• Val

Day 7 – Emotional Stress + Training Stress= Too much Stress!

Updated: 20 hours ago


Exercise and the effect of emotional stress


Weekends are a little emotional at the moment. Working through both a break-up and dealing with the PTSD response has left my emotional stress bucket nearly full to the brim. (For the background to this journal please see the Day 0 Blog)


The body can’t necessarily differentiate between different types of stress. As someone who trains strength and indoor rowing this is important for me to take into consideration. At times when emotional stress is high, it may not be possible to apply a high stress in the training environment.


Training to get fitter and stronger works on the principle of applying stress to the body through an appropriate stimulus that will elicit the required fitness adaptation.


For example, if I want to get stronger I need to lift weights at a suitable percentage of my current maximum. If I lift weights that are too light the body will not feel the stress and then will not embark on a process to build strength to be able to more effectively lift this same weight in the future.

(This is a very crude explanation of the process! I recommend reading Dr Dan Cleather’s ‘The Little Black Book of Training Wisdom’ for a more detailed insight as well as some great insights in to the world of training theory.)


Some people might like to train through emotional stress and just push on. As long as this is not ongoing the body might cope, but if it’s a consistent pushing through it could be detrimental to the body as the body will end up in a constant state of stress due to the exercise stress plus the emotional stress.


Sunday is usually a short and tough interval session on the indoor rower for me, i.e., a high stress stimulus for the body. I started the warmup and I knew my heart rate was a little high, but I felt good. I then set myself up for the intervals. Usually, I find the first rep of the intervals easy to hold the pace on. But it was too much and I came in a second slower – this doesn’t sound much but over the short distance this was significant for me as I usually find I need to slow down from at least 1 second faster. I tried the second rep and was just 0.2 seconds slower than the target pace, but I had to work hard for it which wasn’t normal for a second rep. Then in the third rep I went to pieces and came in 8.4 seconds slower than target pace.


I started the recovery between the intervals and talked myself through it, the options were:

  • Push on through… and probably do myself more harm than good trying!

  • Carry on but dial back the target pace – an option designed to pacify the ego that was feeling hurt by not being able to complete my favourite training session of the week!

  • Stop and go straight to cooldown – the most sensible option and one that has taken time during the course of my training life to mature into. This is a lesson I would like more people to learn earlier so they don’t have to experience burn-out or injury through poor decision making.


I am proud of myself for not letting my ego win. I chose to go straight to the cooldown.


One of the things I am most disappointed about having to deal with my PTSD response over the last few months has been the impact that it’s had on my training. I am gutted that it has affected my sleep and that this has affected my heart rate.


However, emotional distress is par for the course for all of us in life. At some point we all go through a period of emotional distress.


In these times its important to look after ourselves.


This journal has been a great way for me to keep on track with my eating, meditation and sleep and these things are all helping me through.


For anyone that does train in any capacity, whether you attend fitness classes at a gym, play a recreational sport or train to compete in sport, I highly recommend learning the skill of listening to the body. I know I feel better today for not completing yesterday’s session as programmed. If we are experience a high stress in our emotional life, we may well need to dial back the stress in our training life.


Train smart, listen to your body.


Day - 365 Day Journal 7


Reflections


Sunday Night

Things that were awesome today:

Friends who care and also who I can talk training with 😀


I am proud of myself for not letting my ego win on the indoor rower and for listening to my body rather than trying to push it beyond its current capacity.


Monday Morning

Things that I am grateful for:

The opportunity to get outside for a morning cycle before work.


Health Dashboard

Caffeine, Alcohol & Alcohol Free Beverages

0











Fitness


Low Intensity

Run, Indoor Row


High Intensity

-


Strength & Mobility

-




Veggies & Fruit

Onion

Mushrooms

Garlic

Broccoli

Green Beans

Carrot

Sweet Potato






Meditation & Mindfulness

Before bed – Guided meditation













Day - 365 Day Journal 6


Reflections


Saturday Night

Things that were awesome today:

I really enjoyed having some down time this afternoon.


Sunday Morning

Things that I am grateful for:

My mother’s roast dinner – I personally like my mum’s roast dinner more than any other roast dinner going! I can’t wait for roast lamb later! 😋

Health Dashboard

Caffeine, Alcohol & Alcohol Free Beverages

0











Fitness


Low Intensity

Run


High Intensity

-


Strength & Mobility

Kettlebell session plus Mobility & Foam Rolling



Veggies & Fruit

Cucumbers

Onion

Tomatoes

Mushrooms

Garlic

Lettuce

Red cabbage

Peppers





Meditation & Mindfulness

Morning – Guided meditation

Before bed – Guided meditation












I ask all readers to be respectful. This is an honest and heart-felt account of the struggle I have incurred.

I thank you in advance for your respect and kindness and I encourage you to sign up to my mailing list so I can notify you about new blog updates.

If you are struggling with any of the issues raised in my blogs please get in touch. Your conversations with me will remain confidential. Please note that I am not a therapist but I can support you to find a way to address any issues you may be experiencing.



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