Learning to Rest

Spoke with a fellow Dad today after church this week and he was lamenting that needed to start training for his annual MS150 ride. He claimed (jokingly) he had a magnet in his ass that attracted him to his couch.

I need that magnet!

Overtraining has always been dangerous quicksand for the amateur athletes. Often, overtraining or training too hard on ‘easy’ days negates or limits any previous gains. I’ve definitely fallen into that trap in the past (and Strava doesn’t help either with it’s leaderboards). It’s now become doubly important for me to both respect the recovery window and treat rest days as an integral part of my training plan. Maybe the most integral.

Even if I feel rested and strong, I’ve learned too many consecutive days of training has a cumulative effect on me and can tip my body chemistry into a precarious place such as dehydration or fatigue. So rather than recover for one day, it might take three or four days to get things back in balance and firing on all cylinders.

You’d think I would have this protocol down after a year, but I’m still learning. I’m also a stubborn, Type A person that believes daily exercise makes me a better person. So I’ll have stretches of months where I manage my training calendar and body effectively. I begin to think everything is fine and I can handle more. I’m indestructible! And, of course, things then quickly go off the rails.  

Who would have guess that learning how to rest and recover would be one of the hardest parts of the past year.