Jen Rulon

Sidenote: I wrote this article over five years ago, and I wanted to reshare it because we, as athletes, triathletes, runners, cyclists, powerlifters, etc., forget about rest and its importance is. I talk about how I used The Whoop to track my sleep and sickness. My athlete Jeff does the same and had some excellent learnings recently.  Today, I am here to remind you of some tips. I will always put in a rest day for my athletes and rest weeks. Need any help with coaching for the rest of the year? I have spots available! Apply TODAY! 

Rulon Rules to Rest & Recovery

As triathletes, we know the importance of rest and recovery. You have all heard the numerous discussions about sleep and what we are learning about LACK of sleep. Heck, I wrote a blog about Why It is Time to Prioritize Your Sleep, Triathletes.”

Unfortunately, as triathletes, we tend to be VERY hard on ourselves. For example, maybe you feel like a nap, but in your mind, you think LAZY. Or you see ALL your friends riding 5 hours when you are ONLY supposed to be riding 2 hours. Unfortunately, the big thing that gets in our way is OUR EGO! (Yes, I said it!) As a triathlon coach, I have seen this happen with athletes constantly. Not so much for the people I coach, but the people I see on social media!

The Whoop, Being Sick & How to Rest

Today, I want to chat about my Rulon Rules to “Rest and Recovery” for Triathletes. But first, let me show you some data from last week from my tracking device called The Whoop! So let’s geek out and show you some data!

Wednesday, Feb. 1st data: 

First REAL week of getting a workout in. Did swim on Monday (No WHOOP in the pool!), Inferno Pilates on Tuesday, and I biked for 45 minutes on the trainer on Wednesday. I had 7:17 hours of sleep, but I did need 7:36. So, my sleep performance wasn’t that bad, BUT I looked at how low my recovery was. Remember, I am still coughing after getting off the bike and running. But, my resting heart rate was slightly higher today than on other days.

Thursday, Feb. 2nd Data:

I ran today, and I felt like I could RULE the world again! Then I stopped and couldn’t stop coughing! While my sleep was slightly lower than I needed, I recovered much better. I had a higher strain because running is just you and the world, while cycling uses your bike—lower heart rate than the run.

Friday, Feb. 3rd Data:

I don’t know what happened today, BUT I took the day off. I was going to lift and do a WOD, but the thought of going into high intensity just made me want to gasp more. Maybe it was the lack of sleep. But I also knew that I was still struggling with being sick.

Saturday, Feb. 4th data:

Now we are talking and seeing better and recovering better. Very little strain. Why? I took ANOTHER day off. Why? I did NOT want to OVERDO it. My body is FINALLY coming back to normal. AND I finally went to the doctor. Upper Respiratory Infection. Shit, no wonder why I couldn’t breathe very well!

Sunday, Feb. 5th data:

It was time to get my sweat on. To jump on my Tacx Neo, watch some “Jessica Jones,” and get my body moving. Look at how much sleep I got. I am on a dose of antibiotics and cough medicine. BAM! Strain is higher due to cycling. Recovery is low, BUT I am ok with some easy spinning.  Super Bowl tonight!

Monday, Feb. 6th data:

Did you know that the day after the Super Bowl is the LEAST productive day in jobs and life? #HMMMMM…look at the lack of sleep here. Darn Super Bowl. I ran today for 30 minutes, and I was having difficulty breathing. I have been sick for two weeks, and something is not working! Check out my running heart rate as well:

My heart rate here is WAY higher than I have seen it in a long while. There are two factors HERE: Lack of sleep and being sick. Something needs to change. I am going to my regular doctor.

Tuesday, Feb. 7th data: 

I feel better and head to the regular doctor tomorrow and try out Inferno Pilates tonight. If I get dizzy, I lie down. BUT something I did notice today is my recovery is WAY higher than it has been the last week! I am feeling more motivated to work out again.

Rulon Rules to Rest & Recovery:

1. Listen to YOUR body. The body truly knows what is going on, even if you don’t have a tracking device like The Whoop.

2. Every morning, take your resting heart rate. Track it in Training Peaks, an Excel spreadsheet, etc. Then, your body knows if it has recovered or not. Give yourself at least two weeks to start getting a baseline.

3. Shut down your iPad, computer, TV, and phone at least 30 minutes before you head to bed. (Trust me, I need to do this myself!)

4. Add 15 minutes to your bedtime ritual. For example, if you are usually in bed at 10:30, start at 10:15, etc.

5. Get a tracking device like The Whoop to concentrate on your recovery! You know how the saying goes:

Are you dealing with constant fatigue and not seeing the results from your triathlon training? I guarantee I can help you out. Let’s chat. Please shoot me an email at, and let’s set up a time to talk!


AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I have been coaching triathletes, runners, and cyclists for over 21+ years; I received my Master's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. And as you may have learned, there is more to life than swimming, biking, and running. It is a lifestyle, and I am here to help you cross that finish line with a smile, whether it is an Ironman Triathlon or the Ironman of Life. You can find my knowledge shared in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Southwest Research Institute Human Performance Summit, Training Peaks Workshops, "Self Motivation Strategies for Women" on Amazon, Men's Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach—she's a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14, 2017.

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