Muscle fatigue is a fairly common condition for rowers. An efficient rowing stroke utilizes almost every body part: lower legs, upper legs, butt, lower back, upper back, shoulders, arms; and an efficient rowing practice incorporates hundreds and hundreds of strokes. So it comes as no surprise when my body aches in protest. (My high school running coach used to call it “DOMS”: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Nowadays, it’s a more of a “MSATT”: Muscle Soreness All The Time.)
Over the years, I’ve become pretty adept at tuning out the various aches and pains. But every now and then, last night for example, the fatigue conquers all. When you’re too pooped to eat dinner (!!), you know your body’s tired.
What did I do today, to make me so wiped? I did a little arithmetic:
-Morning warm-up: 20 minutes
-Morning row: 1 hour, 40 minutes
-Morning circuit+lift: 1 hour
-Afternoon row: 1 hour, 10 minutes
-Afternoon run: 50 minutes
Total workout time: 5 hours
Five hours?! How did that happen? It really didn’t seem that exhausting as it was happening… I never ran out of gas, lost my steam, burned out, or scraped the bottom of the barrel. The cumulative exhaustion of the day’s efforts didn’t hit me until dinner time. One minute I was chopping up veggies for dinner, the next minute I was absolutely dead on my feet.
But this huge volume load, while painful in the short term, has led to some encouraging results: I can beat my body to a pulp, but after eight hours of sleep, I can start the next morning as fit as a fiddle! Sure, I’m still a little sore, but at least I’m able to complete the next day’s epically-tough practice with a little gusto.
On that note, I’m headed to bed…