A Change is as Good as a Rest
For some reason we’ve all been exhausted for the last couple of weeks. Anna is tired, Morgan is tired and even I’m staying in bed until 6am!
My training has been terrible as a result too. I took it easy while I was ill a couple of weeks ago but just haven’t been able to get back into thing properly since. I’ve been doing the odd run or easy bike ride but just haven’t had any ‘oomph’ and all of my training sessions have been a little lack lustre. It’s nothing I can put my finger on as I feel OK in my self, I just don’t have the usual turn of pace that I’d like to have and I feel like quitting halfway through any training sessions I do. In many cases I have just backed off and taken it easy of finished the session early.
A ‘Restful’ couple of weeks.
I don’t like to be defeated by such things though, maybe I still haven’t fully recovered from the lurgy, but they say a change is as good as a rest so I have a plan. After today I have about 2 1/2 weeks off work and I’ll be away for one of those weeks as well, so I’ve decided to give myself a bit of a rest as far as training goes and a change of emphasis too. I shall still do some activities, but they’ll be ‘exercise’ just for the sake of it rather than ‘training’ and the overall volume and intensity will be very much reduced. What with that and the fact that I’ll have some time off work I should well and truly recharge my batteries.
Shouldering the Strain
As well as the lurgy that I’ve been fighting I’ve also been struggling with a shoulder injury since Christmas. This came on whilst swimming and as a result of it I haven’t swam since the day after Boxing Day – that’s 3 months now. I also haven’t been surfing, windsurfing, SUPing or mountain biking because of it and every day tasks like getting undressed, opening doors and getting things in an out of cupboards hurts. Sleeping is pretty uncomfortable as well as it hurts every time I move whilst in bed. I did think that cycling was OK for it, but it did feel a little better after a week or so off the bike while I was ill, and the very first time back on the bike afterwards aggravated it. So, much to my annoyance I’ve had to admit that cycling isn’t helping it either.
With this in mind and the fact that I shall be away for a week I’m reluctantly thinking that maybe I shouldn’t take my bike with me. I was going to take it and as I’ll be in the lake District I was thinking of tackling Hardknot pass on it. But, it probably makes sense not to take it with me and have a few weeks off the bike to see if that helps my shoulder recover somewhat. It’s a bitter pill to swallow but it looks as though a few weeks of ‘proper’ rest is going to be needed. It may mean taking a few drastic steps backward in terms of fitness but hopefully in the long term it’ll pay off rather than simply continuing as I am which is just resulting in a gradual decline.
A Change of Emphasis
I’m not one to think too negatively though and all the above sounds a bit too ‘doomy and gloomy’ for my liking so as I said above I have a plan. The reduction in training and the time off work should mean that I have a bit more time for other things. There’s plenty to do in the garden, we need some new fencing out the front and it would be nice to get the front of the house up to scratch now that we have a new drive. Hopefully I’ll be able to get on top of some of these things, but more importantly I’ve decided to change the training emphasis from one of aerobic fitness, speed and strength to one of agility, balance and function.
I’ve been neglecting the stretching and foam rolling lately and work on core strength has been a little less than usual too. This is mainly due to time constraints and work commitments but this enforced time off will give me an opportunity to work on such things once again. It may not directly help me go longer or go faster but if it can improve by biomechanics, reduce and prevent injury and generally make me feel younger again then it should pay dividends in the end. I already have some really good stretching, foam rolling and core strength routines but it’s always good to learn new things so I’ve treated myself to a book I’ve been meaning to get for ages – Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starret. I shall take it away with me, along with my resistance bands, my rumble roller and maybe some small weights and an exercise ball and I shall work my way through it. Hopefully, if the bumpf behind the book is correct I’ll
“learn how to perform basic maintenance on my body, unlock my athletic potential, live pain-freeâ€¦ and become a Supple Leopard. This step-by-step guide to movement and mobility will show me how to:
- Move safely and efficiently in all situations
- Organize my spine and joints in optimal, stable positions
- >Restore normal function to my joints and tissues
- Accelerate recovery after training sessions and competition
- Properly perform strength and conditioning movements like the squat, bench press, pushup, deadlift, clean, and snatch
- Build efficient, transferable movement patterns and skill progressions from simple to more advanced exercises
- Identify, diagnose, and correct inefficient movement patterns
- Treat and resolve common symptoms like low back pain, carpal tunnel, shoulder pain, and tennis elbow
- Prevent and rehabilitate common athletic injuries
- Use mobilization techniques to address short and stiff muscles, soft tissue and joint capsule restriction, motor control problems, and joint range of motion limitations
- Create personalized mobility prescriptions to improve movement efficiency”
Yep, it’s all there, lets hope it works! The emphasis will be on functional movement patterns, balance and recovery. There’ll be some difficult work but it won’t be stressful and if anything it should be quite relaxing and good for my mind and soul as well as my body.