Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Success: Consistency be thy name, sleep be thy ally

All of the what can only loosely be described as training I have done over the last couple of years follows a very similar pattern.

Have a big night out; resolve that that's enough for now and I really should buckle down; start well, get a good few days in, maybe as much as two weeks; feel amazing, stronger and fitter every day!;10 to 20 days later growing euphoria erupts and one night (usually after a heavy weights session, there's a definite pattern) have a massive night out. The following day I miss whatever I had planned, maybe miss the day after too, probably go out again, and before I know it there's been a week of nothing - or at least very little.

Two great weeks on, one damaging week off. Rinse, and repeat.

Despite this, I have got a bit fitter, a bit faster, and even a little bit lighter. This cycle has delivered marginal gains. However, this year I want to get Much Fitter, Much Faster, and Much(cross out) Quite A Bit Lighter. Everything I have read, and everyone I've spoken to has said the same thing - the only way to start getting anywhere near uncovering what you're genuinely capable of is to train well. Training well means you need to:

  1. Follow some kind of plan
  2. Rest and recover appropriately
  3. Train consistently

At the end of of this week I will, for I think the first time in my life, have completed 4 planned weeks of training comprising one complete rest day per week, and one or more scheduled activities every other day.

Everything is logged, all the numbers add up, I'm feeling great. But I'm starting to get tired. This morning, getting out of bed was tough, and I mean tough. On only a couple of days in the last 23 have I got 8 hours of sleep, more normal has been 7.5 or 7. This is usually absolutely fine, I have never been a "needs 8 hours or cuts everyone's head off until he's had a few coffees" kinda guy, however with the increased and consistent higher training load I think it's starting to catch up on me. I think Mrs (who has a record of being better at maintaining a consistent training load) has been right all along.

We need to get more sleep.

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