The effects of stress on training


I am burnt out.  Fried. Exhausted.

What is the cause of this? Am I training too hard?  No, I am stressed.

I am 4 weeks away from Tough Mudder and I can’t train at the moment because my central nervous system is shot to pieces. Infact I can barely run or lift, my whole body feels like someone has injected lead into my veins and I currently have the cardio fitness and endurance of someone who has never exercised in their life.  Even walking up stairs tires me out at the moment.

I am not happy.

The reason for my current state is cortisol. So what is it? It is a hormone that is known as the regulator of the immune response and is controlled by the adrenal cortex.  Elevated levels of cortisol (which occurs from physical or mental stress) has adverse effects on mood, health, performance and body composition. It also makes you store fat on your stomach (ladies take note!). Therefore it’s really important to be mindful of managing your stress levels so it doesn’t negatively impact on your training.

The annoying thing is that for me exercise helps me to reduce my stress levels.  But I am  in a situation where my stress levels are high and so as a result my cortisol levels are elevated and it’s effecting my training a lot.  I don’t want to undo all my hard work from the last few months so as much as it makes me unhappy I am taking a few days off from training.  If you find yourself in a similar situation to this, don’t grit your teeth and think that you can power through your training sessions.  You’re doing more harm than good.  TAKE A BREAK!

So today I am booked in for a deep tissue massage and a session in a flotation tank to help reduce my stress levels.  The last time I had a flotation session I was so blissfully chilled out I nearly got hit by a car crossing the road as I was in a complete dream state.  I’ll make sure I don’t cross any roads this time!


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