Endurance Training and the Dangers of “Shut Down Mode”

The body is the most amazing creation known. Aside from the physiological details (most of which are still unknown), it has a series of protective modes. These are the measures the body takes to protect itself, from ourselves and our sometimes ill-advised adventures. Here is one example:

Cardiac Low Back. This diagnostic impression is characterized by an apparent problem with the lumbar (low) area. However, upon examination, MRI reveal nothing. Chiropractic adjustments do not work and supplementation is ineffective. The patient experiences low back problems to the point where movement – especially strenuous movement – is prohibited. They simply are in too much pain and discomfort to move much.

The cause of said pain and discomfort is issue(s) with the heart. The body, in its infinite wisdom, “shuts down” the person’s activity level via the low back pain. Once the heart/cardiovascular issues are resolved, the low back pain is eliminated.

For those in the endurance world, over-training/improper resting, dehydration, poor nutrition, lack of supplementation and deficiencies of minerals and trace minerals have that same type of “shut down” effect. For the endurance athlete who is experiences all or some of these aforementioned issues, they experience extreme exhaustion, headaches, joint aches, poor sleep, depression, confusion or acute memory issues. As odd as this may sound, these are “good” signs in one respect; that is, the body’s natural warning beacons are working and letting the person know that major changes are needed.

Where the huge problems come into play is when the athlete experiences the “shut down mode.” The body’s natural warning signs are not working and/or simply ignored. The old adage of “First a whisper. Then a shout. Then the walls come crashing down” is very applicable in this instance.

The end results are almost always disastrous – major injuries, illnesses and hospitalization. From fainting to kidney stones to adrenal shutdown. Even death.

Invariable, when we read about such athletes, there is immediate shock. “But they were in such good shape. . . . . ” Being in shape is secondary to being able to listen and act on the body’s warning signs prior to shut down mode.

Hear much. Speak little. Act promptly. 

Follow these simple steps and your endurance events will be a joy.