Yesterday’s scheduled rest day, while necessary, did highlight a personal fitness issue I had forgotten about.
I mentioned having recent sleep issues, and turns out last night I had the opposite issue from before, awaking before 3am even though I felt like I wanted to sleep a couple more hours. My body decided it was time to wake up.
This impact this morning’s hill repeat workout, as I felt creaky and sluggish warming up out to the spot. And while I could have pulled a Kenyan Runner and just cancelled the workout I decided it’d be better to at least do some of it. I knocked out 5 of the 12 scheduled 30-second repeats before I felt like that was enough and headed back to the ranch.
So what’s the fitness issue? One of my prior tendencies is that if I don’t put in much of a moderate or greater exercise effort on a given day, I tend not to sleep well that night.
I also made a point to stop using the spin bike, which means I’m not cross training on my rest days, aside from any walking.
So I think last night I could have used a better expenditure of energy, one I would have had if I had rode the bike or done some similar cross training yesterday. Because I didn’t, my body felt too “revved” to drift off and stay asleep. I did get to sleep around 10-11pm, much later than I’m used to, and then as mentioned I woke up before 3am.
Would I have slept better if I had cross trained that morning or evening? Perhaps. I realize I can’t be sure. But by not doing so, I think I set up another night of poor sleep. I had taken it easy thinking I needed the extra rest, but taking it easy yesterday might have held back my ability to get that rest.
(By the way, food intake couldn’t have been the issue, as I ate about 3000 calories yesterday and a sizable dinner. I also didn’t take in any caffeine beyond my usual 12oz morning coffee.)
I want the rest days to be easy, but it may be possible to do some very easy 45 minute cross training on something other than the spin bike, which as I mentioned I need to stop using for now. The ARC Trainer is a little too intense, and the elliptical may have the same issue. The rowing machine is very difficult to use for more than 20 minutes, and would not suit my needs. And, being a nominal rest day, I want to avoid strength training.
Plus, of course, I could just go ahead and jog provided the effort is easy enough. Before, I had avoided it because running at that point was still strenuous enough to not be a rest/recovery-day sort of activity. Having built up volume and comfort with easy running, I may be at the point now where it’s no big deal.
I’ll have to think about my options before tomorrow’s scheduled rest day.