Training days, good vs bad…(it's a long read, but sit tight)
When it comes to training we all search for some sort of fulfilment, whether it be the feeling of achievement, stress releasor, or increase of performance. This is only natural although it can be toxic towards achieving your goals. Often the feeling of a great session can last a few hours, although the nightmares of a “bad” session can linger until our next “good” session.
What we tend to forget is that what defines these so called “good” and “bad” sessions is our very own perception. In our daily lives we are surrounded by social media, whether it be following your idol on Instagram or watching infinite videos on the CrossFit YouTube page. Now, I’m not saying that this happens all of the time but the common trend is to upload or share videos of success rather than failure. That is perfectly normal and often what we all like to see, although this can become the source of what we perceive training to be like. PB’ing on a daily basis is the norm right..!?!
Okay, so why is this a bad thing? In CrossFit I like to categorise people into two groups. We have the professional athletes and the people who use it for health benefits. Knowing which one you are can often be the most beneficial bit of information to every CrossFitter out there. Which one you may be is hopefully a very easy question for you answer.
So now, we all know the very reason why we train, but how does this effect the outcome of how we feel towards each session? Are your sessions defined by a new PB(like on Instagram) ,beating your training partner or completely smashing yourself WOD? All of the above are very common and you’d only be human if that sounds a little like you, but what if the actual outcome was mostly determined by factors that were “out” of our control rather than your actual effort. Ok so how come they can do it and I can’t?!? Have you ever considered the effect of things like stress, the right amounts of fuel, hydration and rest are factors that influence our athletic performance. We often read or are told about the effects of all of the above on a daily basis, so why is it that we often forget about them. It’s easy to do as we are only human, but when we sit down and consider the lives we live vs. the life of our favourite professional athlete we will see that there are massive differences. Now, perfect stress levels, fuel timing, hydration and rest often comes at huge price for these athletes, but this is their profession and the sacrifice involved is beyond comprehension.
So why this topic for today’s blog!?! Hopefully to change a little perspective and how you look at each one of your training days. Ok so you didn’t PB, your training partner beat you at Annie when double unders and sit ups are your motherfreaken jam and you left without a bead of sweat. WT-actual-F. Firstly the world will keep spinning, secondly have you considered your current physical state, for example,
-You live in London(one of the most stressful and busy cities in the world)
-Perhaps you woke up at 5am to get to work.
-Slept a total of 6hrs.
-Spent a total of 3hrs travelling(one of the biggest stress factors in London) to work.
-This is day 4 or 5 of training in row.
-Work got rough and you ate 1 meal.
-Had 1 litre of water total all day.
How many of these sound all to familiar? Probably a lot of them and also how many days of the week are you consistent in any of the above. Just the right nutrition and hydration may be a great start and you’re in a better place then without it, but having that without the correct amount of sleep or high stress levels and your back in a negative. So what should you do?!? Well let’s remember why we actually do this fitness thing. Okay, to be healthy, now let’s double check that we’re only human. Hopefully no problems there. Now we start to realise that it’s perfectly normal to have sub par training days.
As a coach and fellow fitness enthusiast, there’s always one thing I like people to remember and it’s something I constantly remind myself too. There’s no such thing as a bad training day if you’re doing this for your health, there’s showing up and there’s not showing up. Showing up whether perceived as “good” or “bad” is still a step closer to your goal. In the same breath remember that rest is on the list of things that enhance performance, so rest enough and show up enough! One session is better than no session and unless you can afford the sacrifices it takes to be elite, then there’s no need PB everyday. Your Annie time, your daily heavy clean and your second place class WOD finish is all inconsequential. The earth will continue to spin and the great news is that you’re an hour ahead of where you would’ve been if you hadn’t had trained at all!!!