Avoiding Injury

I mentioned in the "Happy New Year 2018..."  blog that I signed up for another Kettlebell Competition at the end of February  and I am planning a big backpacking trip this summer. In order to make these happen, I decided to combine old kettlebell programs from my previous competitions with a cardio program specific for mountaineering I found online. This plan had me training one way or another at least 6 days per week.  This may have been a bit ambitious. 

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It turned out to be a VERY BAD IDEA… After the second week, I was done. I had no motivation to get up. I was sore, super sore. In the middle of the week I decided to do a session on the stairs at Communication Hill in San Jose. By stairs, I mean stairway to heaven. (I might be a bit dramatic here) But really, there were SO MANY STEPS, something like 200. After my friend and I finished out fourth set, we turned around to go up them a fifth time, when I looked at her and said "I can't." 

She looked at me cross eyed, and I responded promptly with “My legs, they won’t stop shaking… Look!”  Needless to say I did those stair until fatigue. So we decided to just walk on normal ground to cool down. When we finished, my legs were still shaking. We went home, they were shaking in the shower. I finally got to work and turned to Dr. Bennett, the chiropractor in my office and informed him that I can’t get my legs to stop.  He worked his functional neurology magic and mellowed them out. He also suggested that I may want to not train quite so much.  But my goals…This was my breaking point. 

Chris Doenlen : cdoenlen@gmail.com

Chris Doenlen : cdoenlen@gmail.com

In my heart I knew he was right. I knew that I would not be able to sustain this. I already had to take unscheduled rest days, missing some of my planned kettlebell trainings.  If I continued at this rate I would not be able to compete in February. So on that following Saturday, when I could finally move my legs again, I went to the Orange Kettlebell Club, in Berkeley, Ca to get my kettlebell workout in. There I saw a good friend, Chris Doenlen and asked him to help me with programming.

I let him know my goals: the kettlebell competition in February, and a big backpacking trip in May.  He hooked me up with a new program.  "First priority is the competition. The cardio can wait," he said. "We will work on cardio, but in terms of the competition." After the competition, he will design a program for the multi day 40 something-mile hike I am planning in May. 

I am so fortunate to know where to go and who to contact, when I make poor desisions pertaining to training. I am thankful that I know what overtraining (or rather overreaching) looks like for me. As soon as my motivation for most things decreases, I know something is wrong. Working out should enhance my energy, allowing my daily activities to feel good. If it takes too much out of me, something has got to change.

My big lesson with this one is to spend the money and energy to consult a coach. When It comes to programming, most athletes I know rely on a coach to help them along. When a coach is consulted, do not second guess the program… If changes need to made due to injury, or potential injury, discuss it with your coach. They want to help you to accomplish your goals, injury free. Trust the process. If you would like to contact Chris for your own workout program, or training guidance please feel free to contact him at cdoenlen@gmail.com