I am feeling overtraining setting in. To head it off I am going to try to take advantage of the holidays and change things up a bit.
So the question you may ask about overtraining:
- What is overtraining?
- What are the signs symptoms?
- Who can it affect?
- How do you deal with it?
You are chugging along, you have been working out. You have been sticking to your training. You have made progress but you wake up and feel strange. You feel tired, restless, no amount of sleep is helping, you maybe don’t love what you are doing any more, you have hit a plateau and you are not making any progress. You are sore and its taking longer for you to heal up.
You might be experiencing overtraining or training fatigue.
What is overtraining?
Here is a definition of overtraining or training fatigue from a children’s hospital sports medicine group. You may think what does a children’s hospital know about adults? Pediatricians will see athlete’s up to 18, some even will see people up to 21… so a person can be considered a child in the medical sense and the information can still be applicable to our needs as adults.
Burnout, or overtraining syndrome, is a condition in which an athlete experiences fatigue and declining performance in sport despite continuing or increased training. Overtraining can result in mood changes, decreased motivation, frequent injuries and even infections. Burnout is thought to be a result of the physical and emotional stress of training.
Just as described above, a overtraining is a condition that can cause a cascading effect and if left unchecked and unaddressed it can cause more issues.
What are the signs/symptoms you might be experiencing overtraining?
- an athletes performance declines, and or they experience fatigue – not your normal fatigue after a hard workout, your workouts you feel sluggish
- lack of motivation – where once you did, you do not looking forward to the exercise
- decrease in the enthusiasm of the sport/training – temporary loss of your love for a sport or training.
- recovery is taking longer – after an adequate amount of rest you
- emotional volatility – disproportionate emotional response, not one particular emotion. Like snapping at people, crying more often
- trouble sleeping – insomnia, interrupted sleep, and less restful sleep
- more prone to illness and injury– your immune system is taking a beating because your body is can’t recover.
- Lethargy and reduced sex drive – if you are exhausted, and lethargic it is reasonable to that your sex drive will be reduced.
- Low heart rate variability – when your resting heart rate is less quickly variable at rest can mean your nervous system is fatigued. You can learn more about HRV here. https://trainright.com/heart-rate-variability-hrv-endurance-athetes/
Who can it affect?
You might think that only a olympic athlete, an athlete that trains 20 hours a week, or a professional athlete will get this. But you might be surprised to find that anyone can find themselves with the overtraining or training fatigue symptoms. This can happen to an athlete of any training level.
- People new to training or working out can experience this, because their threshold is lower than an athlete that has been training for a while. If they are less fit, their bodies cannot compensate as well as the well trained athlete and therefore can experience training fatigue.
- People who have to quickly upped their amount of training recently, and have not taken adequate rest can experience this condition.
- People who are experienced athletes can find themselves facing this problem when they don’t take adequate rest.
- I also believe that external stressors, like this Covid-19 pandemic, can also factor into the causes of possible training fatigue or overtraining. I generally take adequate days off, usually 2 to 1 day a week, however I have not been sleeping well since the pandemic hit, and due to political stimulus over the past weeks. I think my body is just tired, and needs a rest.
How do you deal with it?
Not to be flippant but, rest is the first and foremost thing you should do. The pushing through and unwillingness to acknowledge that you need rest is the reason you may be here.
If you have injuries you must address those, and tend to those as well.
The length of rest is variable per person, but generally it is agreed upon but sports doctors, and therapists that when your symptoms have gone away or are retreating you are going in the right direction. When the lethargy no mater how much rest you get is gone, when your motivated to reach your goals, when you sex drive, and your love for your sport returns are all great signs.
In the future:
Schedule in breaks.
I am bad about this. I have been training for years, without scheduling a week or two off here and there. I tend to wait till I am injured and it forces me to take the time off.
Look for signs of overtraining and Listen to your body.
Try to reduce the stressors externally in your life.
I know easier said than done, especially if a pandemic is foisted on you, and or the political landscape of the country you are in has you questioning the sanity of the politicians, and the future of your country. But I digress…
Tune in your diet. If you are not fueling your body with enough food and good enough food your body cannot recover, and rest properly.
If you don’t do these things, it will be far easier to fall back into an overtraining, training fatigue cascade of symptoms that you will have to address or run the risk of greater injury.
Monday 11/16/2020:1 hour – 1 mile run, leg and glute day, core workout
I was feeling a little sassy today, don’t know if I feel like I can pull off a crop top yet but wore it anyway.
Woke up late for me 8 am and slept great. It’s been a while since I slept like that. So I got to my workout and start of my day and week.
Leg day but had to be careful with my tweaky knee still so I focused on making sure to keep it steady, aware of placement, and movement.
1 mile run
Weight Lifting Leg and Glute day: all exercises done in a super set, 15 seconds rest between sets
1) Back Squats 3x sets of 8 reps
2) Jump Squats 3x sets of 10 reps
3) Dead Lift 3x sets of 10 reps
4) Bulgarian Split Squats 3x sets of 15 reps ( L/R)
5) resistance band Leg Adductor 3x sets 1 minute (L/R)
6) Goblet Squat 3x sets of 15 reps
7) Single Leg Dead Lift 3x sets of 1 min
Core: Dana Lynn Bailey’s 10 minute core workout.
45 seconds on with 15 seconds rest between each
1) Hollow body
2) Hollow body reverse crunches
3) Sit Bicycles
4) Star Crunches
5) Side Right planks dips
6) Side Left planks dips
7) High Plank opposite Side Knee to Elbow
8 ) V Sit Leg Circles
9) Heel Touches
10) Explosive Sit Ups
Monday 11/16/2020: workout #2 – Ran another mile with H and helped him through part of my leg day.
Tuesday 11/17/2020:1 hour of Muay Thai training
A great day of training. I am as exhausted but really looked forward to training today. Consistency is the key to getting better and reaching your goals.
We worked on Teeps, knees, and 4 counts. I even dented the heavy bag with my knee.
Thanks Khun kru Krysta for the great class.
Training: jumping jacks, kicks and ladder kicks in between rounds for active recovery.
1) lead Teep, rear Teep
2) Held pads for H
3) Lead Teep, Rear Kick, Hook, Cross, lead Kick
4) Held Pads for H
5) Rear Teep, Lead Kick, Cross, Hook, Rear Kick
6) held Pads for H
7) Lead Teep, Lead Kick, Cross, Hook, Rear Knee, Rear Kick
8 ) held Pads for H
9) Jab, Cross, Uppercut, Rear Body kick, Pead leg kick
Jab, Cross, Uppercut, Rear Body Kick, Rear Leg Kick
10) Held Pads for H
Friday 11/20/2020: 47 minutes run, agility ladder, and full body weight lifting workout
We ran a mile, I decided to add some footwork agility to my workout with the ladder, then I worked in a full body weight lifting workout.
1) barbell clean and press – 3x sets of 6 reps
2) dumbbell seated snow angels – 3x sets of 10 reps
3) kettlebell swings – 3x sets of 50 seconds, 10 seconds rest
4) kettlebell high pull – 3x sets of 50 seconds, 10 seconds rest
5) kettlebell tricep overhead extension – 3x sets of 50 seconds, 10 seconds rest
It was a short quick one but I am glad I got it in. Missed Wednesday and Thursday workouts so needed to do something today. Yay!
Saturday 11/21/2020: 2 hours of training. Kali/staff and Muay Thai
Training was fun and challenging today. We were outside in uneven ground that made it challenging, but it was fun. It reminded me of Thai Camp! I miss Thai Camp this year.
When you are outside on uneven ground, you want to focus on proper form, target acquisition, and working the technique. You do this so you don’t break yourself.
In a leg kick you want to sink your weight, but for the body kicks you focus on the lifting the body and getting/pivoting on the balls of your feet.
Thank you Khun Kru Krysta!
Kali: We worked on-
1) high box with the staff
2) high box with the jab/Speer with staff
3) hubud with double stick
Muay Thai: knees up a hill for active recovery
1) shadow boxing
2) shadow boxing
3) plus sign drill w/ Jab, Cross, Rear Leg Kick
4) Jab, Cross, Rear Body Kick
5) H turn to kick me
6) Jab, Cross, Switch kick to the Body or lead body kick
7) H’s turn to kick me
8 ) Jab, Cross, Leg kick, partner kick response you shield.
9) H’s turn to kick me
10) pushing knees up the hill
Extra curricular 3 x 3 minute rounds of Sparring
Overtraining is a real thing. It is something to look out for. Keep in mind it is not just fatigue after a great workout. It is the inability to recover fully after your training. You then train again while tired, and feel lethargic, sluggish, and unable to attain the goals you are going for much less the levels of training you once had experienced.
Everything feels harder, and that is no fun.
I am starting to feel these symptoms. I know my body enough that I am aware that I am feeling like I am slogging up slope, in the mud. So I am going to take advantage of the coming holidays, and take some extra time off. I am going to change up my workouts.
Depending on the severity of the symptoms you may have to stop all together. But if you catch it early then you can just schedule in more rest time and let your body catch up.
Thank you for reading. If you liked it please click the like button. If you wanted to comment please feel free to do so I would love to hear from you. If you want to keep up with my adventures and all the things I learn as I go through my training and reach for my goals please subscribe. Have a great week, if you are in the states Happy Thanksgiving to you.
I post some videos of my training on my instagram #sharpcupcake .