Triathlon Training and Stress

I’ve written here about training stresses and how I track them before, and the fact that I have a periodised training plan that takes my training stress balance into account and aims to have me training hard and resting well so that I can peak at the right time for races. Sometimes though, no matter how well you record and analyse your training stresses and make training plans to account for them other things get in the way and plans have to go out of the window.

Take this week for instance. We had a busy weekend with my parents visiting, I then had lots of work on, not only website design work but also some painting and decorating work that took up much of my time. Consequently this led to lots of very early mornings, late nights and therefore additional stresses on top of my ‘training stress’. Anna was busy too with a concert to play in on Wednesday evening and with Morgan off to firework displays with friends in addition to his usual activities we were rushing around like mad all week.

Out with the Housework

Something had to give. First it was some of the chores I do each day. The house wasn’t kept quite as clean and tidy as usual which just adds to my stress levels as I like everything to be perfect. Training and stress don’t play well together, but there just wasn’t enough time to do it all though so I had to let it slip just a bit.

Shunning the Recovery

As I’ve already alluded to some of the all important rest and recovery went out of the window too, late nights and early mornings meant less sleep than usual and there was certainly no time for a quick power-nap after lunch which I sometimes manage when I’m not too busy.

Missed Training Session

I also missed a couple of training sessions. Despite extolling the virtues of strength training and also stretching and foam rolling in a recent blog post about maintaining consistency in my triathlon training I decided to miss a couple of these sessions throughout the week. I was tired and fitting them in was going to be difficult. Sometimes you have to know when it is best not to just blindly follow your training plan, but to listen to your body and do what feels right at the time.
I could have forced myself to do these sessions and physically I’m sure I would have been fine, but with all the other things going on my head wasn’t up for them and missing them so that I could get on with work related things was the better option. It’s not as though I was missing all of my training and at the end of the day doing too much could do more damage than good. Missing the odd session wasn’t going to do too much harm, especially at this time of the year and hopefully it would mean that I could put more effort into the sessions that I did do.
I know I said that the strength training, stretching, foam rolling and rest and recovery were some of the things that helped me train consistently over the past year or so, but they all take time and sometimes even with the best of intentions I just can’t fit them in. I may have let them slip this week, but I’ve done my best and hopefully missing the odd session here and there will mean that I’ll be ready for a decent week of training next week. Thankfully next week is a relatively easy week and hopefully work will be a little quieter too so that I can get back on top of things and remove the additional stresses that have accumulated on top of my training stresses.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.