“All or nothing”, “Dig deep”, “Pain is only temporary”. There are motivation sayings all over the place to keep us going and push through the barriers. But when is it too much? When do we stop?
This summer I stopped enjoying running. It felt like a chore and became obsessive – this many miles, run at this pace, get a PB at that race – slowly sucking the joy out of it. I figured a break away would be a good thing but I didn’t want to give up exercise completely, I eat far too much cake.
It got me wondering, when is hard training too much? When do you need to slow it down a bit and introduce the softer exercises like yoga, walking or dance?
Getting fit can’t be full-on training, 100% of the time – there has to be a happy balance. The world is a pretty stressful place and pounding out a hard intensity run or circuits class at the gym can be a way to relieve some of this stress, but should we also consider the other, softer exercises available?
Rest or recovery days can be hard for those who like to move around, you get twitchy and feel like you should be doing something. Maybe looking at active recovery is the way forward – stretching a bit more, enjoying a long walk in the country or trying yoga or pilates.
These may not feel like you’ve exercised to your maximum and sweated it all out, but I don’t think that is a bad thing.
Slowing things down can help us to listen to our body a little more, get better with our techniques for our chosen sport and focus more on our thoughts and minds. After all, athletes often have their own minds to keep them going when things get tough. It would be nice to know that your mind is as well recovered as your muscles.
I haven’t hung up my running trainers for good, but I am taking time to learn some new sports and exercises and find the enjoyment again. Maybe with some time apart, i’ll get that longing feeling to head back onto the trails.
Have you ever experience sport fatigue before? What did you do to get the love back?