One of the frustrating facts of training is that getting fitter is not a linear projection. At some point you’ll have a bad patch. If you’re lucky it will only last a few workouts, though it might last a few weeks and if you overtrain it can last months. So while there is strategy to consider when you’re not feeling it the solution, as Scottish climber Dave MacLoed points out in this recent article, is always to press on.
This isn’t something unique to un-fit. In fact it’s the opposite as the fitter you are the more likely it will happen. This is because the closer you are to peak fitness the less margin for error you have when it comes to overtraining, which is why you always hear about athletes struggling to get their training timing right around competitions.
Overtraining is a hard—-and sometimes impossible—-thing to gauge because it’s based on so many factors that you can’t always assess. Things like your mental state, that can cause fluxuations in your hormonal and nervous system function, are always issues that are somewhat out of your control. Pressing on means you don’t want to give up because it’s not working, but continue to trust your training program with an open mind, always evaluating the possibilities for minor tweaks. Here’s a very similar article I wrote on the subject that’s more specific to Beachbody programs. If your training program is solidly-crafted, as I hope ours are given I’m the one that does it, the benefits will come in the end as long as you don’t give up.
MacLoed, one of the world’s best all-around climbers as well as an exercise physiologist, says,
I have been doing my circuits night after night. Some strange things are going on though which I can’t put my finger on. I’m definitely getting less pumped per circuit. I’m even getting a reasonable amount done. Yet for some reason, I don’t ‘feel’ fit.
When warming up I’m feeling rough and starting from a low base. And even once I’m going I feel heavy. I’m guessing it’s just one of those periods you have to go through every so often. So I’ll carry right on, until my body decides to wake up to the message that I need it to get fitter and stronger.
Those of you who follow TSD know I’ve been blogging on this subject using my own training and how nothing seems to be clicking this year. My solution, like Dave’s, is going to be to keep pressing on. As should yours.
vid: for those who don’t know, dave is on a very exclusive list of those who climb near the top of the scale in many disciplines: ice climbing, sport climbing, mega-scary trad climbing, and bouldering.