About Stress and Training Load

Monday and Tuesday were long and stressful days at work. They happen, right? I work with people and I lead a group that executes complex technology development projects in the Aerospace industry. Stressful days are part of the job description.

But I am still learning (or perhaps refusing to learn my lesson) about the relationship between work related stress and training stress.

In terms of improving fitness, training “stress” is good stress. You won’t get any fitter, stronger or faster by being a couch potato. You have to get off the couch and exercise. Actually, exercising helps a lot to relax from work related stress.

Work and life related stress can be “good” stress also, in the sense that you need the stress to perform well. However, it adds nothing to improving fitness or strength.

And then there is “bad” stress. Non constructive stuff. Painful stuff. Sad stuff.

But while exercising can relieve some of the other forms of stress, in another way all the forms of stress add up. On a busy day with good work related stress, the training has to be lighter. On a bad stress day, I might as well take a day off.

Monday and Tuesday were busy days of work, mostly busy in a good way, but there were also a few projects that had issues. I cannot go into details, but “We have accidentally killed the Austrian Arch-Duke and now Austria has declared war on us” is a good way to describe one of the issues. It’s my job to solve. So that’s what I do. We are not at war any more.

And I was wise on Monday, taking a rest day (training wise).

On Tuesday, I was forcing myself to get back to training. Easy. Steady State. On the erg. After 30 minutes I bailed. Erg is boring, tedious, and you need a certain amount of concentration and motivation to do it, especially when you do it alone, in your basement.

On Tuesday, I had time for a longer lunch break weights session. Nice. Go to the gym. See some other people. Pull and push some weights. Think through some work related things during the pauses between sets. This is much more tolerable than erg training when your mind is occupied with work related stuff.

Make Note to Self.