OVERTRAINING: §1 A New Chapter

– I can not continue like this… ENOUGH!
– I am sick to my stomach.

Few days ago, after the awful bike performance, I said to myself ENOUGH! I decided I will do something different. I can’t continue like this any longer…

The things I did differently for this workout:
Instead of training in the morning, I moved it to the afternoon. I was hoping it will give my body enough time to hydrate and fuel up.

Had a big breakfast and lunch:
1,130 Calories: 180C/27F/47P
Rice 300g
Oatmeal 100g
4 eggs

Took a 1 hour nap, hoping it will help perform at my best. Woke up feeling ok.

Went on the bike, and almost right from the beginning felt like crap. Please no…
As I was gradually building up to 180W, at 130W I already felt that something’s off. I could not keep 180W for 10 minutes… I can’t believe it. I am back into this hole again. I am so disappointed and sick from failing over and over. Since April, since freaking April I’ve been suffering with my trainings, specifically on the bike. I can’t take these hits anymore.
I broke down emotionally… Tears streamed down my cheeks. I HATE this bike! I HATE myself! What the f*ck is wrong with me?
I dismounted off the bike and layed on the ground with no energy to even move my finger. All I did was cried. Not just cried like a little girl, but cried my ass off. I felt sorry for myself, I felt so disappointed, I felt discouraged to do anything… not only train, but I did not want to live anymore. I layed on the floor for several minutes and cried. Everything in my life seemed to be wrong, I felt myself as a total loser, failing on all accounts. Suicidal thoughts would come and go. I knew I needed to get outside of my head and let it all out. Only two people that came to my mind at that moment were my father and my coach. I needed to talk.
I called my dad, but he was busy with his wife. I didn’t want to interrupt him from time spending with his lovely wife and dump my emotional truck full of crap into his ears. I lied that everything’s alright and I’ll call him later. I began typing text message to my coach Renee, but never sent it. It’s a middle of the day, she is busy.

– Ok, Sasha, what do we do now?

4 options I saw at the moment:

  1. Quit and count your losses. Tell yourself that this sport is just not for you and convince yourself that there other things in life that matter more. Also you can add that you achieved quite a bit and it’s time to move on. Easy option.
  2. Blame others. Blame your coach for digging yourself into this hole and find another coach or train on your own. By doing so I move responsibility for the way I feel and perform onto other people. Easy option.
  3. Try to change your state with food, alcohol, sleeping, drugs etc. It will help, but only short term. Within few hours your will feel even worse than before. Easy option.
  4. Pick yourself up and take full responsibility for the way you feel and perform. Go back on your bike and complete the damn workout to the best of your abilities.

I completed the workout to the best of my abilities… While barely pushing 130W I got the opportunity to think. I think better when my blood is flowing fast.

  1. Every failure is the opportunity and I will use this failure to learn from it.
  2. I will learn what caused such performance decline over the past several months. Knowing this will help me prevent future failing occurrences and I will have more great trainings over just a few poor.
  3. I will learn how to bring myself back up to performance levels prior to this and I will use this knowledge to move beyond that. Overcoming this challenge will show me that I can do anything I put my mind into. I will also develop a coping mechanism that I can use in the future. It will help me re-build my self-confidence and self-esteem after so many failures.
  4. I will help other people to overcome similar challenges by sharing my personal experience and what I learned from my failures.

Pushing harder does not work. I’m stuck and the harder I press on gas pedal, the faster and deeper I dig myself into the hole I’m in. Mud and smoke. Sweat and tears.

I am sure there are other athletes who struggle with similar issues. I respect those who did not give up and chose the option #4. Just like me, they are looking for solutions.

I begin my investigation with a series of blog posts on Overtraining. I will dig deeper and try to find causes as well as solutions. I learn from this “failure” and bounce back stronger than ever before. My posts will describe this “journey” in details and Ihope that my finding will help others who is facing similar challenges. Together we will rock the sport of triathlon!