Proper recovery is essential for CrossFit athletes to improve performance, build muscle and stay healthy. Signs that you might not be recovering properly can vary so it’s helpful to look for abnormalities from your normal state. Some things to consider include:
1. Changes in mood.
Mood changes can be tricky, especially if you are experiencing disruption to sleep or other stresses outside of training. You might find yourself being unusually short tempered or just feeling down. If you aren’t sure, it can be helpful to ask family members, close friends and colleagues if they have noticed a change.
2. Loss of appetite
A loss of appetite can be seductive for those who are trying to lose weight because they think “yippee! I’m not hungry!” and that eating less will accelerate this process. However, high training load requires high nutrient food to recover and eating less will just cause the body to lose muscle mass and retain fat.
It’s very common for people who haven’t recovered properly to have trouble sleeping. This may manifest as trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. You might also notice you wake up with a racing or irregular heart beat.
4. Decreased performance
This may include:
- Lack of usual strength or endurance
- Loss of coordination or skill
- Inability to focus
5. You are getting sick or injured regularly
While exercise can improve your immune system, not recovering properly can reduce it. You may notice that you are getting sick more often or just can’t shake a cold. Your body may also be more susceptible to infections or injury.
6. Increased resting heart rate
Exercise creates adrenalin and cortisol, elevating heart rate and blood pressure. When you aren’t recovering properly, you may have too much of both in your system. A simple test is to notice if your heart is racing when you first wake up.
Another good practice is to track your morning resting heart rate weekly and schedule some rest days when you notice your heart rate has increased by 5-10 beats.
7. Lowered sex drive or sexual dysfunction
While a lowered sex drive can happen from time-to-time, you are looking for irregularities in your normal state. Only you can really know whether this is an issue.
Talk to a Coach
After reading these symptoms if you suspect you might not be recovering properly make sure you talk to one of the coaches who can help you to get your training and recovery back on track.