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Some athletes struggle with balancing life responsibilities and athletic goals. When the dreamy world of training like a professional athlete collides with the reality of life, it can be disappointing.

 

I’ve found that the more stress an athlete has in his or her life, the less training volume and intensity they can handle. Too much of either volume or intensity and there is a higher risk of illness or injury.

 

Something has to give. You are not bulletproof.

 

There is a stress scale, the Holmes and Hahe Stress Scale, which can be used to rank stressful events in your life. A handy automatic calculator for the scale can be found on stresstips.com.

 

This stress scale estimates the likelihood of illness based on the number of stressful events in your life. If your score is 300 or more, you are at a high risk of illness. Scores between 150 and 299 indicate a moderate chance of illness (50-50). Scores 150 or below indicate a slight risk of illness.

 

Keep in mind this scale was designed for “normal” people, not those aiming high for athletic accomplishment.

 

When you find your stress scale is on the increase, consider reducing the amount of volume and/or intensity in your training.

 

The extra rest just might keep you healthy and make you a better athlete as a result.

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