Last week was a hard week of training with two heavy strength sessions and 4 hard intervall session, all of which increases recovery demands. Towards the end of a hard period it is not unusual to experience different types of fatigue, both muscular-, neural- and cognitive fatigue. Training hard is hard, but so much fun!
The training loads where you develop your physical abilities the most is just under the threshold for what types of loads your body and psyche can tolerate. This time I clearly overstepped my boundaries just a little bit. Towards the end of the week I started to get hip pains, which became increasingly severe during the training session. Getting an overload injury when you start to really get in shape is not uncommon in sports unfortunately. I have been running on some quite good times lately and upon increasing my speed, aerobic capacity and lactic acid tolerance, I use greater forces and push myself more. The internal forces are always the largest and this time my rectus femoris muscle-tendon insertion is suffering a bit. Luckily, I caught it really early and cut back on a couple of intervals and got myself over to physiotherapist extraordinaire, Jonas C. Nilsen. After ultrasound examinations for which the groin is an excellent location (not) we concluded with possible tendinopathy and small ruptures. With his wicked sense of humor and great expertise he pulled out the shockwave gun. This type of treatment seems to be very effective on tendinopathies, especially in tendons with underlying bone like the patellar tendon.
Could I have done something different? You always can, but at certain times in an annual training cycle you are walking on a knifes edge when it comes to tolerance for training load and overload. My hard block last week was a functional a.k.a carefully planned overload. That also means that I have planned for feeling tired this week. Sure enough my legs felt extra heavy, some head aches came and went and I felt an increased need for sleep, and that’s okay. If I hadn’t planned for it, I’d probably feel a bit stressed out though.
There are some things I do habitually to both prevent fatigue during an overload period and to handle the tiredness from X functional overload. The tiredness is actually not that different from the feeling of a high load in a workweek. You just feel beat, here are my personal tips to beat the beatness:
BEAT THE BEATNESS
1.I call and talk to my husband/coach a lot! Just yesterday I called him to ask if I really should train or not because I felt so tired, and what to do. Being a coach and exercise physiologist too, I almost always know the answers, but I second guess my self and really need him to give me a push or put his foot down. That is what your trainer is for – to guide you when you are in doubt! Lucky for me that I have the luxury of living with my coach
2.Sleep after hard training sessions: When it is possible. Sleep is KEY KEY KEY to human health and performance
3.Go to bead early: Even if its just to lie there and read for a bit because I’m not that tired yet, but the transition to sleep gets all the better and I feel it increases my quality of sleep
4.Eat often and take care to balance my macros (carbohydrate, fat, protein) to get the micros (vitamins, minerals, electrolytes) I need.
5.Time manage like the Queen: If it is not scheduled, it is not happening.
6.Use meditation apps for centering my mind and if I can’t sleep
7.Hustling, while minding my own beeswax: When I am busy with training camp or work I try to block out everything else and keep more to myself. It is the only way I can function with all my projects. Compartmentalizing life works best for me. Unfortunately the social life suffers the most because of this, but I have the most understanding friends who are all pretty ambitious and busy themselves.
8.Train alone: When I am feeling the tiredness creeping up it is super-important to keep the correct training intensities – not to easy and not too hard on the long runs and skis. For me this is easier when training alone during those times
9.Train together: When I know some really hard sessions are coming up I tend to gather my peeps to train with me. Just being out there in the grind together, pushing each other, competing and supporting one another makes it easier to really push myself into the hard, red zone.
10.Take common, but also extra, precautions not to catch an infection: When you are working your self hard your immune system function can obviously be a bit on the low side, so I will antibac like a surgeon, wash my hands a lot, hydrate and chew tic-tacs to keep my throat and airways moist. I also keep my fingers away from my mouth, nose and eyes to not catch germs. Oh! And I am getting my flu shot next week. I belive in flu shots!
11. Go physiotherapy or other: If the paint on your wall is flaking, would you fix it yourself? If your roof was leak would you get a professional to repair it or do it yourself? When you are training at a high level or you have a high physical workload at your job your body is going to need some tending to from time to time, even if it is muscoskeletal pains and issues. Minor things I will try to take care of my self with rest, exercises, foamrolling and such like. For issues that feel more severe or are preventing me from training as planned, I see one of my several fantastic therapists (another perk with working at Magnat is the access to these people, although we do pay for the treatments. If you want a professional job done you have to be willing to).
After just a couple of days now, I feel the energy and force in my body creeping back, and if I can just get that hip to cooperate I am ready just in time for training camp. We are kicking it off with the infamous Frognerseter test race, a 5K uphill race, and if the hips is well I should be capable of a PR! If you want to try it your self here is the womens course (from 6.1 K in the segment) and the mens course.