Not exercising = grumpy... Anyone else?

Listening to episode 200 and the shallow dive into heavy testing stress or “being tired makes us grumpy”. While heavy loads can do this to me, does anyone else get grumpy (really grumpy) when they do NOT exercise?

Example, I am just about recovered from last weekend’s Xterra Tri. I did not get my short run in, nor anything else. While we are on vacation this week, I found myself again getting really grumpy having not exercised.

What gives w this? @chad any chance of a shallow dive on the flip side? Rested, well fed, and still grumpy when not getting in exercise.


Exercise triggers endorphins which make you feel good. You get used to that endorphin hit, when it’s not there you get grumpy.

Plus some of us can get a bit obsessive about training and feel like every day we don’t train we’re losing fitness, getting fat, drifting from our goal of X TSS/miles/hours per week/year, etc. If that’s the case you need to keep reminding yourself that we only get stronger when we recover. And maybe find something that you can do on rest days that is active enough that you feel you’ve done something, but low enough intensity to not mess up recovery (e.g. walking, yoga, swimming)


I don’t but the only advice I can give is having a nice beer and enjoy the surroundings while on vacation.

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I definitely get this and a lot of the time I think it is due to irrational thoughts of letting myself go and losing my fitness I’ve built up by missing a session or not doing anything.

Plus I also get a lot of enjoyment out of exercising and find it a great stress reliever.

Even when I go on vacation, although I normally back off massively and enjoy some rest, I do a few runs to keep me ticking over but last year I decided not to do anything it all. It was very hard to start with and was playing on my mind but eventually I switched off and enjoyed the break.

Nice to recharge and recover - good for the body. No doubt the sessions post vacation were tough - but that’s part of the fun

I get the grumps when I don’t exercise even when I have to take a day off to recover. I know the recovery will help me improve, so I don’t worry about fitness loss.

On vacation I am not worrying about any fitness loss either.

I just get grumpy. Enough my family (at the end of a non-exercise day) can really tell.

Physical activity is pretty critical to my life. Even during rest weeks, I have to keep moving. I’m pretty sure that the only reason I made it through high school was because I was playing multiple sports throughout the year and rarely had a day where there wasn’t some time of sport.

Exhibit A:

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I have learned to enjoy the breaks. I love training and it brings a great balance to my life (wife and 3kids and a highly stressful job). However, I have come to love the breaks as well. I have a planned 4 weeks throughout the year where I don’t even touch my bike. Great for the mind because I am usually ready to fire it back up after the rest week. Yes the first work out or two there is an adjustment but fitness is never really lost. Just waking the muscles back up properly. Learn to love it. It helps more than you realize.

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I was training hard towards a marathon in September (A race). Was feeling good, cycling at the same time…ended up injuring my achillies in a freak accident so no more running

I have been so grumpy my wife begged me to go for a ride the other day.

Yeah this totally happened to me recently on my annual leave. I couldn’t believe myself how grumpy I was and the wife was begging me to get back on TrainerRoad.
I guess I’ve always been an active relaxer, sitting by a pool with a couple of mojitos is ok for an hour or two but after a week I couldn’t wait to get back to some sort of training #firstworldproblems


I think it’s more than that, but I can’t back it up with science - it’s just an opinion.

I’ve learned how much fatigue, tiredness and lack of sleep - if you’ll accept the distinction - affects my moods. Lack of sleep, I learned through having kids, tiredness from various things including over exercise, but fatigue - the right amount - calms me. If I then get the right amount of sleep, I wake in a similar calm state.

I’ve come to believe that I’m built for a certain amount of hard work, and without it my body and mind is a bit messed up.


I think grumpy is normal and okay. Be careful it’s not a symptom of something more ominous. Please allow me to share a personal anecdote.

At the end of my running ‘career’ I had a foot injury. The doctor read my MRI and told me what was wrong and that I had to stop indefinitely, could do no workouts - nothing, not even yoga, ewwww- for three months. Couldn’t run for a year.

My identity was running. I lived, breathed, an loved it. Poof, it was gone and I nearly lost my mind in an existential crisis bellyflop out of the sport. Who am I? Why am I?

It was pretty ugly, and it took years to recover.

Not that this applies to the OP, and not trying to hijack your thread. Just felt like I should share this.

Be balanced, enjoy life and all the cool things you get to see on a bike, get good sleep, and if you degrade from grumpy to questioning your existence get some help. Talk to somebody :slightly_smiling_face:


I’ve battled depression growing up and once I found endurance sports with their endorphin rushes, everything changed. When feeling a bit on the sad side, I’ll go thrash my legs for a few hours. Just have to be a bit careful with over doing it.


I absolutely get this.

However…upon reflection, I think TR is actually exacerbating the issue(not trying to place blame on TR…).

My wife definitely notices. If I’m not out of the house, on my bike, outdoors…theres no other way to say it…I’m just a bitch to be around. Moody and snappy. I dont think its the excercise that calms me down…because it doesnt seem like trainer rides help. Its being outside, on the bike, focusing on the riding and just shutting the brain down.


Mental health is important for me and the release of endorphins from exercising. But if I do need a day off I try and do a cycling related activity. Stretch, yoga, clean my bike etc.


Absolutely, exercise addiction is a real thing. I am quite happy to deal with the effects rather than try to avoid it :slight_smile: