I haven't written a blog for a few weeks due to life getting in the way a little and also feeling a little tired. Children's birthdays and Easter days out come first even for me but as I have had a few days off and also missed a couple of important rowing sessions due to tiredness recently I thought we would discuss training whilst tired and whether its a good thing and also what if any damage it can do to your whole approach to your training.
Whilst keeping fit can give you more energy to cope with other parts of your life you do have to make sure you are resting fully after workouts and also refuelling/fuelling your body correctly. If these preworkout/postworkout routines are not followed through it will catch up with you in the long run. At first you maybe smashing those PBs but if your doing hard session after hard session and not letting your body recover you will be heading for a fall, your immune system will be weakened and you will start succumbing to colds and other nasty illnesses. It is worth taking a multivitamin, Zinc and Vit C this can help strengthen your immune system - I swear by mine! Also make sure you are consuming the right amount of protein mainly to help aid muscle recovery, its also good to note that many proteins high in protein contain other immune-boosting nutrients so these will help your body fight off illnesses and make it stronger in the long run. You also need to eat your carbs at the right time too, a little amount in your pre-workout meal and then the main amount of carbs post-workout to replenish the glycogen stores that have been depleted during your workout add into this mix protein again and some healthy fats and you will be giving your body the perfect post-workout meal.
As well as the known nutrients, you could have a pre-workout drink such as BCAA they are thought to have muscle-building and recovery benefits and can also help to improve your workout. The BCAAs are amino acids that consist of Leucine,Isoceline and Valine if they are taken pre-workout they can then be used as fuel and repair by your body throughout your workout this may then help increase strength and endurance which is all great towards getting optimum results in your sessions. Obviously all supplements are no substitute for a well balanced diet and you have to think very carefully about how to fuel your body as everyone is different. I go with what works for me which is a pre-workout meal and a BCAA drink before and during my workout and then I eat a healthy post-workout meal with all the macronutrients needed to refuel my body for the next session.
As well as the supplements you have to workout which sessions to do, so for example don't complete 2 speed intervals 2 days in a row (or high intensity) this will tire your body out and it won't have time to recover. You need to pick and choose your sessions wisely especially if your doing 5-6 sessions a week. For instance I only do 1 intense speed session a week, 1 endurance, 1 steady distance and then 2 long slow distances to help build my aerobic base. I separate the quicker ones by putting the long slow distances in between so my body is able to get over the stress of the intense sessions with a slower pace this 'active recovery' will also help my next session and how I perform in it. It is all too easy to ride on a crest of a wave and think you are invincible and not let your body recover properly and cram in another high intensity session, at first it may feel great but believe me you will come crashing down to earth and that wave will need to be caught again but with much more paddling!
So think wisely when you are setting up your fitness sessions and make sure you leave time for recovery albeit proper rest or a slow active recovery. Try and think about your diet and look into supplements all these important factors will aid your performance and make you a better all-round athlete in the long-term.