Endurance sport should reduce stress, right?
I know, that cycling has a lot of positive benefits on my body. I stay slim, I stay fit and it makes me happy which – in result – should reduce stress.
Well, I have do admit, that over the past two month I totally tapped into the stress trap. Late December I was in good training form, pushing my FTP on the trainer and doing regular high intensity workouts. No problem on that, until my job situation changed.
I went from employee to freelancer. And I was aware of the risk, of not getting enough work. But I got bookings for the next three months already in January, so anxiety wasn’t really a problem. I didn’t thought, that this would stress my body, so I didn’t calculate stress into my training regeime.
So the next step for my body was clear: illness. Mid January I got hefty stomach problems, potbelly and tonsillitis. When I get ill, I always have this one story in my mind, which my wife once told me. She knew a guy, who just didn’t care about his flu for a longer time and got that ill, that he needed a new heart. So I’m very careful with illness and as soon as I recognize one, stop training and sit it out … usually.
Problem this time: a planned half-marathon on february 5th, only two weeks away.
You can imagine what happened. I went to the doctor, got antibiotics, layed down three days and started training again on day four. For two days.
F*ck. Ill again. I decided to cancel the event and totally sit this out for two weeks. Didn’t get better. Still stomach problems and potbelly. At least the tonsillitis got away. The next two weeks, I went from doctor to doctor and everyone said: “Everythings allright bro. Your blood values are nice, inflammation is gone and your body should work properly.” At this time, I was almost four weeks out of training, which also meant, that my body haven’t had a proper tool to flush out the stress chemicals.
You see the picture here: stress made me ill – and stress kept me ill. My job situation, the luring half-marathon and the training pause had risen my stresslevel to the maximum, which my body couldn’t handle any longer.
Ironically my wife supposed stress right in the first days of January.
So how did I get on top of it you ask?
- I accepted the fact, that this IS stress!
- I changed my nutrition for about two weeks, leaving out acidic fruits like tangerins and apples and also sugar a bit more.
- I relaxed and stepped a bit more away from work.
- And then, a week into this procedure, started with really slight (Zone 1 on feel) training again to finally flush out the stressing chemicals of my body.
In perspecive now, this all looks like a big joke. A sporty guy, eating healthy foods, got that stressed, that this healthy lifestyle made him sick. How ironic.
Do you recognize stress? What’s your advice on dealing with it?