Sunday, January 22, 2012

More, more, more...or maybe not

Did you ever have one of those days when you thought your training session was going to be outstanding, but it turned out to be a bit of a fizzer? Or at least  not up to the lofty standards you set yourself? It happens to all of us, but learning how to handle those less-than-impressive workouts can be challenging.

This morning, for instance, I headed off to my RPM class feeling great. I felt fuelled up - I'd had a nice big bowl of oats & whey, (early enough to be sure it stayed down), plus two nice, strong coffees. My legs felt good after a rest day yesterday and I'd slept exceptionally well. So it was all systems go...or was it?

I was early, so I jumped on an elliptical and belted out a nice steady 11-12kph for five minutes before heading in to claim my bike. Track one went well and I was feeling nicely warmed up, with plenty left in the tank as we headed into track 2. It was sprints, which are not my favourite, but I added some load and was happy to hit 130 rpm without too much effort for the first round.

So: legs good, plenty of fuel, rested up. That should have equalled an awesome session. Only... I forgot about one little thing: the tail-end of my cold and a flare-up of hay fever had caused my rare but annoying asthma to rear its head over the past few days. Had I been taking my preventer? Um..yes. Once. Did I have my reliever inhaler with me for the class? Uh. Oops.

Gee, guess what? My lungs decided that 130 rpm was way too hard and signalled their displeasure with some chest tightening and a really irritating cough. Bugger. I may be forgetful with my medication at times, but I have enough sense to not push my luck with exercise when my respiratory system is performing below par.

I dropped my speed back for the rest of the class, keeping sprints to a sedate 120 or less, and keeping a close eye on my breathing during the hill climbs - which necessitated dialling down the resistance to a couple of notches below my usual levels.

I got through the class quite well, all things considered - even the attack intervals in track five, which to my delight was Rebel Yell (love that song! More, more more!).

In the past, when I've not done as well as I think I should in a training session, I've come home feeling as though I'd failed. I'd have the sads for hours afterwards, and the old "failure" mental soundtrack would start up: That really sucked; I'll never be any good at this; Everyone else is so much better than me. Blah, blah, blah.

But at least I've learned that one workout is not a make-or-break deal. Every setback (usually) contains a lesson - I think today's is pretty obvious. And if you allow a missed training session, a below-par workout, or a meal blow-out to turn into a pity party, you're going to have an uphill battle gagging that voice in your head.

Instead, remember this:

I did a GREAT job today under the circumstances. I could have climbed off the bike at the first sign of breathlessness and told myself I had a good excuse. In fact, that thought was circulating in my head for most of Track 2. But I know my body and its limits, and I chose not to quit, but to do the best I could instead.

And I know that tomorrow will be better. Especially if I take my meds.  ;o)


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