I recently received an email posing this good question:
“I just listened to your podcast episode on recovery by feel. You mention how you should follow how you feel to determine if you’re mostly recovered. The question I have is that in many rock climbing videos I’ve watched (of hard projects), many people seem to send, when they don’t feel great. They sometimes even question if they should even bother with an attempt, but it is this attempt that they send. How does this work? How do we rectify your idea of you should feel recovered (i.e. good?), but it’s still possible to do hard feats (such as sending projects) while not feeling great (or good?)?”
I few things to keep in mind:
Exceptions do not make the rule. You hear a few anecdotes about people not feeling great but sending. But, how many people had these same feelings and failed. I suspect many more fail when the don’t feel good. The mental state of the athlete can make the biggest difference in these cases.
I believe I also said in the podcast that one should make a final determination of his preparedness to train after a good warm up. Often a nice gradual warm up will get rid of stiffness and you will decide “oh actually I don’t feel bad”.
We are so incredibly complex that any “rule” must be taken as very general in nature. If we were dealing with a fundamental subject like physics were we look at simple things that can be described quite precisely then rules can be applied universally to every case. Newton’s laws of mechanics hold true in every case. This is the reason I do not advocate using HRV as the sloe determinant of preparedness to absorb the next training load. Even though the central nervous system “should’ be the best determinant of this state of readiness, it does not work 100% of the time. We’re too complex.
I am trying to provide guidance that one can use daily to help guide training. I can promise that those senders you mention would struggle with excessive fatigue and overtraining if they trained hard every day they felt tired.
I hope this helps.
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