Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Motor on or Abort the mission??

I had the worst run this morning. I usually never consider stopping a workout but recently I've heard people talk about doing that if it's really bad.
Here's my question. Is fitness gained if you push through a workout when you feel lousy and know you're not doing it as well as you should? Is it better to just suck it up or will you do yourself more good by stopping?
All I had to do was run for 60 minutes. Within that 60" I was to run 15 min POE, twice. Fine. No big deal. Hard but very doable.
I knew I was off the second I stepped out the door. My legs didn't hurt per se, they just weren't ready to move. They were slow. They were heavy. In some ways, I felt like they belonged to someone else's body. I felt awkward and clumsy. I did my 15 min fast sections on a road that I can clock my mile splits. They were about 30 seconds off!!!! WhY??????
That is my question today. WHY????
I had a big workout weekend but yesterday was rest. I shouldn't still be tired should I?
Am I suddenly slower? Out of shape? That seems unreasoable but those thoughts go through my mind.
Did I eat too much yesterday like I thought I did? Too many pistachios? I did have 2 chocolate chip cookies after all. Ooops. Come on....that can't be That bad every now and then right?
Hmmm, girly stuff? Next week is that time.....is it PMS? I should log that stuff and see if there's a trend.
Who knows. I just know I didn't like it one single bit!!!
I love the days I get to just run and run hard. And now I feel like I blew it. I wasted one. I want a do-over!!!!
whine whine whine
ok, time to move on.
I'm not going to obsess over it.....hear that Ange!? No more obsessing over 1 bad run!!!! But wait, Sat was a bad run too!!! What's goign on here? Ange, no more obsessing. Move on.

Tomorrow I'll swim and bike. Later today I will do my strengthening exercises. There's no time to get hung up on this.

But what is best? To motor on or abort the mission in cases like this?

What do You do?


Jennifer Harrison said...

Hey Ange! For me, it all depends on my HR...if it is super high and I don't feel good...then, I would still run but NO intervals and possibly cut the duration down. Sometimes it is just cumulative fatigue from the weekend's workouts. Have a good day! Jen H.

Rural Girl said...

That is a tough one. For me, I tend to gut it out because I would feel worse mentally if I stop. But I may shorten up the workout or not expect the most of myself. I think cumulative fatigue as Jennifer pointed out is the probable reason. We all get tired sometime! Accepting that and letting it go is the tough part.

Marni said...

Everyone has good and bad days. It is when you have something planned that it seems like a failed workout if you don't feel super. don't worry about it, everything is fine with your fitness. Next time it happens, just lower the intensity. Look for a positive, like breathing or stride rather than heavy legs. Remember that heavy legs can be from anything from muscle soreness, to fatigue to menstruation to poor restoring of blood sugar. Even if you are feeling 100% in an IM, you may feel heavy legs sometime (or more than once) during the run. Learn to handle it and use that "heavy leg" workout as a way to practice mental strategies while slowing down the pace. Enjoy the sunshine and if it is 20 min. into the workout and you are feeling really awful, ask yourself if you would rather walk, rest or just stop all together. Sometimes either one of those can make you relax and then after a few min. you may be able to start up again and finish the workout. don't worry..there is always another workout and your body will gain something from every workout if you find something to gain :)

BreeWee said...

I totally agree with Jen. If I am hammered and hurting (but not injured) and my HR is super high or asleep (as in I can't get it up even on hard parts) then I know my body has some fatigue. So, similar to Jen my coach makes me KEEP on KEEPIN' on. I have to do the workout. It is okay to have those days, we all do. I don't think you are getting slower, just a about to hit a new fitness level. Like you are climbing a big nasty hill of hard efforts back to back and your body is pooped but when you push through you will soon reach a new fitness level. Just make sure you have some super nutrition to balance the tired body... maybe an ice bath or massage if possible.
So... keep going unless it is an injury. You can't stop in a race when you feel junky can you??? Train through... you can do it!

Alina said...

I notice changes one or two days before and the first one or days of that time of month if that helps you. I definately feel slower and sluggish in the water, but I am sure this varies a lot person to person.

IronMatron said...

Wow! You've got some seriously experienced people chiming in!
I was so glad to this post, and the comments by everyone, because I had a super crappy workout this morning too. I know how you feel! The same thoughts go through my head as went through yours...
I love the idea that if you are tired and off then maybe you are just pushing through to a new fitness level. That thought is going to keep me going, for sure!
Stay strong, Ange! You are going to have a break through workout really soon.

Anonymous said...

There is some excellent advice here...I'm so glad you asked about this!

My legs felt so heavy on my run yesterday in the AM...I had some 3 minute intervals within my 5 mile run, and my interval pace was about half a minute slower than usual. The weird part is I felt awesome for my bike ride with some hills later in the afternoon??

I hope (and bet) your next run feels awesome :)

LG said...

What a timely post! I have been struggling with much the same this week. And I agree with everyone, I think it can be attributed to entering a new level of fitness or phase of workout, I know for me I'm about to enter my speed workouts. It's hard to keep pushing through, but it makes you that much stronger in the end provided you are not pushing through an injury. It will do a lot for your psyche to keep going, and the psychological I'm convinced is at least 50% of this sport and in many cases can be much higher than that. Consider days such as this the workout for your psyche not just your body. And hang in there!!

Judi said...

Damn, you sound as bad as Iron Matron who's blog I found you on. I say keep going on with the workout. But then again, I am no where in your range of speed.