Today wasn’t my day….and that’s ok!
As I mentioned in one of my recent posts, I have embarked on morning training. While a lot of people are thinking “yeah, big deal… lots of people train in the morning”, there are only a few that know how much of a big deal that is for me. I may have been quoted saying “there is no f*cking way I will get up at 5am and go to the gym, I love my bed too much”. I think, or I should say “I know” (from the look of shock on his face) that I surprise my coach every single morning I walk in at 5:30am – he has been coaching me for almost 5 years now. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t all of a sudden got some aversion to sleep or my bed… in fact probably the opposite, but I have no choice now. I either suck it up, get up and workout or I don’t get to train, and for me, it’s not really an option.
So today (being Thursday) was my first session back since my charity walk on Sunday. It was not my day, even with the most basic of movements (or basic for me), it wasn’t my day. Last week I felt like I was making progress and felt like I was on track and improving, today I went backwards. My timing was off, I had no strength, an old injury was bugging me, it felt like one of the worst sessions I have had. It made me start to think, we expect that our fitness to constantly improve, but it’s never a straight line. Like in life, we have our good days and bad days, we are only human. There are so many factors in play when it comes to how you perform in a workout:
1.) How much sleep you have had?
If you are a parent like me, then this factor is never a constant, some nights you get an amazing sleep and others you have very little. 6 hours feels amazing! Miss my 8-10hour nights.
2.) How much water you have you had?
We all know how important water is and its effect on our day to day activities if we don’t have enough. So it makes sense it will affect your performance!
3.) Our food intake for the day…
An interesting thing I like to do, especially now that I am a trainer, is look at is the workout times of those at our Crossfit gym. In most Crossfit workouts we complete them for time, we complete them as fast as possible. Those times from morning generally have much slower than those in the evening. Why? Are those people in the morning not as fit as those in the evening? Well, those in the evening have had a whole day’s worth of food to fuel their workout, whereas those who are running on a banana at 5:30am have got very little in the tank. It makes a MASSIVE difference.
4.) The quality of foods you have eaten…
It’s not all about calories, good quality foods have so many more vitamins and minerals that are going to help nourish your body and fuel your body. Eating whole foods has an obvious effect on your body, you feel amazing.
5.) Hormones (especially female hormones)…
While there is conflicting evidence around with this and they don’t know what causes PMS, every woman can tell you that you feel like sh*t.
6.) Other physical activities…
I was an idiot and did ‘The Bloody Long Walk’ on Sunday. Even though it’s a walk, 35kms is a long distance, and it takes its toll on your body. Today, 4 days later, I am still so tight in my legs. So, if you have done any big challenges, moving house, etc. Take that into consideration.
So, don’t compare yourself to others in the gym, you have no idea what is going on in the background. This is a concept that I could not get my head around for such a long time, and another thing, that since becoming a parent, has become obvious. I am definitely not at the fitness level I used to be, but I had a lot less going on in the background – I was able to be at the gym every night, make sure my eating was on point, get a solid 8 hours sleep each night with no worries, I could train at night (not at “stupid o’clock”) and as much as I hate to admit it, I was younger.
Try and not feel deflated if you just weren’t feeling it and your performance was less than your expectation – consistency is key! Those women in the postnatal stage of their life, your body made ANOTHER HUMAN, it needs to recover, be kind to it, your workouts will get there. Plus, you are just starting, or for those with more than 1 child – starting again, to go through the sleep deprivation, grab whatever is in the cupboard to eat phase!
Finally, everyone is different! They have their own strengths and weaknesses, they come from different backgrounds and are at a completely different stage of their fitness journey.
At the end of the day, whether you had a bad workout or not, you still lapped everyone on the couch! A workout is still a workout, be kind to yourselves.