For me, the most difficult part of being an athlete is knowing what your body needs. Especially when your head and your heart speaks differently. A voice would say you are tired and cannot take it anymore while another say you need to train more to get better! So you’re always on the edge of either undertraining or overtraining. The trick is to be able to listen to your body, and recognize the signs that don’t lie e.g. body weight, heart rates, responsiveness (performance). Then it’s always necessary to take into account your feelings and emotions. The body recovers faster with a healthy mind.
I have found doing yoga one of the most helpful parts of my daily routine in conditioning my body, understanding what it needs, and giving me time to think quietly, or sometimes just not to think at all. It certainly takes time and effort to keep it in the routine. But if it had been too easy it wouldn’t have been worthwhile.
Having been training and racing non-stop for quite a while, I am now at the point where my body is screaming at me to take a rest. It takes time before you realize resting and recovery, for body and mind, is the most important part of training. So here I am — in Lake Garda, Italy. It helps being in a new and beautiful place with your team, with fresh air, friendly strangers, good food and a warm bed.