As much as I love all my friends at CrossFit, I am acutely aware that my needs vary considerably from many of my younger friends in the Box
I do not say that as an excuse for my performance, but the fact of the matter is I need more time to recover from strenuous activity than someone who is 3o years old.
So even though I try to scale my WODs for my current strength and ability, the fact remains, I do not want to be a quitter. But there are times when wisdom is more important than my resolve to tough it out. But a man’s heart is deceitful above all things and I know I could simply rationalize staying in bed because I’m being lazy, by telling myself it is a recovery day.
Honestly, I do not always know what my body is trying to tell me. Last week we did a WOD and I just was out of it. It’s not that the WOD was uniquely difficult, I just wasn’t running on all cylinders and I performed poorly and felt lousy physically, and emotionally I was discouraged. The next day, I did take a rest day (though Tia figured I skipped out on a day that had too much running in it). The third day I returned and did a scaled version of Sevens and I felt great, so great that Chad made me go back and do two more rounds. That was followed by doing 70 Push-ups with Katie. What a contrast from Day One, to Day Three, with a badly needed “rest and recovery” day in between.
So my challenge is to find a way to determine when I truly need rest. I need to discern between fatigue and a lack of motivation. Greg’s blog page has a link to Joel Jamieson’s website entitled 8 Weeks Out. I have been exploring the website and I am very intrigued with what I have been reading about Heart Rate Variability, or HRV.
To utilize HRV in your workout regimen, you need a monitoring device. You must take a few minutes upon rising every morning to measure your heart rate variability. The fact is that your heart is not a precise metronome clicking off x beats per minute, it will fluctuate greatly depending upon the effects of stress upon your body. Those stresses may be physical exercise, but they can also be from sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, anxiety, etc.
The fact is that if my work-related stress, my sleep and my nutrition have gone off the rails, then CrossFit is not going to enhance my life today. In fact it will have a negative impact if my heart rate variability is already trending downward. Leading to a longer recovery period.
I have ordered a BioForce HRV kit to interface with my iPhone. It comes with a 3 months money-back guarantee. So I am embarking on a three-month trial where I will log my food consumption, my rest, and my workouts, while monitoring my HRV. If I am trending downward, I will back off on strenuous workouts. If I am trending upward, I’ll turn up the gas a little. Perhaps I can summarize my findings in a Weekly Report to you all. We”ll see.
All I know is that I am not doing all this work to slide backwards in fitness and well-being. Maybe if I get my Geek On, I’ll grown some muscle. Stay tuned.