Super Mum, Super Coach, Super Tired!

A few weeks back, I was having a conversation with one of our older members at the box and they laughed at me when I said that sometimes, as the oldest member on the coaching team, I wonder where the other guys get their energy from! I guess I’m not really that old, but sometimes it feels like it! But it leads us to a more serious discussion about how much our age actually does affect our training.
A study by BTWB (beyond the white board) showed that on average it took 45 year old athletes nearly 2 months longer than 25 year old athletes to improve their overall fitness. And that a 25 year old athlete working out 3 days per week improves at a similar rate to a 45 year old working out 5 days per week.
No fair, right?!
But one of the best aspects of CrossFit is that it is accessible to people of any age and a big part of our mission is to help people maintain functional capacity throughout their lives, keeping them healthy and strong.

BTWB gives many factors as to why the older athletes are perhaps not as fit as the spring chickens, but I believe, of all the determinants, the biggest is Recovery Time; Older athletes take longer to recover than younger ones. Fact.

CrossFit uses large muscle groups, large muscle groups require more recovery time than small ones – think about how much more rest you need after heavy squats compared to bicep curls.
High intensity lifts and WODs also require more recovery time.

So how do you get more recovery time?
Quick answer – SLEEP! But as parents, often we are lucky to get more than a few hours! My kids *touch wood* are generally good sleepers, but with training and coaching, on top of all the running around I do all day, generally dealing with family life, my body often requires more than the standard 6 or 7 hours sleep at night, and daytime naps are like unicorns (sorry, Oreo) they don’t exist ☺
And I would imagine a similar deal applies to those with highly stressful jobs with long or unsociable hours.

So how else can I fix the bags under my eyes?! How can we aid recovery, old or young?

Adequate nutrition.
If you cheat yourself in this area, you are going to notice it! We need to properly fuel and hydrate our bodies in order to both build and repair muscle.
See Cyrus for the best advice on this topic.

Don’t over train.
Take time to reflect and focus on recovering when needed. Be mindful of your wellbeing. Be sure to implement both passive and active rest.
Sometimes a rest day for me will involve rowing or swimming and a ROMWOD. Sometimes though, my rest day involves nothing more than hanging out with my family and eating ALL of the food in my kitchen, and that’s ok and sometimes it’s necessary!

Don’t stress
We all know that exercise reduces stress but actually, too much mental stress can take the edge off your workout. If you’re having a particularly rough week, absolutely come and sweat out some of that tension, we encourage you to, but listen to your body and be prepared to modify your workout if needed.

Set your own goals.
Training buddies are awesome but don’t get sucked in to believing that you have to do everything at the same rate. Especially if your training buddies are 5 – 10 years younger than you – trust me, I know!
Joff and Oreo have both written some insightful blogs regarding goal setting, browse back through and take another look.

So, yes, life as a CrossFitter gets harder as we get older but there is hope for us yet! 🙂

Happy WODing
Coach Bex