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How Tired is Too Tired?
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Hi ladies,

So I'm noticing that in the last few of the weekly postings, I've been struggling to keep up with training a bit. The fact is that I'm tired a lot of the time and it's getting hard just to get myself ready and out the door for workouts. There are a lot of reasons why this might be the case just now: it's been freaking hot out, I was traveling quite busily for work, I've had to stop drinking coffee (which is huge for me...RIP my personality...), and I'm in the biggest block of training for my A race before I start tapering in a few weeks.

I'm also trying, however, to accept if my body just can't do things, if I'm overtraining, etc. So, understanding that this is subjective and also that it's just hard to describe nuances of bodily feelings like tiredness vs. exhaustion, muscles aching from a single workout vs. encroaching tendonitis, etc. here's my question: how do you decide what's too much? How does your body feel when you make a decision to rest at the expense of your training plan? When do you push through?

I should say I'm generally tired. My quads are tightening up and I'm trying to spend a lot of time on the ol' foam roller. It helps that I have a housemate who's a massage therapist. We're trading rent for weekly massages in this last push towards my race. There's nothing that feels like injury just yet.

...Maybe I'll just drink coffee for a few more weeks and get myself through this...

Formerly GiantNewb, but not such a newb anymore.
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Re: How Tired is Too Tired? [GiantNewb] [ In reply to ]
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Oooh good question. I have a few things I look at that I have learnt over time and pretty much all of them seem to relate to recovery now that I've written them down.

- fuelling; am I failing this workout because I didn't eat enough or well enough. I know through experience there are some workouts like over-unders or over threshold work where I need to be pretty glycogen topped up to do well.
- sleep; not just last night, but the week as a whole. I know I need a lot of sleep and for big weeks I budget in extra sleep.
- mood; this is supposed to be fun. If trying to cram in the workout is becoming stressful or negatively affecting my mood, it's usually an indication that I probably haven't done well with fuelling or sleep.
- don't try to make up every workout you missed/aborted. I used to try and do this and it becomes this horrible death spiral after a while. Now I try to keep my rest day sacred instead of filling it up with what I missed earlier in the week.
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Re: How Tired is Too Tired? [GiantNewb] [ In reply to ]
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I tend to look for cues outside of my workouts versus right before, during, or after my workouts, especially for rides and runs. Here are things I look for to gauge fatigue:

1. Resting heart rate. Even a jump of 5bpm for resting rate is a signal to me that my body is stressed out
2. Appetite. Am I eating mindlessly, or mindfully? Am I hungry or does the thought of food make me meh? I can swing to either extreme with fatigue, either eating in a trance, or not wanting to eat food at all.
3. Ability to function through a rest day. Do I still feel like I need a nap without a workout? Fatigued.
4. Swim. How do I feel during an easy swim session? If I feel like I want to stop in the middle of some easy swimming, that's deep fatigue showing through.

Generally, the bad news is Monster Block is going to make you feel like ass. The good news is Monster Block is going to end, and then your body is going to be in a glorious state of rebound in taper. Think of how your body is absorbing all of the work you're putting in through, in a positive way. You're winding the spool. If at any point that work feels dangerous, that's a sign of overreaching. But if it's your mind that has a case of the Idontwannas, every time you make it through is going to be a victory.

You can help yourself through Monster Block by resting and eating more than you think you need to. That much more work means that much more that's needed from you for recovery. If you're not able to recover like your body needs to, that's what starts digging the hole.

Team Zoot
Tailwind Trailblazer
I can tell you why you're sick, I just can't write you an Rx
2019: IMTX|IM 70.3 OOB| IMMD
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Re: How Tired is Too Tired? [Scheherazade] [ In reply to ]
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Hey hey hey, Scheherazade and Cupcake, thanks. This is so, very helpful.

A few critical updates: I drank coffee both yesterday and today. My boobs hurt because of it, but I felt more the kind of tired that I was anticipating at this point, and less the kind of sheer exhaustion that I was feeling. I think it's just a bad time to quit coffee (though, as an academic heading into a busy school year with lots of traveling, I can't imagine it'll be easier in September. Anyway, limiting intake to one cup per day and pain management are the current strategies.)

Also, your advice on diet was great. I've been eating ice cream. Lots of ice cream. A friend around here suggested I try to load up on more nutrient dense foods, and to eat more of them than I think I need, like, keep eating, even when I'm feeling satiated. I tried that approach yesterday, and I think I had a better morning because of it.

Finally, sleep, watching my resting heartrate, sacralizing my rest day. All of these things and more are very timely advice for me. I try to keep up with such things, but this shit's complicated and time consuming y'all. So, thanks. I'm feeling like at least I can keep going without totally falling apart, at least at the moment.

One small question, about rest days: do you keep your rest day even if you've already quite recently taken a rest? My plan has Fridays as rest days, which makes a lot of sense, because I can recover before the long workouts on the weekends. But, let's say I take Wednesday off because I'm really struggling at that point. Would you still take Friday off too, or would you listen more to your body and make up some workouts if you feel like you can handle it and be in reasonable shape for the weekend?

Formerly GiantNewb, but not such a newb anymore.
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Re: How Tired is Too Tired? [GiantNewb] [ In reply to ]
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Ice cream is great! But sadly it does not set me up for workouts in the way that beans and sweet potatoes do. Life is so unfair.
Sorry to hear coffee makes your boobs hurt - that sounds awful.

Anyway, answering your question, I think it depends. See my rest day is after my big workouts/before I start with my hard workouts for the following week so I am usually very reluctant to schedule anything on them, even if I have missed stuff earlier in the week. For example, last week I missed one of my swims, I could have made it up on my rest day but chose not to (I had to spend three hours mowing the lawn instead but that's a different story).

When considering whether to make up sessions I look at: what kind of session it was (e.g. a key session or a recovery one), which sport it is in (I try not to skip run sessions because it's a relative weakness) and whether moving it around will affect my upcoming workouts.
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Re: How Tired is Too Tired? [GiantNewb] [ In reply to ]
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GiantNewb wrote:
One small question, about rest days: do you keep your rest day even if you've already quite recently taken a rest? My plan has Fridays as rest days, which makes a lot of sense, because I can recover before the long workouts on the weekends. But, let's say I take Wednesday off because I'm really struggling at that point. Would you still take Friday off too, or would you listen more to your body and make up some workouts if you feel like you can handle it and be in reasonable shape for the weekend?

A small question does not yield an easy answer from me, lol.

Above all, something my coach has been hammering into us that are doing IMMD in two months: rest is best. But, if your rest means that you're missing critical workouts, it's time to evaluate the big picture.

My rest days are Mondays. That means if I miss a workout between Tuesday-Sunday, I usually make it up on Monday. That means my rest day bounces around if this happens and sometimes I'll go 10+ days without a rest day. But, when that happens, I DECREASE intensity. Volume goes up, intensity goes down. That's how my body stays intact (well, when I'm not a hormonal vortex of doom, but I digress). There are very few occasions where I take more than one rest day a week when I'm long course training, and that's if I'm racing or have a very intense workout mid-week for whatever reason.

Your workout before your long haul sessions on the weekend should never put you in a state where you cannot go the distance in a low-intensity manner for your long work. So if I were to miss a day and would have to make it up in your case, I'd shift my easiest remaining workout to Friday, giving my body more of a window to recover before the long sessions.

I hope that makes sense, because my answer is literally yes and no.

Team Zoot
Tailwind Trailblazer
I can tell you why you're sick, I just can't write you an Rx
2019: IMTX|IM 70.3 OOB| IMMD
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Re: How Tired is Too Tired? [GiantNewb] [ In reply to ]
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Besides over training burn out mentally and physically can be so real, it might be good to take a few months off completely to let yourself recharge and reset your brain and body that always helps me and I come back stronger.
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Re: How Tired is Too Tired? [zekerella] [ In reply to ]
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When you don't offer time to your body for rest then absolutely you feel tired. This tired is too tired when you do some work and after that you don't take rest, you simply go for another work even your entire day go through with getting things done so you feel excessively drained. All things considered, you have to take rest least 12-13 hours rest. It's significant for your health, at that position you will feel fresh.
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Re: How Tired is Too Tired? [GiantNewb] [ In reply to ]
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Not sure if this was suggested but - Have you had a check up recently? A few years back I thought I was just overtraining but found out I had little B-12 and very low on Iron. Might be something work checking up on.

Jaxs
USAT Tri Coach
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