A benefit to working out on an ongoing basis you begin to listen to your body better. Let’s start at the beginning.
What did you eat? How did you feel during the workout? Was your stomach doing somersaults (this does not count if you were doing somersault? Don’t just do what your friend/magazine told you to eat, especially if you are doing an awkward run to the nearest bathroom. For me apples make me burp the second I start working out. I have found bananas, stone fruit or kiwis are good to me + a bit of raw honey. But that works for me! In a pinch I will have a handful of some dried fruit. Now I am not talking about proper nutrition. That is for another blog entry. But even if you are eating the right stuff…who knows you body may be trying to tell you its just not working. So switch it up and soon you don’t have to think ahead of time you just grab it and get some nourishment before that workout. Did I say eat nothing? Nope.
How do the muscles feel when warming up?
Yes I said warm-up…preferably a bit of dynamic action to give the muscles a heads up there is some work to do. When doing them…is that tightness still there? Are you a bit sore somewhere? I once was getting ready for a run and jumped up, came down & something shot right up to my neck. Bad day. I was apparently really tight. I probably could have cut that off at the pass the night before if I noticed I was tight. So when you are kicking the tires, listen. Maybe you can work a tightness out before a workout, it is possible.
How are you feeling during your workout?
Just refer to the warming up part, its basically the same…just during a workout. A addition is that if it is very painful or some weird twinge don’t push it. If you don’t listen & slow down/change position/STOP/etc you could be on the injured list. For example squats are great for you and if your feet are not in the right place aside from your trainer telling you proper placement sometimes your body will let you know right off the bat that you should not try it like that again. A side note, you don’t have to be in pain during a workout for it to be effective.
Only time it could be debatable to push through the pain is during a race. I cannot deny that competitive drive not to stop. Trust your judgment on this one…I pushed through a bad calf cramp in the last leg of an obstacle course race. No way I was stopping. I was good after I hydrated and rolled it out. But again, be careful in this situation.
Lastly, if you are feeling the burn in a good way after the workout…make a note of it which leads me to…
How are you feeling post workout?
Maybe you want to get physical with your Tiger Tail/ The Stick or Foam Roller instead of your usual static stretch. Don’t you like how I assume you are stretching? Good job! Hopefully you do it as often as you can. I am not perfect but I try to every time especially on the tough days. Is that knee or shoulder swelling? If you have time make time to ice that baby asap. Don’t make the mistake of just letting it go.
How are you feeling the following day?
If that wonderful delayed onset muscle soreness is waiting at your bedside the next day after those killer hill sprints (great job!) or an extra set of deep squats listen to those muscles. Tend to them, stretch use that roller. I usually feel it after sprints the following day. Stick to that RICE technique (rest, ice, compression, elevation) if there is swelling etc going on. Ignore something tight and you could possibly pull it next workout. Ignore swelling and you could be on the injured list. Then lets go back to that warm-up… is that twinge really bad? Hmmm, maybe you should either take a rest day or another exercise that doesn’t put as much stress on that part of your body. The pull-up bar will be there tomorrow.
This all may take time. It took me a while until I noticed things. Maybe all you feel is the wind in your hair and the trees whizzing by. But over time you will notice things during a workout and after. Just keep your ears and senses open…unless you are doing somersaults the whole time. You are on your own. 🙂