Over Balancing and Over Training.

I’d like to share with you that thing no one likes to talk about, over balancing and overtraining.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe it’s good to push physical and mental boundaries. If it wasn’t for explorers we wouldn’t have international trade or the the technology we have today. However you only have to take a trip to Instagram or social media to find when it comes to fitness, you’re not allowed to show that too much is too much. One gets the impression, you’re only doing yoga if you can handstand and headstand, you’re only a runner if you run long distances (try telling that to Usan Bolt), Crossfitters are tougher than the SAS, Delta Force, Marines, Search and Rescue teams (hmm, very much doubt that). I won’t lie, exercise is like a drug. The more you do, the more you need to do to get that endorphin hit. We’re meant to push through the pain, through the hard times, become bigger, stronger, mentally and physically to be come that better person for it and then shout to the world you overcame this, that, oh, this helped you. Show triumph struggles. Not permitted is showing the not so pretty struggles no one wants to hear about as you’re seen a whinger, weak. Well, sweet pea, life ain’t like that. If you push too much, sometimes your body rebels and teaches you a lesson.

The past month or 2 I’ve been stretched a little more than I’d like to admit. P’s away 98% of the time, which I’m used to. As Terry Hatcher says in her book Burnt Toast (which by the way is a fantastic book on life) if there’s a spider on the wall, it’s down to her to remove it. I can relate 100%. Everything down to me. I’m my own back up. My training’s picked up, I have a few clients, I’m cycling more. The problem is I don’t see cycling as a workout. It’s my transport and it’s normal for me to cycle for about 1-2hours a day. I prefer it to being stuck on public transport or in the city a car. The end of the day, I’m tired, sleep wins, snacks don’t fuel. The past few weeks, I’ve been teary eyed at times, irritable, training at time’s felt like chore, signs of doing too much, overtraining and I won’t admit as I’m too stubborn.Spartan Race wall scaling prep

Friday, I had way too much fun on my run, scaling up and down walls, in preparation for Octobers Spartan Race. I forgot to stretch my upper body afterwards, which was in hindsight a big mistake. Cue Saturday I woke up feeling fine, decided to do some yoga after which my shoulders start feeling sore. By the time I got to the gym and the 2nd set of my circuit, my body started feeling flu like muscles soreness. I didn’t get back until late due to errands and well, I was knackered and sore all over. Sunday morning, it took 30 minutes with the foam roller and massage balls to feel normal. I knew I shouldn’t, but it took every once of energy to go for a run. I told myself even if I do 2km that’s fine. But I’d set out for 12km so that’s what I was doing. Coming back everything hurt. I ended up walking and jogging back. I slept for 3 hours afterwards and woke up with tummy pain and zero appetite. I managed to get some jobs done, before a bath and 8 hours sleep (which hasn’t happened in a long time!). Monday I woke feeling better, but lethargic. Bottom line, if you don’t look after yourself, your body will have it’s say!

So my action plan. I’ve lightened my workouts for the next few weeks, (I got the greatest compliment yesterday. A lady asked me what I was training for and said just watching me workout made her tired. I replied, today was a light day!) and am periodising them better. I know I have to break my current routine to create a better route, which I have an opportunity to do so in a few weeks for my friends wedding (1st holiday or mini holiday excluding trips to see family in years!) and I have to proitize better. I also feel another big clear out, de clutter coming on as I like a streamlined apartment, so there’s less to clean and look after! I also need schedule better and more time out, switch off time, what I can realistically do and visit different places to get inspiration back. Fingers crossed, this plan’s one’s better than the last!

For signs of overtraining, please check them out here.

How do you know when you’re doing too much? Do you feel there’s a lot pressure to on social media when it comes to fitness? 

11 comments

  1. Great post, Nat. I know for me social media does indeed pressure me to do more or feel like I should. On a rest day, if I see someone is running, weight training, etc, on IG, I feel as though I’m missing out. I know that rest and recovery is a part of training though. It’s necessary.

    1. I know that feeling only too well! I take lighter days, active rest days instead, then once in a while like the past weekend, crash. Not the best way, but even if I did nothing, all day I’d still have to walk, bike somewhere or do some yoga. In the summer months it’s not so bad as I have afternoon siesta to restore energy levels. But there’s never work and play balance!

  2. You read my mind – I’m currently sidelined with a (thankfully minor) foot injury. It kills me to sit on the recumbant bike while watching the runners go by outside but I know it’s necessary or else I might end up with something serious. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

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