Two important lessons from my Fitness and Diet

This past weekend I did a two rides to get back to my fitness regimen after some days off cycling. And the rides helped me in learning two important lessons about fitness - lessons we all read about but which I chose to ignore so far.

For the weekend. I got through a total of 75 kilometers over 2 days, with nice climbs (5 kilometers and 7.5 kilometers).
I pushed myself to beat my personal numbers on Strava, and did two more personal records. The results seem to point to an acceptable fitness level.

But the issue that I saw on both days was that I was very very sleepy after the workout and needed to take a nap in the afternoon.

This sleepiness is not a usual case on my previous weekend rides. Also, in the 2 years of cycling with ever increasing level of effort, this is the first time my body starts to react negatively to my fitness efforts. This got me thinking what has changed. The small amount of research yielded two very good reasons.

  • I stopped doing my daily morning rides but kept my weekend high effort rides - poor weather, early winter sunset and some home responsibilities prevented me from doing my regular daily morning rides. But I still pushed myself hard on the weekend rides, even achieving personal records. It seems that my fitness level has not dropped, but my body has issues adjusting to a big fitness effort after being idle the entire week.
  • I reached my target BMI for my diet - For the past 2 years, my body had excess fat to burn. Now, there is very little fat left, and I am maintaining a controlled diet regimen, which limits the calorie intake to the daily requirement of my age.
For everyone doing a fitness routine of any form, with or without a diet, I can relate the following lessons learned
High cycling effort hill
By Federal Highway Administration
 via Wikimedia Commons
  1. Make sure your body has enough energy: Fitness burns energy. This is a fantastic thing when you are losing weight, since it will eat through that spare tire around your waist and/or hips. But the same thing becomes an issue once you reach your optimal weight level: your body just doesn't have sufficient energy stores to feed your effort. You need to start thinking about eating more while maintaining the same level of fitness effort. Sadly, I still have to find my food combo for my effort, weight and diet combination.
  2. Be consistent in your workouts: Your body adjusts to continuous levels of effort. Having longer periods of rest (no workout) means that your body will have issues with significant efforts after a period of no workouts. Either find a way to maintain a consistent effort over time, or slowly ramp up your workout effort to previous level. 

What are your important lessons on your fitness regimen?
Tell us in the comments!

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About Bozidar Spirovski

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