I feel tired from my workouts, what should I do?
If you're feeling overly tired or sore from your workouts, it's important to listen to your body.
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If you're feeling overly tired or sore from your workouts, it's important to listen to your body. Any athlete training for an endurance event is going to be more tired and sore than the average person, but there's a difference between feeling the effects of your workouts, and being over-tired and potentially over-trained.
There are a few questions you can ask yourself if you're feeling more tired than you think you should be at any point in your season:
1) Are you getting at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep, every single night?
Many people report to us that they sleep 5-6 hours per night, and that sleep isn't always a good quality, restful sleep.
Plainly put, 5-6 hours per night is absolutely not enough. Countless research studies confirm that an adult needs at least 7.5-8 hours of sleep every night for good health, and ESPECIALLY if you're endurance training.
And before you say you're different, or that you can get by on less sleep than other people -- just remember, you can't see what's happening underneath the hood in your body. Without enough sleep, your body absolutely can not recover properly from your workouts and you will feel beat-up very quickly.
2) Are you fueling properly for your workouts?
In every MOTTIV workout, we give nutrition recommendations for before the workout and during the workout. These recommendations are really important to follow. We have many athletes come to us and say they feel very tired or sore, they don't have energy for their workouts, or they've plateaued and are not making progress in their training.
Very often, when we ask what they eat before their morning workouts, they tell us they don't eat anything.
Science shows very clearly, endurance athletes should not ever fast before workouts. You need to fuel before you swim, bike, and run; it's critical.
If you are someone who doesn't like to eat in the mornings, then try eating something simple like a half of a banana with some peanut butter on it. Even that will give your body the calories it needs to perform what you're asking it to do. Or, if you have trouble digesting food first thing, then try a simple protein shake -- take a few sips on the first day, then work your way to more sips with every workout until you're able to tolerate a full shake.
You can train your stomach just like you train the rest of your body, if you're someone who doesn't typically eat in the mornings.
3) Are you doing more (or something else) than your workouts tell you to do?
Your MOTTIV workouts are planned and scheduled with a purpose. All of the workouts in a week are built to work with the other workouts that week, and all of your workouts over the course of the month work together to build your endurance and speed for your events.
If you skip important workouts, if you ignore the details of the workouts (for example if we tell you to run at a Zone 2 HR pace, but you go faster and run in Zone 3) -- then you're not really following the plan, and making progress will be difficult. Also, you can find yourself becoming over-trained, sore and tired, if you're deviating from your plan.
4) I'm doing all of the above but I still feel tired.
Then it's time to listen to your body and take a few days off. Endurance athletes tend to be a-type personalities who never miss a workout, but that isn't always a positive. If you're doing everything right but still feel really tired and worn down, time off is a must. A few days off to rest and recover won't derail your training; in fact after a few days off, you may even find yourself getting faster! Sometimes all the body needs is a few days of true rest.