Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fatigue and Stress

I've learned so much about my body over the last year. One of the main things is how so many aspects of our life affects our fatigue level. Certainly, training for four hours can induce fatigue, but so can lack of sleep and a lot of stress.

The last few months have been amongst the most stressful of my life. Running a large business that by its very nature must run on a very narrow margin is difficult enough. Add on the daily personnel issues and throw in a few unexpected curveballs and you have a prescription for a very high stress level. Before I used to train so much I actually think that I just tended to keep the stress bottled up. My training has not only put me more in tune with my body, but does make me a little more sensitive to the increased stress. That is, the fatigue from four hours of training can certainly be magnified.

On the other hand, the fact that I knew I had three days off this week did wonders for my overall stress level and yesterday made me feel like I could train all day! Ironically, I only had six hours of sleep on Tuesday night (I really need eight), and today I probably felt the impact of the lack of sleep (plus the four hours of training). That said, I did sleep 10 hours last night. This actually proves two points about sleep. The major affect of a bad nights sleep is probably two days afterwards. You don't completely make up for lost sleep in a linear fashion. Losing two hours and then getting two more hours does not completely make up for the lost sleep. So, I think that after another good night's sleep tonight, I'll be back on track.

The good news is that I have a coach. Tim ( picked up on my fatigue level today and moved Friday's workout to Saturday. I was already thinking the same thing, which is why it's good to have a coach. Without one, I'm not sure what I would have done, and would have expended additional energy and increased stress trying to figure it out.

Nine days to go before my race. As Tim always reminds me, the work is already done, I can't get any more fit. As my family knows, I do tend to obsess a bit (ok, a lot) about my races. Again, another good reason for a coach. I can only do what I'm told from here on out. That said, it's time to start getting in the right mental state for the race. For me that means getting locked into the effort I want to put forth on the swim and then again on the run. The bike tends to take care of itself. More on race strategy another day.

1 comment:

wassben said...

"Personally, I like when one sticks to a theme that one starts out with. So far you've done that on both days. I always feel that it pushes one to exhaust the theme as far as one can. What we all look for is the eureka moment which only happens once in a while. But it does happen. Keep up the good work." DAD