All About Stress

To fully understand fitness and how to make lasting and meaningful changes to your endurance you really have to understand the key concepts of stress and recovery.

Training is just a form of stress and training stress refers to the physical and mental demands placed on the body during exercise or athletic activities.

Recovery, on the other hand, is the process by which the body repairs and adapts to the stress imposed during training.

It should be simple right. You put your body under stress through your training and then you take a bit of time to recover, and the improvements happen. Rinse and Repeat…

Unfortunately though, it isn’t quite that simple, especially for those trying to reach a new level of performance. This is because both stress and recovery utilise the most important resource the body has: Energy!

The relationship between training stress and recovery:

This is a delicate balance that athletes and fitness enthusiasts must maintain for optimal performance and injury prevention.

Adequate recovery is crucial for allowing the body to replenish energy stores, repair muscle damage, and promote adaptation.

Without proper recovery, excessive training stress can lead to overtraining, increased risk of injury, and diminished performance.

Therefore, it is essential to strike a balance between training stress and recovery, allowing for appropriate rest and recovery periods to maximise the benefits of training and prevent burnout or overuse injuries.

The human body has a finite energy source:

Proper management of this energy is crucial for making gains in fitness and avoiding overtraining or burnout.

Here’s an explanation of how this works:

  1. Energy stores: The body’s primary energy sources are glycogen (stored in the muscles and liver) and fat. These energy stores are limited and can be depleted during intense or prolonged exercise.
  2. Depletion and replenishment: During training, the body utilizes these energy stores, leading to depletion. If the energy stores are not adequately replenished through proper nutrition and rest, the body will eventually reach a state of fatigue and diminished performance.
  3. Recovery and adaptation: After a training session, the body needs time to recover and adapt to the stress imposed during exercise. During this recovery period, the body replenishes its energy stores, repairs muscle damage, and adapts by becoming stronger and more efficient.
  4. Overtraining and burnout: If the body is not given sufficient time to recover and replenish its energy stores, it can lead to overtraining and burnout. This can result in decreased performance, increased risk of injury, and prolonged recovery times.

Making gains in fitness while managing the body’s finite energy source:

To do this it is essential to follow these principles:

  1. Periodization: Incorporate periods of high-intensity training followed by periods of lower-intensity training or active recovery to allow the body to replenish its energy stores and adapt to the training stimulus.
  2. Nutrition: Consume a balanced diet with sufficient calories, carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats to fuel the body and support recovery and adaptation.
  3. Rest and sleep: Allow for adequate rest and sleep, as these are crucial for recovery, energy replenishment, and muscle repair.
  4. Monitoring: Pay attention to signs of fatigue, decreased performance, or increased susceptibility to illness, as these can indicate the need for more recovery time.

By respecting the body’s finite energy source and implementing proper training, nutrition, and recovery strategies, athletes and fitness enthusiasts can maximize their gains in fitness while avoiding overtraining and burnout.

About Liza Smith

Liza: The Endurance Expert – Unlock Your Peak Athletic Potential!

Dedicated to endurance, particularly in extreme events like Ironman, OCR and Ultras, Liza stands out not just as a coach but as an emblem of determination and tenacity.

With a reputation for moulding winners and transforming raw potential into prowess, Liza is the top pick for those aspiring to reign supreme in their sport.

Liza’s coaching philosophy centres on the power of the mind. Her five pillars – Control the Controllable, Find the Positive, Focus on You, 100% Effort, and Extreme Ownership – guide athletes to both mental and physical excellence.

Whether you're just starting out or vying for the gold, Liza ensures your hard work delivers results. Train with Liza and unleash the ultimate athlete within you.