I know what you’re thinking! He’s going to tell me I need to endure the hikes even if I am sick and tired or over trained. If I had written this a year ago, I would have said you were dead right.
However, climbing a grueling mountain trail when you are over trained doesn’t make a lot of sense. Like I said, a year ago I would have done it anyway, but I changed my mind.
If you are fortunate or nerdy enough to use the NatureBeat (Sweetwaterhrv) App, Whoop, or even a Garmin watch, you are paying attention to your heart rate variability. With NatureBeat it will give you both your Sympathetic and Parasympathetic numbers. Those to numbers make represent you autonomic nervous system. The first one is your “flight or flight” readiness and the second your “rest and digest” score. With the Whoop you also get a recovery score.
So what do you do if you don’t have any of this technology? Listen to your body! If you are overly tired maybe a day off would be the wisest choice. Then you will have less chance of getting an injury or even sick. Now don’t think you can just be a slacker. You can get improvements in fitness by pushing yourself when the numbers are bad. Just don’t do it all the time.
Pay With Your Heath
If you do not listen to your body and push through there is a good chance you will not do well. I learned this myself the hard way. A pattern developed where I was not getting enough sleep and was exercising hard every day and then of course, climbing a mountain. All my numbers were bad. So I thought I would see if I could get the numbers to go back up after taking a week off from exercise. It worked. They went up a little. More on that other time.
After once again hitting the trail, a late night (anything after 5:00 PM) wedding resulted in making me even more tired than the exercise. Of course I had climbed a mountain the day before so I was primed for weariness.
It is official. You have my permission to take a week off from s hike if everything is stacked against you. You do not have to endure! Of course you don’t need my permission for anything!
The most important think to remember as a general rule with some exceptions: Go Hiking!