It's not about the destination, but it's all about the journey
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What is overtraining? Wikipedia defines it well: Overtraining is a physical, behavioral, and emotional condition that occurs when the volume and intensity of an individual’s exercise exceeds their recovery capacity. They cease making progress, and can even begin to lose strength and fitness. Overtraining is a common problem in weight training, but it can also be experienced by runners and other athletes.
Well I experienced this last week. On a day I was supposed to run, I could feel my body temperature elevated and I didn’t have the enthusiasm that usually occurs on my cardio day. I just didn’t feel right. The problem with the signs of overtraining is many of us ignore them and proceed to complete the workout only to find ourselves injured or disappointed in our performance. I know with myself I always feel guilty for not completing the workout and when I do I am left feeling disappointed because it wasn’t my best.
Some of the signs of overtraining are as follows: Mood swings, repeated muscle soreness, illness, increase in morning heart rate, joint pains, lack of sleep, decreased performance, lack of ability to concentrate, increased injuries, and fatigue. These are just a few of the symptoms. If you go on the Internet and research overtraining, you will find many other suggestions and descriptions. I have been researching the effects myself because I feel like my training is not at its best. Therefore, I have been taking more days off in between workouts to allow myself to recover. I am still dealing with an injury around my upper left hamstring area and have been pushing through my workouts anyway which is not good.
I am one of these people that think a little of anything is better than nothing at all. But when you are injured, that is just not the case. And I struggle with the down time. I feel because I have been pushing myself hard, injured and all, my body has gone into the overtraining mode. When I look at some of the symptoms above, I can pick out several that I am dealing with.
So how do you combat the overtraining syndrome? Take a day or two off and try to relax. Decrease your intensity level, increase your sleep cycle, treat yourself to a massage, stretch, eat clean (diet is everything!!), and don’t get disappointed because you need to take an extra day off! You will find by resting your body appropriately, you will see gains in endurance and muscle strength 🙂
WORKOUTS: I always close by adding some of my workouts down below. All workouts are performed using the NordicTrack X9i Treadmill. Awesome machine!!
5/25/2013 South Kaibab Trail – Grand Canyon 3.41 miles
5/28/2013 Tower Bridge, London England 3.09 miles
In between these workouts I was weight training in my home gym. I actually found on bodybuilders.com a weight training program I am going to try. It’s by Obi Obadike. Obi is considered the world’s most ripped fitness model Obi Obadike Overtraining and Strength workout. The workout is basically as follows:
I’m going to see how this works for me starting next week. I will be sure to blog my opinion on the plan. The one thing I will be adding is on Saturday’s, I will make it my long jogging day.
And my quote for the day is by Michael Jordan….
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.
26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.”
(Me on Sunday mornings when I have my weigh-ins )
While I was running I started to think about how great it feels to see improvements! I am not a fast runner…more a walker and jogger. My times are slow but today I improved by a minute and a half. It is so rewarding to see that after all the hard work I have been putting in, it’s finally starting to show. I have a friend that reminds me it’s not about getting to the end, but about the journey on your way there. How true that is!! So many times we are in a rush to quickly reach a goal, and seldom do we take a moment to appreciate the baby steps it took us to get there.
I want to appreciate every step in this journey. I am setting small goals for myself and celebrate when each goal is met. I am trying to drop weight and get in the best physical condition I can achieve. I gained around 10 lbs after my back surgery a couple of years ago. Before that I was around 20 pounds overweight. So you can say I have a total of 30 pounds I would like to say good-bye to. So far I am down 8 pounds and pat myself on the back for doing so 🙂 I am logging my food daily using livestrong.com “My Plate” calorie tracker (livestrong website). I have it set up as an app on my iPhone and iPad and I am trying to stay within a 1200 – 1500 calorie range: 1200 for the days I don’t train and 1500 for the times I do. This seems to be working well for me and I will continue on this path until I hit a plateau.
This weight loss journey is going to be a memorable one. On top of logging in my workouts, food and blogging here on WordPress, I am keeping a journal. I try and write daily about my day and my feelings. I read that keeping a journal helps you to clarify your thoughts. I have found that it is helping me stay focused on my goals. I also write down the things I have to be grateful for, and notice that my mood is elevated by doing so.
Besides the challenge of physically improving myself, I am also working on myself spiritually and emotionally. I believe in God. I was raised as a Catholic and attended parochial schools all the way through high school. I drifted away from Catholicism and later in my adult years (and very recently) found a Baptist church I connected with. Along with attending services, I have come across a wonderful app from YouVersion that I use daily. Here is the website YouVersion. This is an awesome site and app if you want to read the bible, devotionals, and other spiritual material. They have several plans to choose from and the best part is it’s free! I have chosen several plans to read from and make sure it’s the first thing I do every morning. It’s a great way to start the day!
So that leaves me with the emotional part. Probably one of the hardest parts to deal with….trying to love myself. It’s so easy to put ourselves down and I have mastered this action. I mean, I know I am a good person and all, but with my weight gain my self confidence and self esteem have just taken a dive. However, my workouts are a godsend! I can actually feel my self confidence and self esteem starting to peak around the corner. Not fully there, but I can finally see a light at the end of the long dark tunnel. Not a bright one, rather dim, but I know I am headed in the right direction and it feels good 🙂
So with all that being said, I will exit by posting my workout for today below. Hope everyone is having a blessed day!
This is an iFit workout, using the X9i treadmill.
Bright Angel Trail, Part 2
3 Miles 50:58 16:59/pace (Slow workout due to injury)
Average HR: 128 bpm Max. HR: 157 bpm
Picture above is my course outline. Picture just below is how Google Maps gets their views of the hiking trails I am doing. I wonder how much that thing weighs on his back? I was able to complete this workout all in street view, with beautiful images of the Grand Canyon.