This morning the plan was 100 arrows at 45 yards. I stopped at 70 arrows. I was exhausted.
The fatigue I am feeling was obvious during the pre-archery workouts of stretching and cardio. While running I slowed my pace but made the distance. When it was time to shoot I didn’t have that usual spark. In fact, over the past week or so I’ve been tired.
Furthermore, and to my dismay, my groups have been expanding and my ‘test’ tournament scores have dropped. Something is up.
A friend of mine, a ex-pro PGA golfer, Tim Simpson, once told me, “You don’t want to be tired going into a tournament.” I am 11 days out from a Georgia State Target Championship (International Round).
Going into the event my training has been 100 arrows per distance per week with a practice tournament on Saturday and recovery on Sunday. The distance interval practice means 1000 arrows over 5 days. The practice tournament (all distances arranged via a random number generator for those 5 yard increments) with warm-up is 80 arrows (60 for the scoring 20 warm-up). That comes to 1080 per week. Not overwhelming.
When it comes to any delayed onset muscle soreness and arms feel good. When running or cycling I admit some ache. Overall, the fatigue seems greater than the exercise input. So, physiologically it comes down to inadequate recovery. (1)
Not all physical effort is limited to an athlete-training plan. Outside my plan I do a lot of other physical activity. For instance, this week I’ve dug holes and planted 10 moderate sized trees. That included carrying 50-pound bags of soil around my property. In itself not exhausting.
While shooting field distances there is a lot more walking versus winter training for 20 and 25 meters. The walking, by itself, not an issue.
Cycling has been slightly harder since everyday there has been more wind that usual. Again, by itself, not an issue.
Combined, there is an increased workload.
The way out is a slight reduction for a few days regarding the overall workload. Evaluate my nutrition, hydration and sleep.
The first problem that comes to mind is sleep. The inadvertent increase in workload probably pushed me to the edge and has led to sleep disruptions. A key indicator for me in this regard is a lowering of my concentration. That is easily picked up for me while shooting and playing music.
Playing music is a standard for me when it comes to concentration. While I am playing and reading the sheet music and not know where I am it is a sign of mental fatigue I’ve associated with poor sleep.
I also expect my caloric intake has been low. There was a time when I recorded it, when I was racing, because it was hugely important. It is important in archery as well but I have taken a more relaxed tracking of my input and output.
At this point I feel my hydration isn’t a problem.
I also have had exercise-induced anemia in the past that is controlled by iron. This is been just a low does of iron supplement until the sinking has passed. Although I’ve not checked by hemoglobin I’ll get that done.
Hopefully, I can get through this in a few days.