This was starting off as a woe-is-me post and I realized I was south-of-vag. For those of us beginners who do not know our body's limitations, where is the cut-off point in intensity with a training session before it compromises our ability to recover?
Take myself as an example. Early thirties, never worked out or did so a week or two a year. I'd overshoot my abilities and feel I got a good workout but be out for at least 5 days. If I worked out 3 days a week, I'd be sick and unable to train in two weeks time. When I wised up, this was with Surge PWO after the workout and using the Starting Strength program - but I was still overextending my recovery and Starting Strength wasn't really a good fit. I'd do the prescribed work and feel like I was only half done the workout but I still got sick.
Now I follow 5/3/1, even though it's not really intended for beginners, and am actually staying consistent -starting my second round next week which is huge for me - BUT I'm not doing the cardio/energy systems like sprints and hill sprints. I'm hesitant to introduce it because of fear of getting ill again though I know I really should add it in. Some days I put my all in to the workout and I do better than last time as expected, but there's more in the tank. Have I earned the Surge WO/PWO drink or not? If I do push it, will I be able to recover for the next round?
The crux of it is what tools and means did the more experienced people use to find that balance without A) causing injuries, B) recovering decently, and C) not over- or under-exceed your nutritional needs that turn us into lard-asses, or whithered marathoners?
Or you can just tell me to grow a pair.