Boy Am I Tired! Finding the Source of Fatigue

author : Ontherun
comments : 2

A general observation of how fatigue can be caused by so many different sources. Finding the true reason can be as simple as watching the sun rise.

I have been training and racing in triathlon now for almost three years. Every season I think I have figured "it" out. Every once in a while, something hits me in the head like a large rock. Recently (from the end of July to the middle of August), I have been struggling to get out the door for workouts in the morning. At first I thought I might be just a little burned out, so I managed to increase my sleep by about one hour per night at the expense of extra training time. This bothered me because my biggest A-race of the year is still coming up. The last thing I wanted to do was start my taper for an Oly two weeks early.

The sources of fatigue

Every morning, I would wake up and struggle with I was so spent. I started to think I did not race enough, and the build up between races was allowing me to get mentally burnt. I have not raced since early May, and my next race is late August. Now I still think there may be some truth in my mental over-preparation for a single race, but I think my mental problems may come from elsewhere.

I also started to factor in the fact that my work as a landscaper in the increased heat has caused its own issues. Each year my personal busy season is the ten weeks from late June to September that have me pruning 42 acres of bushes. This is the most continuously demanding work I do almost the entire year, and it is done in the dog days of summer. That being realized, I still had not found the answer I think I was looking for.

Look over prior years of training

Looking back on my training over the last three seasons, I have seen a pattern of similar lack of ambition at the same time last year and in years before. I think I have finally found the reason I have been hitting the wall. I think, for me, the answer is actually just too simple. This morning, I got up for a normal 5:30 AM workout. I got up late again. I went to get cleaned up, dressed in my riding gear and got ready to head out the door. Then it hit me—the sun had just barely risen! Instead of going out the door, I just went back to bed. Looking at the number of hours I have been sleeping, it should not have been an issue of lack of sleep. The only thing I am seeing each season is that the daylight hours are getting less. Call me crazy, but I think this is the mental hurdle I need to challenge.

You can't fight with Mother Nature

This also seems to coincide with the fact that each February (the shortest number of daylight hours) I seem to get into a similar funk of lack of drive. I can control my diet, number of hours of sleep, type and intensity of my workouts, but I can not change Mother Nature. The reason I need to share all this is to illustrate how important it is to listen to your body, but also to log your workouts for future reference. The mind can play tricks, and it has only taken me 36 years to notice the effect of the changing seasons has on, not only my workouts, but my life in general.

I shall learn, and continue to learn more about myself and my untapped abilities as an "average" age group triathlete. I can only help that as I continue to learn and grow it helps me become a better father, husband and general human being. Knowledge is power; do not waste that power by not learning from your past.

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date: September 3, 2006

Ontherun

Father of two, devoted husband, Clydesdale, hope to become just an age grouper someday. Competing in the 40-44 bracket this year. Have done a 1/2 Ironman tri, a marathon and a bunch of sprint and oly distance races. Member of BT since 12-1-03

avatarOntherun

Father of two, devoted husband, Clydesdale, hope to become just an age grouper someday. Competing in the 40-44 bracket this year. Have done a 1/2 Ironman tri, a marathon and a bunch of sprint and oly distance races. Member of BT since 12-1-03

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