Whether youâ€™re running to shed the extra pounds, or preparing for your next marathon, you must keep a keen eye on overtraining and do your best to steer clear from it. Overtraining is a dreadful condition that can lead to a myriad of injuries and health problems. Itâ€™s usually defined as doing too much and more frequently than the body can handle. For runners, itâ€™s about running too far, too fast without taking ample rest for recovery and rejuvenation.
As a result, if you want to learn how to spot, prevent or even treat overtraining, here are some training guidelines that can help.
The Signs of Overtraining
Overtraining does not happen overnight, it usually builds up gradually and worsens as the training progresses forward. Here are some of its warning signs:
- Extreme fatigue both during and after the workout
- Loss of appetite
- Undesired weight loss
- Headaches and dizziness
- Lack of enthusiasm for the training
- Aches and pains all over the body
- Trouble falling asleep at night
- Reduced mental functioning
- Spiky heart rate
- Delayed recovery from trainingâ€¦
If you find yourself suffering from any of the above symptoms, than youâ€™re must likely either suffering from overtraining or itâ€™s imminent to ensue. Luckily, by spotting these warning signs early on, you can prevent this nightmare from getting any worse.
How to Recover from Overtraining
Your first line of defense against overtraining is taking ample recovery. The longer youâ€™ve been overtrained, the more recovery time your body needs. If you feel that youâ€™re suffering from a minor case of overtraining, then taking a couple of days off from the training is enough to keep overtraining at bay.
Nonetheless, if youâ€™re suffering chronic overtraining, then you need to take more rest. Maybe one to three full weeks. During these recovery weeks, you could choose to drastically cut down on your running mileage or cross-train. The golden rule is that you need to let your muscle rest and rejuvenate at their own terms. Donâ€™t put too much stress or go overboard. Otherwise, suffer the dire consequences.
Getting Back to the Training
Once you feel youâ€™ve fully recovered, make sure to resume your training very slowly and gradually. Restart your running program with a beginner mind. Run for less at a moderate pace and build the intensity and length gradually. And remember to listen to your body, itâ€™s your best coach; it can tell you when you need to keep going or when youâ€™re actually overdoing it and need to slow down.
The rule of thumb is that you need to be training within your skill level. Most running injuries are the result of doing too much too soon. Therefore, make sure to stay within your fitness level and only up the ante when you feel confident in your capabilities.
About the author
David DACK is a runner and an established author on weight loss, motivation and fitness.
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