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The Warning Signs of Overtraining

Listed below are the warning signs of overtraining:

Overtraining Warning SignsIn the Muscles
Persistent soreness and stiffness in the muscles, joints and tendons.
Heavy – leggedness.
Emotional Symptoms

Loss of interest in training.
Nervousness – a heightened state
Depression – humour is lacking
A “I don’t care” attitude.
Inability to relax – linked to nervousness
A drop in academic or work performance – inability to focus
Body Warning Signs – body does not feel the same

Headaches – an increase in headaches
Loss of appetite – food aint fun
Unexplained drop in athletic performance – no go zone
Fatigue and sluggishness – it aint easy anymore
Drop in body weight – mass associated to overtraining
Swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, groin, and armpit.
Constipation or diarrhea – body functioning impaired
Absence of menstruation – weight plays a factor

Overtraining is not reserved for the experienced and long-term trainer, the newbie can also fall into the ‘overtraining zone’. These symptoms however are often shown via injuries and sickness and is not considered chronic whereas the more over zealous experienced runner who will tend to ignore the signs and fall flat bang in the middle of this ‘zone’. It is not a pretty picture to deal with an athlete who has overtrained.

The mental strength of a seasoned runner can often be the number one detrimental factor in creating a more serious situation that arises from overtraining.

It is on these occasions that the use of a heart rate monitor comes into its own (more on this later see also Test Yourself below)

The newbie athlete is often training too much for their “out of shape” body to adequately adapt to the new levels of stress. They become injured or fatigued, and often quit training completely. Veteran athletes who overtrain are frequently injured, and are always “flogging the horse .” The result – a drop in performance.

Test Yourself

One of the best, time tested procedures to test for overtraining is to take your resting morning pulse rate. The test is very simple to take. When you first wake-up in the morning, take your pulse for 15 seconds and times by four. If your pulse is higher than seven beats per minute faster than normal, you need to be aware of this elervated pulse and consider reducing your training load or even taking the day off training. If you have a coach, discuss this with them so that you are able to avoid the pitfalls of overtraining.

See the various articles covering overtraining and how to deal with the problem: Articles to follow

  • How to recover from overtraining

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