As I have shared my health issues from stage three adrenal fatigue this past year, I must now share the challenges rebuilding my fitness level. To treat adrenal exhaustion (stage three), one must cut back on endurance exercise and limit duration to 30-40 minutes a few times a week. This is quite a difference from 2 plus hour bike rides and run workouts. The best type of exercise for adrenal fatigue clients is yoga, “nature” walks, Pilates (mind-body exercise) and strength training then add in high intensity interval training.
I started my recovery from Adrenal Fatigue in May… it is now November and I am rebuilding my running endurance and speed as I decided to train for the North Face 50k trail run in December that I was already registered for this year. I figure trail running and hiking is a lot easier on the body than running on the roads. My heart rate is now lower (sign of adrenal fatigue recovery is heart rate and HRV testing) than it has been this year so I feel my body is recovering and not as stressed but my running pace is the slowest it has been in my entire running career.
Lesson learned… be patient. I must not get frustrated and get depressed as those reactions/emotions will only increase the stress on my adrenals. I need to run on my own and pace by my heart rate instead of adding in speed. I need to be happy to be running and healthy again instead of being down on myself. I need to add in more “ART” (active release technique treatment) and massages as my body is not used to running. It is time to add more strength training, plyometrics, track workouts and tempo hill runs with faster people. The weekends are my time to run and to clear my head…hopefully I will start getting faster soon!
Endurance exercise is not ideal for our adrenals but what if you love long distance cycling, running and trail running? I suggest to clients to test their “HRV” (heart rate variability) daily using Sweet Beat and be aware of your stressors/triggers. I found my stress is related to feeling “rushed” in between appointments or when people are waiting for me. I dislike being late to meet people or for any appointment as well as I dislike being behind people when exercising. I need to remind myself I am rebuilding from adrenal exhaustion and I need time to get my fitness level back up to being competitive in my age group in 2014. We should not compare ourselves to other people but use it as motivation to be better, to get stronger and to become faster.
Make a commitment. Be consistent. Get results.