Endurance athletes call it “The Wall”. Endurance athletes with a sense of humour call it “Hitting the Bonk”. It’s when you’re training or competing, and your body suddenly runs out of fuel (glycogen stores in your liver and muscles), and you’re suddenly hit by an unstoppable wave of fatigue. Basically, your batteries run dry.
When the #MHTeamFit #StaffChallenge #HashtagHashtag started, we all knew it was going to be a marathon, not a sprint. We all knew that we had to pace ourselves, and that the changes we were working towards might only come in the second half of the 12-week programme. We knew it. But we all fell into the trap anyway.
So there’s Thomas, doing boxing training in the morning and the evening. He’s tired, he gets a cold, and – in his weakened state – it flattens him for a couple of days. There’s Charlie, doing Muay Tai, hobbling around the office with a bruised toe. And there’s me, realising last week Monday that – between work, children, studies, living an hour away from the office, personal commitments and general Life Stuff – I’m just too damn tired to wake up at 5:30am three days a week, every week, to hit the gym.
So I didn’t train at all last week.
I got a ton of work done, but I didn’t set foot in the RIPT gym. I just couldn’t face it. I was tired, and I needed a break. So I took one.
And I’m glad I did.
Because this morning when I went to the RIPT class, I was actually looking forward to it! It was a tough workout, make no mistake: and I had to dust some cobwebs out, especially in the metabolic training.
But I feel stronger now. Recharged. I can do another seven or eight weeks of this, no problem.
Will I achieve my Staff Challenge goals? I don’t know. But here’s what I do know: I’m not going to injure myself or get sick just because I’m pushing my training too hard.
Maybe that’s why the Wall is there. Maybe it’s your body’s way of saying, “You know what? I think I’d like a rest now, please.” That’s why you’re only allowed a maximum of three RIPT classes in a week. Any more than that, and you’ll burn out.