So last week I finished my 6 week base build plan. It is now week 1 of trying to train SMARTER, not harder.
I ended week 6 not feeling great, a few tough training sessions and headaches lead to a sore throat and minor cold. Sniff. But it felt more than that. Again, I was suffering from dizzyness, mild nausea, head/body aches, fatigue, increased resting HR, struggling to sleep and feeling stress out, overwhelmed and irritable. I had similar symptoms a while back in May and I put it down to overtraining, which could well be the case again here. One of the reasons I am on this fitness and triathlon journey is to push myself to the limit and see what my body can handle. Oddly, I don’t feel too discouraged by this set back, but see it as a learning opportunity and I am enjoying the challenge of figuring out where to go from here to improve my performance and wellbeing.
Having time off training is a great excuse to catch up on some extra reading. I re-visited ROAR (Dr. Stacy Sims) and need to start implementing more strategies and diet changes to try and manage my hormonal fluctuations and improve recovery. I love learning how my body works and am fascinated with how robust, yet delicate it can be. I am monitoring as much as I can to try and identify trends and triggers as to why I feel so fatigued. My Garmin Forerunner 935 is great for this as it measures sleep, stress, heart rate and I can track my menstrual cycle. The main focus this week has been to untangle my mess of thoughts. I’ve downloaded a meditation app and have been doing 5-10 minuets each day, which I feel has really helped. Its also been a good opportunity to be still and listen to my body and how I actually feel.
Looking back at my sleep patterns, thanks Garmin, I was shocked at how stressed I’d been during the night and how poor my sleep quality was. Even if I didn’t necessarily feel stressed when going to bed, it was as though my mind was working overtime to process the thoughts. By Thursday, I had done enough untangling to be able to relax and slept extra 3 hours during the day. I clearly needed it and woke up feeling SO much better. On Friday I even managed to climb Paritutu rock and get out on the mountain bike Saturday and Sunday!
Moving on from this I aim to keep up with my mindfulness practise each day and listen to my body. Reinstate afternoon power naps, even if its just 15-30 mins to lay down. Focus on what I eat and when, also keep up with meal preps and bulk cooking, ‘Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow’ has been great for meal ideas. My recovery needs to be proportional to my training time/stress, to allow my body to adapt and gain the benefit from all that hard training. Finally, I need to stop stressing so much about things I cant control.
Roar, (2016) Dr S. T. Sims
Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow, (2018) S. Flanagan and E. Kopecky
The Brave Athlete, (2017) Dr S. Marshall and L. Paterson