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How to Tell If You’re Overtraining: Key Signs and Symptoms

There are huge differences between different individuals. The same 200 kilometers of running volume per month may be an astronomical amount for a novice runner, but it may only take a week for an elite runner. So since there is no unified measurement data, how to judge whether you have overtrained?

First of all, overtraining does not mean that the body is exhausted after each training session. The feeling at this time is usually the direct effect of training on the body. Soreness, fatigue, etc. are all physiological adaptations of the body. Ideally, we are training most effectively when there is a balance between fatigue (the stress of training on the body) and recovery (relief and adaptation to stress).

Overtraining occurs when the stress generated by training continues to exceed our body’s ability to recover – so it is a cumulative process.

When overtraining occurs, it is usually accompanied by a plummeting desire to exercise, poor motor performance, physical fatigue or even decreased immunity, or a lack of “appetite” and poor sleep.

The signs that many people are overtrained often look like this:

After formulating a training plan, he executed it according to the plan without considering his own specific situation. Although sometimes you can still complete training sessions relatively easily, your body is already “accumulating” overtraining, and eventually you will find yourself unable to work hard or even get injured one day in the future.

There are huge differences between individuals, and people with the same athletic ability will have significantly different recovery speeds. For example, Little A and Little B are both 4-hour marathon finishers, but Little A needs four days to recover from a training session of the same intensity, while Little B returns to normal on the third day. Then when using the same training plan, Little A may be more prone to overtraining than Little B.

In addition to excessive intensity and training volume, overtraining often occurs easily during a single training session. Without variety in your training, your body will be more likely to accumulate fatigue. Therefore, a good running training plan must be very rich in content, such as easy running, rest, strength training, cross-exercise, etc. If enough rest and low-intensity training are interspersed between two higher-intensity training sessions, the body can also recover faster.

In addition, many people who overtrain will attribute the reason to “training too hard”, but they do not know that they have not listened to the voice of their body, nor have they replenished nutrients for the body in time. The body is already very dehydrated but does not replenish it in time, and high-intensity training Still staying up late… are all common subjective reasons.

So how do you monitor whether you are overtraining? We can focus on the following points:

  1. Changes in weight

Measure your weight after getting up every day. If there is a significant change in your weight, it probably indicates that your body is dehydrated. Lack of water will lead to decreased exercise performance and affect the speed of recovery, so you should always remind yourself to drink more water – remember to try not to use drinks, such as coffee, to replace your daily water intake.

If you do not have the purpose of losing fat and your weight has dropped for several consecutive weeks, you should also pay attention to whether you are not taking in enough energy and nutrients while maintaining training? (In addition to weight data, you can also pay attention to changes in the color of your urine)

  1. Changes in resting heart rate

Choose a morning when you have enough sleep and a relatively regular life. After waking up, sit up and stay quiet for 1 minute. Record the value measured by the heart rate monitor after 1 minute. Average it over several days to get your resting heart rate. The resting heart rate of ordinary people is generally between 55-70, and the heart rate of top marathon runners and cyclists will be as low as below 50.

The main significance of resting heart rate is to reflect your degree of recovery. If you performed high-intensity training yesterday and your resting heart rate is about 10% higher than usual when you wake up today, it means that your body has not recovered enough (or there is a pathological condition), and you may need to adjust your training plan in time. .

  1. Muscle condition

It is normal for muscle soreness the next day after performing intensive training, such as interval running and LSD running. However, if the soreness lasts for 4-5 days (or even longer) and the improvement is slow, you should consider whether there is overtraining or overtraining. Muscle injuries.

  1. Choose a suitable training environment

If you train in a hot and humid environment for a long time, the body’s heat cannot be discharged quickly, and the body is prone to inflammation. It also often takes more time to recover after training. This is especially true in the southern summer.

At this time, we might as well adjust our training time and environment, such as changing morning running to night running. Just keep part of your morning run training to accommodate race day. Many people think that training in a difficult environment has the effect of getting twice the result with half the effort, so they deliberately choose hot weather that is not suitable for exercise to go running. In fact, it is easy to lose more than the gain.

  1. Take more care of your body

If you start a long-term continuous training plan, you might as well increase your daily energy and nutrient intake, increase your sleep time, and use ice packs (alternating hot and cold) to increase blood flow and muscle relaxation. These small actions will help the body recover from training faster and avoid the accumulation of overtraining. If possible, you can also get more massages.

Once there are signs of overtraining, the training program should be suspended or slowed down. It may take up to 2-3 weeks to recover from overtraining. Choosing to continue training forcefully will only create greater resistance and make the body more prone to problems.