Fitness vs Fatigue
More and more, I see athletes schedule training sessions every day of the week. I don’t know if it’s just because they can’t sit still, they are worried about losing fitness, or for many of us exercise has become a way of escaping the stress of everyday life, but this practice is likely leading to a decrease in your performance.
In my last article, I discussed the difference between functional overreaching and overtraining. As a quick review, as your body is stressed, whether from training or life, your body reacts with a fatigue response. Your fatigue begins to overwhelm and mask your fitness. You will notice a short-term decrease in performance from your baseline level of fitness.
If the stress continues uninterrupted, it will lead to exhaustion, injury, or in severe cases, overtraining syndrome.
If you allow your body a break from the uninterrupted stress with recovery days your body will react with a fitness response. The pause in stress allows your body to adapt to the training stimulus and to recover from residual fatigue. As fatigue dissipates and adaptation occurs, your level of fitness will improve beyond the previous baseline.
There are several ways to improve recovery.
Spend time improving a relationship with family/friends
Take a chill walk
Give your body a break every week. The performance you improve may just be your own.