Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Little Stress?

I bombed out on my run today. This is the second week that I've had a bad run. The first half seems fine, then I run out of gas.

I was thinking about it this morning as I was struggling during my second half of my run. Have I created a training schedule that is too much? Am I getting sick? Could work be affecting my training?? It is only Wednesday and here's how it has gone this week. Monday the alarm went off at 4am. I got up and felt less than 100% - sore throat, a little congestion. Decided to get back in bed for an hour. Good choice as it was icy that morning. Tuesday morning - alarm goes off at 4am, and I lay there and debate with myself about my morning session for 15 minutes... get up and barely get through 35 minutes of my 45 minute spinerval (Suffer-o-Rama). My heart rate spiked and I actually felt a little nauseous. Got off the bike and stretched for the remaining 10. Went to the pool last night for the first time since the Polar Bear and swam 900 - with the main set being 4x100 with 1 minute rest. Was a little winded, but my times hadn't slipped. It felt good. Got up at 4am this morning, bundled up and went for a run - ran out of gas...

Last week had a similar scenario only without the pool session, but had a great long run on Friday...

Since my boss was diagnosed and has been out of the office, my workload has increased considerably. I haven't been working more hours per say, as I have been managing my time very well - although a lot more is packed into those hours. My stress level has increased considerably as I'm making decisions on projects I'm not very familiar with. I feel I'm managing the stress well, as the exercise is a good way to relieve the stress. But maybe I'm not getting enough recovery time due to the stress? Not relaxing enough at work to allow the muscles to regenerate? Increased stress = higher fatigue and my sleep habits have not changed, ie I'm sleeping well but only 5-6 hours a night.

I think I'm going to alter my training schedule for the next 4 weeks and see if that helps. Currently I'm running on MWF mornings, indoor biking TTH mornings, swimming TTH evenings, supposed to have a long bike on the weekend - but weather and scheduling has prevented that so far. Plus trying to get core workouts during the days at work (took my ball to my office) that has not been successful as I seem to be running from the moment I walk in until the moment I walk out and don't realize how much time has passed until my alarm goes off in the evening.

I'm considering changing it so that I run MF am, core TTH am, swim TTH pm, indoor bike W am, indoor bike or long bike on the weekend.

Getting more sleep is probably needed, but is next to impossible - as there just aren't enough hours in the day to be a full time engineer, full time mom and wife, and train for sprint distance triathlons, oh yeah plus my hour commute every day. I try to get naps in on the weekends, but as we have a ranching business, and are trying to sell our place - weekends are full too.

Anyway just working through the issues here, hope I don't sound whiny. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Until next time....


Unknown said...

Disclaimer: I am not an expert!

a - It sounds to me like you need more sleep, first and foremost. I dont know how you can be successful at everything you have going on in your life with a sleep deficit.

b - You may be experiencing the effects of over training. do some research on that and see what you think.

Hang in there!

jbmmommy said...

I think it's a good idea to change your training schedule and see if things improve. If not, you can always go back to the old schedule. You know your body best and it sounds like you know you need more rest. I think you're in good enough shape that if you don't go out too hard for the beginning of the season, you'll still be fine once you get closer to race time. Overtraining would probably hurt you more physically and mentally than cutting back at this point.

Herself, the GeekGirl said...

I read somewhere that symptoms like that could be overtraining. I don't remember where.
Will I see you at the John Sterm Du?

sharon said...

AACK I could expound on this for an hour, but I'll "TRI" hee hee to keep it short. You can have overtraining symptoms because of things other than physical activity. Stress (mental or physical), sleep, physical activity, travel... and many more factors all contribute to the stress on your body. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Don't beat yourself up and call yourself lazy or unmotivated if you need to back off a bit. That's a huge mistake us driven people make. You obviously need a break. I'd suggest not stopping the physical activity all together, but rather cutting back by about half and put your sleep as number 1 priority.
A good way to tell if you are overtrained, getting sick or simply pushing too hard is to get in the habit of recording your heart rate every morning before you get out of bed. After your alarm goes off, just lay there a bit and relax. I've done this by several methods. Sometimes I'll do it manually by feeling the pulse in my wrist and watching the clock. Sometimes I'll have my monitor and watch by the bed. It's a bit more time consumming to hook it all up, cause then you have to lay back down and relax a few minutes before getting an accurate number. This morning resting HR is a great way to keep track of what's going on in the body.
Another key indicator for overtraining is depression or crankyness. Ask yourself if you've been showing signs of either. Honestly, getting up at 4am and dealing with the work issues that are before you I don't know how you could NOT be cranky and tired!
Good grief, sleep in a few weeks until the work issues slow down a bit. Even if you only get in a 30 min work out a day it'll keep you relatively fit enough for when you're ready to go back at it full steam.
I guess I failed at keeping it short huh?

sharon said...

Well duh, after all that ranting I didn't mention how to relate the resting morning HR. If your resting HR goes up 10% it's an indication you need to slow down a bit. If it goes up 20% you need to slow down a lot and/or you'll probably getting sick in the next few days. If it's up 30% your either so tired you're not reading the numbers right and you need to go back to sleep for and hour and try again later, or you were racing in your dreams and were on the verge of taking the overall win for both men and women!