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anxiety from/after ironman training
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So i have been prone to anxiety/panic disorder my entire life but found some relief in the structured training of Ironman but I find that not training or missing a day makes it worse almost like a withdraw effect.

Does anyone else get this, I dont want to feel like I have to workout

Hard work is faster then aero
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Re: anxiety from/after ironman training [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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When I was younger and tri was 100% my sport and only hobby I had a very structured plan. Missing a session used to cause me a lot of stress and I would spend a week trying to catch it up. Only advice I have is to write off missed sessions and just move on. Missing the occasion session/day isn't going to hurt your fitness in the long run.
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Re: anxiety from/after ironman training [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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I used to get a bit antsy if i hadn't done my hour or 2 each day for sure, but i wouldn't get badly stressed about exactly matching my training plan.

Easy answer is to make sure your day is so efficiently managed that you can always get a free hour to jump on the trainer or go out at lunchtime and knock out a quick 5 mile run.
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Re: anxiety from/after ironman training [RCCo] [ In reply to ]
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This is a tough one because this response is clearly part of the way you are built. You can change that stuff (cognitive behavioural therapy, and many other approaches), but that is slow and difficult.

Regarding specifically the missed training anxiety: this used to happen to a degree for me as well. I think a certain perfectionist and self critical aspect of my personality allowed me to turn my training into a second job. It was something I had to do, not something I was doing because I loved it. A missed session was a sign of personal failure. I had a good talk to myself last year about why I do this sport (it is not for Kona, it is for fun, health, and challenge). That then allowed me to adjust my approach to training. I do what i want to do. It is unstructured. Sometimes I skip a session because I just can’t be bothered, but then just yesterday I did an extra session because a friend turned up after my turbo and asked if I fancied getting on the bike again.

I stopped obsessing over TSS and CTL. I think these can be very poisonous for a certain category of people. I know when I am fit. I know when I am getting stronger. I also know skipping a planned run to spend time with the kids is a perfectly fine choice.

So, in summary, I think you need to reset mentally why you are doing this and what you want to achieve from it. It is meant to be fun, remember!
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Re: anxiety from/after ironman training [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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I'm really glad you brought this up. I suffer from the same thing and I feel your pain. I put so much pressure on myself some days that the night before big workouts I actually feel anxious like the night before a race. I just always try to remember I am doing this to stay healthy and to challenge myself, nothing more. I put a lot of pressure on myself in many aspects of my life however. I can tell you that for me, when I start to get really hard on myself with my workouts, I just take a break. In the long run it will not impact your times but it will do wonders for your mental wellness.
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Re: anxiety from/after ironman training [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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After all the time and energy spent training for IM is over it takes some time to adjust. Catch up with family and friends, do some chores/projects that you had put off during training, do a little light training, go fishing, take a walk/jog through the woods and start drinking heavily! Just kidding about that last part.
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Re: anxiety from/after ironman training [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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yes, especially when I have work travel and either no bike or no access to a fitness room/center. The only thing that really helps me is to just *do something*. If only a walk, or longer hike, or some stretching / core exercises.
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Re: anxiety from/after ironman training [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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surfNJmatt wrote:
So i have been prone to anxiety/panic disorder my entire life but found some relief in the structured training of Ironman but I find that not training or missing a day makes it worse almost like a withdraw effect.

Does anyone else get this, I dont want to feel like I have to workout

Embrace yoga with the same intensity that you applied to IM training. Problem solved.
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Re: anxiety from/after ironman training [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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I definitely experience a lot of self-imposed guilt if I skip or don't meet the objectives of a training session. From what I hear, triathlon tends to recruit people like us.
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Re: anxiety from/after ironman training [nickag] [ In reply to ]
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nickag wrote:
Missing the occasion session/day isn't going to hurt your fitness in the long run.

THIS!


If you train say 15 hours a week for a year. Missing a 2 hour session every 4 months is going to make no difference at all. And sometimes an enforced rest actually benefits.

We are meant to be doing this because it's fun and we enjoy it. Life will throw you curveballs at times. So no need to beat yourself up as well!

Good luck OP in finding a way to handle this.
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Re: anxiety from/after ironman training [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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The older you get the more days your body may need off anyhow, get used to it. If you have a family, taking a day off makes you a better family member by building those relationships with kids/wife. If you take a day off but feel guilt, think of it like this..that single day off, will allow you to be recovered better for a higher quality post-day off session. Or week for that matter.

Recovery IS part of the training. Like eating, sleeping, mental get away...it's not all pushing pedals, pulling through water or striding down the road. There's way more to it than that. If anything, I'm surprised more folks don't get anxiety from surrounding their training to be all about numbers/stats, as someone mentioned, CTL, or even TSS scores. Folks need to K.I.S.S. a bit more.
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