Recovery and stress
I have written about family and time constraints before, its frustrating and the feelings of guilt are never far away! For the last 4 years I have managed to juggle my hobby of indoor rowing and family pretty well, there have been times when I have had to miss a session due to commitments but my schedule has always been consistent. Until now that is, the kids are getting older and although needing to entertain them has become easier, the need to be a taxi service has started to become more regular thing too! Other factors play a part such as extended family and things happen that can't be foreseen making future plans become unattainable, this leads to disappointment and frustration.
Having 3 kids was never going to be a walk in the park, and although the kids are great in the way that they just get on with stuff whilst I am working out, its the recovery aspect of it all that's the problem! Since becoming interested in tracking my HRV (heart rate variability) and sleep, I have noticed how much my body takes time to recover from certain sessions. You don't necessarily think about this after your workout, you give yourself a quick stretch and cooldown, maybe a hot bath and then sleep - that's it! It's not though, there is so much more to consider such as your other stressors outside of exercise like family life or work, your diet also plays a part in helping your recovery, not only with the proteins (to aide muscle growth and repair) but what crappy processed food you eat too!
This week has been a prime example of everything above, my recovery this week and also my motivation before and during my sessions have been affected due to other stressors. Half term, husband with a tooth infection, more independence for the oldest child = more worry for mum, Halloween parties to organise, eating far too many sweets (yes I eat sweets sometimes!) all this has helped put a dent in my all important recovery and my mindset.
Through the tracking of my sleep and recovery everyday I have become more mindful of all of these and hopefully I can make adjustments to some -eat fewer sweets is one for sure!! Some factors will always be around like family life and I need to realise that I will have stress in my life, but its how I manage it that will help and aide my recovery. Making me feel more enthusiastic about my sessions. A tip for all of you is to try breathing techniques, I have started this every morning for 5 mins and also in the evening too, it does help relax and clear my mind and I really do think that it has helped calm me a little.
For now I am happy that I have realised that I can make adjustments to help my body and mind recover. My training will feel the positive effects of this and my performance on the rower will improve not only physically but mentally as well. The moral to this blog is that sometimes you have to take two steps back, revaluate what's going on and what you need and finally what you can do to be able to step forward again!