Overtraining is real and it effects your performance.
I GET IT…and most anyone does who has been imprinted to “Just push through”. BUT…You can only push so hard before your body will say…“HEY…PULL THE REIGNS!”
Who suffers from overtraining?
Overtraining is common for individuals of all experience levels and is an imbalance of stress placed on the body versus the time you allow it to recover. Those who are less conditioned have a lower tolerance to stress and can be affected more quickly than those who are used to placing a more extreme amount of stress on the body.
Overtraining does not happen overnight. It can be a culmination of many factors. As you can see in the image, you work hard and energy levels become depleted. We don’t allow for full recovery and then go back at it, creating a downward slope until we “overttrain”.
How do you know?
If you are saying or have one of the following…chances are you are overtraining:
“My performance is off”
You’re sluggish during your workouts and recovery during those workouts is hard to obtain.
“I have horrible sleep”
It’s easy to think that you would be extremely tired after working out so hard, right? NOT…your sleep patterns and the type of sleep that you are getting can be effected by your body being in an over trained state. Take a look at one of the many sleep monitoring applications that are on the market today so that you can get tuned into your individual sleep cycle.
“Why am I so emotional?”
An emotional roller coaster is a common sign of overtraining. What do we mean? Some individuals cry at the ASPCA commercials…others get angry when cut off on the road…but if you are seeing the frequency of these instances increase and it is outside of your regularly scheduled program…your body may be telling you it’s time to rest.
You have low HRV (Heart Rate Variability)
Heart Rate Variability measures the variability in the time between heart beats. If you are measuring, you should be consistent and do it first thing in the morning. For more on HRV, you can read HERE
You “Find an excuse, any excuse not to exercise”
Motivation is OFF. You don’t feel up for doing something you have found joy in doing prior. Lack of interest and drive can be a tall tale sign up overtraining. It’s your brains way of saying pull the reigns. LISTEN.
Why do I feel like this cold and or injury are sticking around forever!?
This can happen because you are simply not giving your body ample time to heal itself.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
GIVE YOURSELF A LARGE DOSE OF R&R; Rest and Recovery.
The length of time is going to be subjective. Generally, someone who is more conditioned will recover more quickly.
Feed yourself with nutrient dense food, allow your body the time it needs to heal itself and activate your PNS (parasympathetic nervous system) more often.
Listen to your body.
It will let you know when it’s feeling better.
PREVENTION FOR THE FUTURE: When you are resting, take the time to write down an action plan to balance your stress/recovery plan for the future. If you take a look at your schedule and commit to 30 minutes of “self” time per day, THEN DO IT. What is self-time? You know, that time that you put aside for yourself, right? (better said than done, I know) This is going to be an important self accountability tool for preventing over training. Oh, and if it pops up for you… don’t get down about putting yourself into a state of overtraining. It happens. :)
TRUTH: It IS going to feel weird slowing down to recover (it’s natural when your used to being constantly on the go) but once you do, you should feel better than you had prior. So pick up a new book, enjoy a long walk and a good conversation, breathe, mobilize and celebrate your journey back onto the path of vibrant energy.
NASM Certified Personal Trainer *NASM Youth Exercise Specialist * Spartan Obstacle Specialist CrossFit Level 1 & 2 – Level 3 reading * CrossFit Gymnastics * Mobility WOD 101 & 102 POSE Run Method * Mobility WOD Performance Specialist * Spartan SGX Coach *TRX * USA Weightlifting