Warning - this is a long post (sorry)!
I have been happily lurking for a while but this is my first post, so I will quickly introduce myself: I am an adult in my 30's, started dance/fitness about five years ago but up until last year was only taking two-60 minute ballet classes a week (and some other styles of dance as well). I felt like I had plateaued in ballet, and thanks to this board I realized that wasn't at all enough to really improve, and I really love ballet and want to improve my technique as much as possible, so I changed my schedule completely and now I'm up to four-90 minute ballet classes a week. (Thank you everyone so much for all the info on this board!!) I stopped the other types of dance and fitness temporarily so I could just focus more on ballet, although I do a bit of core/strength at home still.
Now it's been about four months since I got up to four classes a week. I was extremely tired at first, even when I was just three times a week, now I feel that I have mostly adjusted but still tend to be a bit sore after two days of classes: my legs will feel tired and achy, sometimes my hamstrings and calves will feel pretty sore too. I can still go about my day fine, but I'll definitely feel like I'm recovering from a workout. Some weeks are worse than others. I have to be careful to have light days so that my body can recover. For example I don't think I could do four days of ballet in a row yet (currently I have a one day break after two days of classes). I'm being careful now because in my first few years of ballet/fitness I often overdid it (mostly with other fitness classes, and flexibility training, not really ballet-related) and I lost many months sitting out for one thing or the other. Now I think I understand my body better and I'm better at pacing myself, but I'm definitely still learning.
I stretch/foam roll, see a chiropractor regularly, and I think I eat pretty healthy (of course there's room for improvement but I do my best). I've had a recent physical and blood work and everything came back normal.
My question is, is this normal? Do other people experience this and just ignore and push through it? Does anyone have tips on how I can continue to add more classes without burning out? Do I just need to be more patient and slowly ramp up? How long should it take until I don't feel any next-day soreness at all? I would really like to get to the point where I could do five days of ballet in a row and also include other styles of dance and fitness classes as well, without overdoing it. I've read about some of your schedules of 6-8 ballet classes a week and you all make it sound really effortless - I can't really imagine doing that right now, but I'm hoping some day I'll get to that point! I would also love to take a few weeks off work at some point and try out a more intensive schedule, but I'm starting to doubt my capability for that since I still need break days.
I should also add that I have a full time job and a long commute, and even though my job isn't physical I do feel fatigued and sluggish after a normal day. Ballet really does help get my energy up after work though, even though I feel tired after it's a different kind of tired! I'm sure if I didn't have such a long work day I would have a lot more energy though.Oh, also I never felt sore after the two-60 minute classes, but I had several days in between them and they were just a lot less demanding.
Perhaps it's because I was never really athletic or even super active at any time in my life before, although I was always healthy and naturally on the slender side. I wonder if I just don't have the same level of stamina (yet?) that more active people have built up throughout their life. Or maybe it's just a limitation of my body, or maybe it's too late for me?!
If anyone has been through a similar experience I would love your feedback.
Edited by ballet-girl, 07 March 2017 - 11:18 PM.