The mental battle I had with myself yesterday, about whether I should train or whether I should have a complete rest day would have been funny to listen in to, it went on and on for hours!
I came up with some pretty creative reasons why I should allow myself to train. Mentally I
wanted, no needed to workout. I was committed to going to Squad Swimming training at 5:30pm with the Ironman 70.3 only 5 weeks away. My training program, or lack there of, isn’t conventional. I don’t usually plan my workouts, I just know what my weaknesses are and work on the things that challenge me. I turn up to work, I create a time to train and I write it up on the board and as long as there are movements I don’t want to do on there because they are scary and hard, I have myself my Workout of the Day. When I need to rest, my body says so, I listen and that is that. I’ve been doing this for 3 years or so, it is just what works for me with a heavy work load I can be very spontaneous in my workout times. Generally speaking I will have one full rest day once a week. If the week has been super intense and I am fatigued I will have another day where I will go for a recovery run 5km @ low intensity or 1km swim @ easy pace.
The “Rest Day Vs Workout” debate was something that made me think of you guys and the important questions that come with listening to your body or pushing through and training. There are the odd occasions when you do push through and you come out feeling so much better and happy you chose to push through, but where do you draw the line? There is a major difference between being ignorant/stupid and mental toughness. Yesterday I had many valid reasons why I should train. These reasons included:
- I had rested Friday and because of CrossFit Babes Games Day I wasn’t able to train Sunday either.
- Again, Ironman 70.3 is only 5 weeks away and swimming is my biggest weakness! I need to work on it or I’m not going to get out of the water ready to conquer 90km on the bike and then 21km on foot! Training right now is essential.
- Mentally I was ready, pumped, inspired! I had just watch the CrossFit Babes throw down and give it all they’ve got. I watched every single one of those heats, the Babes were so motivational and I was ready to throw some weight around too!
But there were some vital factors that made me think twice about going to swimming training that night. Usually I back out of swimming training any chance I can, because it really is a struggle for me- I am so uncomfortable in the water, but yesterday I really did want to swim! I was extremely tight and felt some muscles pulling when I walked around performing daily tasks let alone doing any intense exercise. I was dehydrated and had no fuel to perform after such a massive morning on Games Day. I was not on top of my nutrition or hydration causing my muscles to HATE me. I was so silly and busy on Sunday that I didn’t eat a lot or drink water while being in the sun for 7 or so hours, running around like a headless chook trying to keep on top of the event/ athletes/ equipment/ crowd/ sponsors etc. If my muscles could talk they would have said “So, you think you can just demand us to work for the whole week, ask us to cover the most amount of kilometres you ever covered and then not give us any love in return! Nuh-uh, we’re going to sit back until you fuel us again! Properly! For the WHOLE DAY!” And that was that. My body was exhausted. When push came to shove I asked myself this, “Is this training session going to benefit me? Is it going to improve my performance OR is it going to dig me a deeper hole by exhausting myself even more and not allowing my muscles who are telling me something, to not fully recover?” I knew the answer. I knew what I would say to my athlete as a coach. My body was loud and clear. I also reminded myself, that it is just one day. And if I had have pushed through I may jeopardised the rest of my weeks training, which would in turn make me even more frustrated! So I listened! Even though I had two rest days last week and there is a looming date approaching at rapid speeds containing the Ironman 70.3. Instead of heading to training, I stayed home. I was able to walk my pooches around the block, which they were very happy about.
I had a 30 minute bath filled with magnesium, which Tank my mini foxie/pomeranian thought was very interesting. Thank you MG Body for my scrub and body spray.
I ate a hearty dinner filled with greens, a good source of protein, don’t worry that is cauliflower mash! I kept my water levels up all afternoon and night. I put my feet up and lay on the couch with my sidekicks resting from their walk.
“I listened to my body. I gave it the love and nourishment it deserves and today I feel so much better!”
I hope this has given you some tips for any future debates you may encounter yourself. As CrossFitter’s we are head strong, but learning to listen to your body and rest when needed, you will get the most out of your training sessions.