R-R-R it’s not just for Pirates!!!

I know its a crap title and there is nothing about pirates in this blog, but hey suggestions are welcome.  So from pirates to one of the greatest minds of all time Steven Hawking.  He said in his speech at the Paralympics ” we are all different, there is no such thing as a standard run of the mill human being, but we share the same human spirit.  What is important is that we have the ability to create…  This certainly can take many forms, from physical achievement to theoretical physics…  However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at..”

I personally found these words very profound as they seem to reflect on my life extremely accurately.  I have always considered my creative talents to be more physical than artistic. My brother is really good at music, art and even DIY.  But he isn’t very athletic, but that appears to be where my talents have always lay.  I have done various martial arts from a teenager and I have been a weights room since leaving school.  I have unfortunately never really carried anything through.  I’d get my blackbelt and move on that’s why various martial arts.  But as I get older I really want to succeed at something. However it is harder to do as much volume of training as I used to.  My job has much more stress and responsibility than when I was younger. I have a mortgage and responsibilities, the true sign of becoming an old munki. Not like the younger days when I didn’t have a care in the world and I could work and still train seven days a week and pick skills up quickly. Recovery what’s that? More training is what you need.  That was the nineties.  Now in 2012 I’m actively planning my training and fitting in recovery days. Otherwise I start to feel the effects of continued  overtraining and I can safely say they are not good.  So what are the symptoms of overtraining? Yes admit it I have tweaked the nipples of your curiosity.  Well there are some different symptoms of overtraining.  You are not likely to show all of these symptoms but if you are showing some it may be worth doing some self evaluation. I should say even if you do have some of these symptoms it does not automatically mean you are overtrained. This is where  you have look at your performance on the mat and consider if it is impaired or has plateaued. Or if everything you are doing on the mat feels like climbing up Mount Everest.  I have listed below some of the identified signs of overtraining these are:

  • Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy (Yup have had that)
  • Mild leg soreness, general aches and pains
  • Pain in muscles and joints (Thought this was old age)
  • Sudden drop in performance
  • Insomnia (This was the killer for me)
  • Headaches
  • Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)
  • Decrease in training capacity / intensity
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Depression
  • Loss of enthusiasm for the sport
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased incidence of injuries. (This was awesome – see pic below)
  • A compulsive need to exercise

Overall improving conditioning requires a balance between overload and recovery (GAS Principle). Too much overload and/or too little recovery may result in both physical and psychology symptoms of overtraining. For me I suffered lack of energy, insomnia, decrease in capacity, injuries but I still felt I had to keep training. The other stuff I thought were the symptoms of becoming an even older munki.

If you have the suspicion that  you are overtraining, I would start with the following: Rest and Recover. Reduce your mat time or  allow yourself a few days of rest. Spend some time with the family or catch up on your series link on your Sky Plus. Hydrate. Drink plenty of fluids and alter your diet if necessary. Give yourself some quality food you are worth it.  If you get thirsty have a drink, not pop or fruit juice but slip some water in there too.  A good general recommendation is to drink enough fluid so that you’re not thirsty for long periods of time. A good way to tell if you are dehydrated is the colour of your pee pee.  There is a chart here that shows you the colours and how they relate to your level of hydration. Get a sports massage. This may help relax you mentally and physically it also feels good.  Both Mrs Munki and I get these on a regular basis to get rid of muscle knots as well.

A good but technical and scientific explanation can be found here from the American School of Sports Medicine.  If you geek out on the technical stuff this will nibble your banana.

I fall off the recovery wagon occasionally and push myself too much, but I keep trying to listen to my body and manually plan my training week.  By taking my recovery seriously I’m making sure that I am physically capable of achieving the mat time I need in a way that an Old Munki can handle.  Hopefully making BJJ the thing I can succeed at. Go Stephen Hawking!!! (Pirates & primates are cool to!)

This is what happens when you don’t listen to your body!

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