Taking A Week Off Exercise

I'm tired. That's nothing new. I workout constantly, work hard and am almost always on the go. I prefer it that way. Living life at full throttle 80% of the time makes me happy. And feeling tired from hard workouts is part of the game. 

But this is something more. I'm not just tired. I'm worn out. Exhausted. I can feel it in every movement of daily life. I've been approaching my workouts for the last few weeks with trepidation, asking myself what it's going to take to pull me through. I'm drinking 1-2 cups of caffeinated coffee a day (I used to only drink decaf), usually before a workout in the hopes of "reving up." I'm not sleeping well. My concentration isn't there.

Diagnosis? Burnout. 

I've been pushing too hard for too long. I need a break. Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple refers to it as a "Deload Week" and describes it like this:

A deload week is a “take it easy” week. It’s a break from training hard and training often, and scheduling a deload week is often how hard-charging athletes and weight lifters (a notorious bunch who never want to take a break) force themselves to recover from their pursuits. Exercise, you see, especially effective, intense, hard exercise, requires that we recover. It’s just like any injury, wound, illness, or stressor faced by our body. We have to recover before we can get stronger. In fact, you don’t get stronger from the act of lifting weights. You get stronger by recovering from the act of lifting weights

Mark suggests taking a deload week every 6 weeks. I'll be happy to get in one a year. 

I'm going to finish out this week's workouts with a long run on Saturday and then finito. I'll get plenty of small movements in from packing and unpacking as we make the move to Greensboro. I'm going to make time for walks and maybe some gentle evening yoga. Or not. I may do as little movement as possible. What I won't be doing is Crossfit, Bodypump, tempo runs, biking, barre class, power yoga or anything that even remotely resembles a push-up. 

It's a sign of how truly tired I am that instead of being anxious about taking a week off, I'm feeling a huge surge of relief. I don't have to lift anything heavy for a week - whoo-hoo!!

See you around--but not at the gym.