Would you be willing to increase your hours at work for less pay? Well this is exactly what overtraining is like, except the decrease in salary means poor performance, fatigue, injury, moodiness, lack of enthusiasm.
A sample day in the life of an over trained runner: they can’t run at all because they are now injured. They have no one to play with because they are moody and boring and no one takes their calls (texts, pokes). They are stuck in their house either because they are sick, tired, or can’t remember where they keep their shoes (lack of ability to focus). You get it right?? Don’t become this person! For sure you should train hard, I mean “go big or go home”!! But you must maintain balance.
I once gave an athlete a training program, which she promptly handed back to me asking, “Where on this schedule am I having drinks with my friends?” And you know what? She was right. Basically what she was asking was when do I get to take a break from this training plan, let my hair down, and sleep in. Smart girl ;)
So here are the top 5 signs you are over training:
- You haven’t seen your best friend in forever! You know, the friend you grew up with who would rather stab themselves in the eye than go for a run. Solution: Call them now and go see a comedy show!!
- You’re cranky and just no fun at all. This is bad because you’ll end up with a bunch of cats. Solution: Order a pizza, rent a movie, and plan to sleep in an extra hour tomorrow.
- You have not seen improved performance in your run sessions for a while. And isn’t that the entire purpose of training?? To improve? Solution: Take a day off, go for a massage, and watch a beautiful sunset while imagining yourself running on fresh legs.
- You’re gaining weight. What??!!! The hormones in your body become so dysfunctional that they destroy muscle tissue and create fatty deposits. The exact opposite of what you want. Solution: Consult with a Mile High Run Club coach. We are here to help you create the best version of YOU!!
- You’re still reading this article. I’m kind of serious about that one because it’s probably true, but ok… how about chronically elevated/high heart rate. This is the hearts response to being overworked. It is also something you see in beginner runners, so essentially you’ve de-trained yourself, or turned the clock backwards. Solution: Try doing a week of ‘Zone 1 Only’ training sessions, with something easier than running like gentle pedaling on a bike. Zone 1 means super easy, you can go all day at that effort level. This is like putting money in the cardio bank, therefore making your heart rich.
I know very well the addiction of wanting to train every single day, but nothing good comes from it. And that is good news!!! Because it means you can take days off, cross train with other activities, eat cake, sleep in… ahhh. The body gets stronger not with an overload of training sessions, but with sufficient downtime. Pushing too long, too fast, too hard, and especially too often, can all lead to overtraining. And here’s the thing to remember in order to convince yourself that less is more… you will become a slower (and fatter) runner if you over train. Convinced??! I hope so. You’ll know you’re cured when your energy increases… your body feels good… you’re happy… and you are able to hit PR’s on a regular basis (personal records).
Here’s to becoming the best version of YOU!!