In the last post I talked about the inconvenient truth about how we humans have an infinite desire for progressive results and that the stress we can use to reach those results is also infinite but our ability to withstand it is finite.Many successful fitness strategies involve giving us the ability to handle more stress in a safe manner.
Here are some examples:
– Making sure you get enough sleep. There are no advantages to seeing how little sleep you can run on, but loads of disadvantages.
– If you want to impose a super strict dietary restriction, try doing it for a limited time. This will be much easier than trying to do a strict diet until you eventually give up.
– Use light workouts mixed in with harder workouts. This adds variety, broadens your training response and keeps you hungry for both light and heavy workouts.
– Every once in a while de-load with a series of light workouts or active rest. If you feel hungry for a harder workout during the rest you know you are well rested.
– Be sure to take care of pain ASAP through a doctor, chiropractor or with rehab exercise. Constant pain is not productive to advancing your results. Ever.
– Be sure to use super hard or long workouts sparingly. I only race my bike once a week and I will only do a 7 hour X-C mountain run a few times a summer. If I did them every other day I would drive myself into the ground.
These are just some broad ideas but they can have a massive effect over the long haul. Over all the best rule of thumb is that you have have either a large quantity of effort or a large intensity of effort.
Now I don’t know what’s too much for you. Running a 5K is too much for some people. For other’s it won’t be much trouble at all. You’ll have to figure out what best for you as far as pushing the envelope and holding back.
Also keep in mind that your capacity for stress can change on a daily basis. A few poor meal choices, some extra stress on the job or a sleepless night can make even the routine workout overload your stress capacity.
If you are constantly feeling tired, sore, bored, apathetic and injured then it’s a good bet that it’s time to scale back. Always remember, this whole fitness thing is supposed to make you feel good and enrich your life, not beat you up and make you feel like trash. Be good to yourself. Get the rest and recovery you need when you need it. You can’t push the envelope without it.