I am going to start this article with, its meant to be FUN.
Working with endurance and adventure athletes has shown me many patterns, some good and some not so. Most of us are aware of the negative sides of stress in our day to day lives’ and when we can do things to help avoid or to at least try and correct this. This is a good thing, a positive people managing their stresses to help their quality of life.
There is ever growing numbers of medically researched papers on the impacts of stress, not just causing the clear depression that we hear about, but underlying physical problems caused directly through stress, Christmas is a magical time of year but for athletes can bring added stresses.
Lets’ now look at the magical missed session in your training plan. I have lost count of the times I have had messages, calls or emails from athletes saying,
“I missed today’s session, shall I add it on to tomorrow” or “I feel so bad I missed a couple sessions last week and am worried it will be bad for my training”
Both the above quotes will ring true with many reading this, I know I have used the above myself many times. The truth is you are doing more damage by stressing about the missed session.
Yes it would be better if you had done your session, that’s why it was in your plan, but now you add the physical and psychological impact of stress and you are more than doubling the negative effect of the missed session. (also removing the fun element of what you’re doing)
By letting it go and moving on and practising this mindset, you can avoid the stressful impact and all you have done is missed a session, It gives you a chance to work on some sport psychology, you can use self-talk, saying
“I am getting fitter and stronger by not stressing” repeat, repeat.
Stress is one of the largest causes of fatigue in our life’s and it really does have a negative impact on our training. You see all these different training scores and measurements in Training Peaks and other training software, we measure our sleep and diet, all areas that are heavily impacted by stress.
When we add up all our day to day stresses you will be amazed at how much you are carrying around with you. (So don’t add another stress to the pile)
I can hear people saying “yes but I run or ride to de-stress” totally 100% most of us do, so don’t turn it into another stress, Or you may have to go to work to get over your missed training stress!
This is the time of year you are more than likely to miss a training session or 2, for my athletes this is something that is pre-discussed, working on prevention rather than cure. So prepare to miss a session and LET IT GO.
Our minds are so powerful and normally will swing to negative, if you can use the mind to turn these into positives, just watch the gains you make.