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Christopher Hole

Bicycles Diaries - As my recovery week begins, are you overtraining?

Christopherholeby ChristopherholeDec 8th 2009
As my recovery week begins it could not of come at a better time, the last week has been hectic to say the least. As a Personal Trainer my work week has very unusual hours and put on top of that my training, things can get very manic.

It all started on Thursday last week the 3rd with a 2hr cycle in the morning, the evening was filled with clients and closing the gym so didnÂ't leave until 11.30pm. Up the next morning for an 8am clients and a again in the gym all day for clients and strength/weights session and an evening of spin class and clients, another 11.30pm gym close.

It doesnÂ't stop there Saturday morning I was back up a 7am to be at the gym for 9am until 5pm, still then no stopping for me I was home for 1hr and out for a meal with my sister as she is leaving for South Africa in 2 weeks.

It was beginning to dawn on me my 3hr cycle on Sunday was not going to happen, this may not seem like much of a big deal but I do not like missing a training session as I plan to cycle 18000 miles in 100 days and body needs to condition and acclimatise itself.

Although my dislike of missing a training session was strong I had a voice in my head saying rest is as important as training. Physically my body has not been stressed, it was my head that was fatigued because it did not switch off for 3 days and I think it was this that dramatically affected my fitness.

In general, one or two nights of poor or little sleep won't have much impact on performance, but consistently getting inadequate sleep can result in subtle changes in hormone levels, particularly those related to stress, muscle recovery and mood. While no one completely understands the complexities of sleep, some research indicates that sleep deprivation can lead to increased levels of cortisol (a stress hormone), decreased activity of human growth hormone (which is active during tissue repair), and decreased glycogen synthesis.

To add to my few nights of limited sleep was poor short term recovery which refers to cooling down properly and correctly replenishing energy stores because of the time constraints I put on myself.

Recovery is an essential part of any training we do to maximize our performance, listen to your body and when it says to stop, please stop or your body will stop anyway.

To know when it is time take a rest day or miss a training session look out for the tell tell sign of an increased resting heart rate.

Lay down and rest comfortably for 10 minutes the same time each day (morning is best). At the end of 10 minutes, record your heart rate in beats per minute. Then stand up, after 15 seconds, take a second heart rate in beats per minute. After 90 seconds, take a third heart rate in beats per minute and after 120 seconds, take a fourth heart rate in beats per minute.

I hope this helps with your training, thank you for reading.
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