Friday, 30 October 2015

Rest Is Training

I'm exhausted this week trying to juggle training and full time working, and my recovery stats are not looking good. I use Heart Rate Variability to check my recovery every morning using an app on my phone. I used to use a heart rate and recovery app called Restwise but I'm finding HRV is a better gauge of whether I should be pumping iron or taking a duvet day.

HRV measures the time between successive heart beats rather than the average heart rate over a few minutes of rest. I record this for 2 1/2 minutes every morning before I get up. The reason it's more sensitive is it gives a view of how the nervous system is working and whether you're in 'fight or flight' (sympathetic) or 'rest and digest' (parasympathetic) mode. My reading today was 4 towards the stressed side of the scale. And it's been the same for three days.

I've put in a couple of good quality training sessions this week, with two days on a work training course in between and lots of travelling. This always tires me out, and it's been worse since my thyroid diagnosis. It's also been an emotional week with plenty of self-reflection and role plays on the course.

I've read that intense activity >70% heart rate can reduce your thyroid hormone production (T3) which is why we're often fatigued the day after a hard session. This is double-bad news for me given my thyroid is struggling to produce hormone at all. I've noticed that a hard run or gym session can take one - three days to recover from, compared to a day previously. I'm learning to accept what I can do, and enjoy the hours with my feet up watching tele or reading a novel.

I'm not the best at putting the 'Rest Is Training' mantra into practice but it's clear that a duvet day is definitely in order, along with a good dose of yoga, deep breathing and healthy food.

Have a great weekend everyone, see you on the other side!

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