Sunday, June 14, 2015

Recovery

As I'm getting older, I'm realizing just how important recovery is. I think I would say that it's just as important as the work you're putting in. Lack of proper rest can lead to a whole bunch of bad stuff-- sleeplessness, lack of energy, a foggy brain, headaches, body aches, being injury prone, and a lack of motivation.

If you're experiencing those symptoms, you're not necessarily overtraining-- you just may not be properly taking care of yourself. First of all visit your doctor and get a check up. Then ask yourself:

1. Am I getting enough sleep? Strangely enough, an inability to sleep can be caused by not getting enough sleep. Weird. If you're having trouble sleeping...

  • Check your caffeine. Remember that caffeine can be hidden in food or drinks you might not consider: decaf coffee, soda, chocolate (which means anything with chocolate in it-- hot chocolate, chocolate ice cream, etc.), and pain relievers. 
  • Limit your screen time before bed. The light from your computer, tv, tablet (or even the lights in the room) can trick your body into thinking it's time to stay awake. 
2. How's my stress level? Normal every day stress in your life can cause your body to react negatively. Your body produces cortisol in reaction to stress, whether it's from too much training or too many demands at work. Cortisol is actually designed to help your body, but in America today we're surrounded by stressors, so cortisol has become the enemy. If you're too stressed...
  • Put yourself in time out. Spend some quiet time meditating, reading, or taking a nap. It's ok to just do nothing. Really. 
  • Set priorities. You cannot do everything. Do what you can and forget the rest. Focus on the essential.
3. What's on my plate? Look, it's not about having a bikini body. It's about having a body that functions the way it was created to. Taste should not rule your food choices. We have become slaves to our appetites. I recently saw a meme posted, depicting a bowl of Oreos in milk with a spoon-- like cereal. It said something like, "Because I'm an adult. That's why." Can I just say... children make choices based on appetite and desire. Adults make choices based on logic and reason. 
  • Eat whole foods. If it comes in a box or a bag or has more than 1 ingredient, it's processed. The majority of what you're eating should be meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. Eat dairy if it makes you happy-- just remember it's not in its original state when you get it at the grocery store.  
  • Stop treating yourself with food. You're not a dog. (And stop treating your dog with food-- did you know we have a pet obesity problem, too?) I'm not saying never have a treat or a cheat-- I eat big a few times a week-- just don't become Gollum. 

I could go on. But those are the Big 3. I think most people could solve lots of health problems (physical and mental) by taking care of those things (and exercising, of course).

WTM 2015 Training Week 2
So, yes, today's post was written courtesy of a massive headache I've had. I typically don't get headaches, so when I do, I know there's a problem. I also don't take pain relievers, except on rare occasions before bed if I'm extra sore from training or competing. I've upped my workouts in the last 2 weeks-- mostly in duration, so I'm focusing on getting the nutrition in check and taking a rest day.
Wednesday's work

For this week...
Monday-- Cleans and bench day with some accessory work.
Tuesday-- 3 mile run in the a.m. Box squats and accessory work in the p.m.
Wednesday-- Bike and swim in the a.m. Long WOD followed by a short, heavy ruck in the p.m.
Thursday-- 6 miles. (And the beginning of the headache. I think it was brought on by Wednesday's work.)
Friday--Deadlifts, clean and jerk and strict presses, with 100 sledge hammers to the tire for fun.
Saturday-- 13 mile run.
Sunday-- REST! And horseback riding!

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