What to do when you feel low during your challenge
I already knew that I had to adjust my glycogen demanding workouts to my low carb diet. But I wanted to know how far I could go before hitting the wall.
(For all you non-runners: It means being so glycogen depleted that you start feeling shitty).
So first new habit to implement:
First, always check back with yourself and see how you are actually doing.
That way you can spot warning signals fairly early and still turn things around.
My early signals were discreet: Dry lips, slightly less reps until failure for my overhead press, mild hot flashes during the night. I knew something was off. Then one day I felt nauseous, cold and joint pain. The former ultra endurance runner in me wanted to push through but the trainer in me held up a big reminder:
If you feel shitty, give yourself a break.
My training plan still had a HIIT session scheduled that afternoon. I cancelled and had a session with my foam roller instead. There are times when to push through and there are times when to just ratchet back. You are not damned to do nothing but just tone the intensity down.
Another thing to look at is sleep. Are you getting enough? This is the time when you do nothing but your body gets cracking to restore and repair and to get you ready for the next day. If you mess with that, you are messing with yourself. So make sure you get at least 7 hours shut-eye.
Next point: Is your nutrition up to par?
Again your body is a good indicator if you are missing something. Cramps might be an indicator for lack of magnesium. Pebble-like stool could mean that you are not drinking enough or are not having enough fibre. Track back your diet and see if you have slacked in some department.
Prevention is the best cure. Try to be on the look out by actually looking out for yourself. Don't wait until you feel utterly awful. Find the source and target the problem at its roots.