videos are clear and the underlying benefits for runners of each exercise are discussed.
Each time you sign on the app, it will connect with Strava to gather your latest workouts or if you don’t use Strava, you will be asked about your weekly mileage. The app will ask you to rate the pain from your current injury.
Based on the input provided, the app generates an “Insights” graph that monitors your training, recovery and soreness over time. You can then break down trends of your recovery over a set period of time, as well as supplement your routines with stretches and other useful post-recovery tips. As you can see in the screenshot below, my mileage has been limited, but the soreness of my injury has declined over the last month.
Another app feature, if you allow, is occasional “push notifications” that appear on your phone. I’ve only seen a few, so you don’t think you will feel harassed (like some social media notifications). One was notification of the Molly Seidel podcast.
The paid version of the app allows users to create additional recoveries. This is useful if you had some weaknesses, such as hip or glutes that often contribute to injuries.
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I also created a glute recovery that consists of a combination of 6 stretch & strength exercises. Since glute weakness and hip instability are often root causes of many lower body injuries, this recovery is particularly beneficial.
Recovery App Studio
In my opinion, the best feature of the Recover app is with the Studio. This is a collection of your personalized recovery routines, as well as specific strengthening & mobility routines. Similar to the recovery routines, the strengthening & mobility routines are very targeted and include detailed video instruction for a set of 6-7 stretches and strength exercises. The mobility sequence includes:
- Marathoner’s recovery bible
- Cool down essentials
- Roll out and & get loose
The Strengthening sequence is very comprehensive, comprised of 14 different routines, including :
- Hardcore core
- It’s all in the hips
- We love resistance bands
- The marathon prepper
- Going couch to 5k
- Run for Health
- Runner’s daily strengthening
I completed a couple of the routines, including the “It’s all in the hips” and “Runner’s daily strengthening” routine. I found the instructions are excellent and easy to follow. I really like the explanations of the benefits gained by completing each exercise. Another nice feature is that each routine includes a modify option where you can see how to make the exercise easier or harder. I’ve placed a few photos below of me working out using app.
As a coach, I think the app has a lot of value. I coach people of varying abilities with different goals and challenges. If they are injured or feel some pain coming on, I can now use the app to suggest a specific recovery. My plans include numerous conditioning/strength training routines which I can now modify and assign directly from the app.
Overall Assessment: 5/5
Overall, I’m a big fan of the recover app and plan and recommend it. It’s informative and easy to use. It’s great for runners of all abilities and ages. Consistency in training and remaining injury free is essential if you want to reach your goals. This app allows runners to recover the wear and tear of long distance training. Being able to customize your routines based on specific input allows you to minimize your risk of injury.
I think that having access to a suite of professionally developed strengthening exercises and stretches that are targeted to specific parts of your body is a huge win. The exercises included in each routine only take minutes to complete.
At this time, the Recover app is available for iOS in the Apple app store. There’s a free version which provides a single recovery. The paid version ($2.99/month or $24.99/year) allows access to the entire suite of studio routines and multiple personalized routines. With plans to add routines to the Studio throughout the year, the annual subscription is a good value.