Work In: The Athlete’s Plan for Real Recovery and Winning Results shares new mental and physical recovery techniques for athletes who give it all in every workout.

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Athletes are familiar with going hard—after all, working out gets results. What few are familiar with is resting easy—working in also gets results.

When you go hard you have to rest hard, too.

We live in a world where every millisecond matters. As athletes we are goal-ori­ented and highly invested in achievement—we do everything possible to gain competitive advantage and win. We’re connected and aware, tracking pace and distance and all available physiological metrics related to performance. We leverage every aspect of preparation—from personal coaching to high-tech gadgets—in an effort to refine and optimize our output and bring our goals within reach.

But even with all the knowledge gained and miles logged, most of us still aren’t aware how much working in matters. We have all this data about our workout, and in some cases advice about when to stop, but it doesn’t tell us what to do next, nor is it tracking our recovery—our work in. And for those looking to stretch the boundaries of their potential, it’s working in that’s the real game changer.

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Most athletes know recovery is important. From cooldown routines to meditation apps to self-massage tools, the means to aid the process have gained consideration and adoption in recent years. This is a step in the right direction, but we still lack the practical understanding and skills to recover in a meaningful way.

The misconception remains that working out is the only path to increased performance.

As a result, recovery is one of the least planned, underutilized tools to optimize performance. It’s falsely perceived as a given on “rest days” and a separate, less important endeavor that happens by default when we’re not working out.

The reality is that, in sports and in life, recovery is as important and equally as productive as everything else that you do. You need relaxation after exertion. Not only that, when used together in an integrated way, working out and working in will help you become more balanced and resilient and close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.

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If you’re serious about your goals, you should be asking:

  • How do I recognize when it’s time to slow down and allow myself to stop?
  • And when I do stop, what should I do?

This book exists to help you answer these questions for yourself, and it is designed to elevate your athletic experience using a simple framework that will help you feel the difference—and step up from bronze to silver, and from silver to gold. Like working out, working in requires an intentional approach. Luckily, you can activate recovery when you need it most and make a real impact in as little as 5 minutes a day.

Use these tools to work in for the win:

TRY IT: Quick tips to help you recharge anytime, anywhere.

WORK IN: Do the routines to optimize your recovery—on purpose.

GET REAL: Become more intentional and effective in your approach by thinking about what you’re doing, and why.

Embracing recovery will make you a better athlete. Your body is asking you to work in. It’s time to listen and respond.

Ready, set, recover!

Work IN by Erin Taylor

For a sample mental focus exercise, try Awareness Breath. For a couple of restorative yoga poses, try the Calf Pump or Windshield Wipers.

In her groundbreaking new book, WORK IN, coach Erin Taylor gives you practical mental focus and physical relaxation tools to optimize your recovery anytime, anywhere.

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