Fetty Files - Stress & Training
Keep Stressed Managed and Life Balanced While Training
By Jacob Fetty
Stress is a fact of life and low levels of stress are beneficial to us. It is
when we allow stress to accumulate that we find ourselves in a tight spot.
Stress comes in all shapes, sizes and disguises. Athletes should work with their
coach to help balance worldly stresses with training stresses.
Our bodies handle or process stress via the Adrenal Glands. What makes stress
a tricky beast is that our bodies process emotional and training stress in the
same manner. With this in mind, having an objective guide or coach can be
Here are some helpful ideas to incorporate into your
life to keep stress under control:
• Plan days off, breaks in training. The rigors of life and training
can easily accumulate. Plan to take days off from training like you take days
off from work. Most people work 5 days per week so why do we try to train 7 days
a week, 52 weeks per year? Planning days off can allow you to catch up with
• Mix fun into your workouts. I have
never heard anyone go for their first bike ride and say, “Wow, this is fun! I
want to do intervals everyday.” Don’t forget why you ride in the first place. If
riding is not fun take a step back and incorporate some fun ideas into your
• Laughter is the best medicine. Perhaps
mixing laughter with training does not make sense but I will tell you that
people who laugh a lot tend to be happier and happier people tend to have less
stress. It may be unconventional but a trip to a comedy club or a
romantic-comedy may be just what you need to alleviate stress and make your
training and life more productive.
• Keep variety in your workouts. Do not
hesitate to mix up your workouts. This is closely tied to mixing fun into your
cycling. The goal is to not get stuck in a routine where you are doing the same
thing week in and week out. Keep the workouts fresh and entertaining and you
will look forward to them.
• Be honest and objective; use common sense.
Being honest with yourself is paramount. If you are feeling overloaded or
overworked you have to admit to this and pull the plug. You can get by for
awhile being overloaded but inevitably the load you are bearing will come
crashing down on you. Know when the load is too great and back off.
• Know your limits; don’t spread yourself too thin.
Along the same lines of being honest and objective is knowing your limits. You
have to know what you are capable of and what is too much. Know this fine line
and do not cross it.
• Make time for yourself. Even if it is
15 minutes a day with a cup of coffee and the newspaper or walking your dog
before work. Take a few minutes a day to refresh your mind.
Don’t let stress accumulate and bring down your performance. Incorporate
these ideas to maintain fun and enjoyment in your training/life routine.
Remember, we do this because it is enjoyable, not to add more stress to our
lives. Use cycling as a fun means of exercise to reduce stress.
Jacob owns and operates FS Concepts, a custom coaching company. To learn more
about Jacob and FS Concepts visit