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Are you paying attention?

This week was a forced rest week for me. I say “forced” because it was unplanned and put in place by my coach rather than me. In saying that, my body wasn’t really giving me a choice! While I am generally aware of my exertion and how I am feeling, this time around there were some unfamiliar symptoms of “overreaching”. I wasn’t paying attention.

I say “overreaching” because it wasn’t necessarily training too hard, but rather it was the training coupled with the rest of life that has made the last couple of weeks that bit too hard for me. Plus I had read this article that proved to be quite an eye opener. The author used the term “overreaching” and listed these symptoms:

  1. sleep

  2. appetite

  3. night sweats

  4. throat/glands

  5. clumsiness

  6. anxiety

  7. heart rate

  8. aches and pains

Now, when I train too much I usually get tired and crave sugary treats. However, a few weeks ago I was waking up in the middle of the night all sweaty and hot (not sexy). But it was not a hot night and it turned out to be just me experiencing this. I didn’t really know what was going on but didn’t think too much more of it.

I then noticed that I was walking into door frames a lot more than usual (I say usual because this is a weird habit that I have). Again, I dismissed it.

I was also often waking up in the morning with a sore throat. I thought that I was getting sick. But the sore throats didn’t get any worse and I didn’t get sick.

All these things in isolation didn’t trigger any alarms for me and because I didn’t recognise them as signs of overreaching, I had a bit of a crash at the end of last week. I had a brilliant weekend of training (Beers, Pies, & Tip Track), hard but brilliant. But on Monday everything caught up with me and I woke up and felt like death, I didn’t want to get up, I didn’t want to go to work.

Nooo alarm noooo!

Nooo alarm noooo!

I had also just finished a very big case at work the previous week so had been working some long hours. All this added up. However, what I hadn’t done over the previous weeks was modify my training to accommodate the longer working hours. Instead I made matters worse by doing intense weekend sessions and races. Plus I was eating all the wrong foods!

So this week I have had a really light training plan and lots more sleeping in, well, as much as I can sleep-in when I still have to go to work…and get up at 5am to drop the hubby off at the airport!

So with less training to do it has meant that I have had more time to think about how to prevent this from repeating in the future. This experience really brought home the important role that nutrition plays when you are doing high volume training. It affects everything from the way you sleep, energy levels, concentration, and performance at work during the day.

I also realised that I need to sleep much more. It seems so simple but it is a lot easier said than done. During the week I had the best intentions, but I would constantly find myself getting to bed later than I intended because I got caught up watching TV or finishing chores off around the house. So on Friday I just left everything and went to bed at 8:30pm. It was the best sleep that I had. On Saturday I woke up feeling normal for the first  time in weeks.

As a result, I really enjoyed my training this weekend. It was nice just to ride with the sole purpose of enjoying the ride. I even went for an evening walk just because. I found a new track in the Botanical Gardens and took the time to enjoy the views and scenery.


So onward to next week rejuvenated and ready to ramp things up again. After all, it is now less than 2 months to the Taupo 70.3!


Cross training!

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