This morning was a struggle, in fact the week has been.
Fort William (I was away with work at the UCI Downhill World Cup) knocked me for 6. Lack of sleep (hot rooms), high temperatures, high humidity, long hours at the expo, rides, training runs & the long drives there/back depleted my reserves
I ended up taking 3 days off training, sleeping more than I have for months. It’s unheard of me to sleep this much, even after an ultra. Back in training, sessions have been a struggle, with fatigue ever present. I’ve felt lethargic, lacking any real energy or ability to lock into anything I would consider a good pace. The realty, I may have pushed too hard with all else that was going on.
This morning was a break through. The long run, scheduled for yesterday (another day off) weighed heavy on my mind, but once I was 25% in, both body & mind eased and I got back into my stride
Mentally I had overestimated the fatigue, and taken it as 100% fact. In doing so, letting my body rest meant it went into full recovery mode, given 2-3 days of rest are rare in a training or day to day cycle for me. I feel as I’m not used to the sensation it overwhelmed my senses and mentally, I was predisposed to feeling more fatigued then I was. Funnily enough, when I was on my long run, I felt my energy return, despite running it fasted.
So, what’s the take away?
First and foremost, always listen to your body. Learn it’s quirks and indicators, don’t plough on regardless, leaving yourself vulnerable to injury or induced fatigue syndrome (or the building blocks that will rapidly lead to it).
Plan around your life and don’t try to fit too much in. Having 4 sessions, rather then 5 or 6 on a busy week may be more beneficial to your physically and mentally, as you’re able to recover properly.
At some point, you’re going to need to test yourself to find out if your beliefs are true. Nothing intense, steady paced and listen throughout to your body.
Fatigue is not exclusive to the body, the muscles and tendons. The mind can be too. Identity which and treat accordingly.