If, like millions of other people, you started a new workout routine in January, it might be time to stop and check how you’re feeling. If you feel exhausted due to lack of sleep, lack of energy, and a general feeling of “bluishness,” these could be the warning signs of overtraining syndrome.
Studies showed that up to 60% of endurance athletes, especially runners, are susceptible to overtraining syndrome. That said, even if you’re not training to the level of an athlete, the warning signs that you’re overdoing it are similar.
There are two classifications for overdoing it: overdoing and overtraining. Excess occurs when you push your body beyond your normal range and don’t give yourself enough time to recover between workouts. Fortunately, the effects of overexertion can normally be reduced with a few days of rest. Overtraining is when you ignore the signs of overshoot and keep pushing yourself. Recovery from overtraining takes much longer and usually involves extended time off.
But what are the signs to look out for and how to avoid overtraining on a new training plan, or say, training for a marathon. Here’s everything you need to know.
What are the signs of overtraining syndrome?
While it’s natural to feel tired after particularly tough workouts, if you feel like you’re not recovering or your performance is getting worse and worse, you may be overdoing it. Here are the signs to look out for:
Extreme pain or sprains
Sure, your legs are likely to hurt after leg day, but overloading your body will lead to more severe aches, pains, and injuries. Among runners, overuse injuries like shin splints, stress fractures and plantar fasciitis are common.
Even if you don’t suffer from an injury, another sign of overtraining is that the feeling of soreness you get after an intense session never really goes away, even after a few days of rest or a few days of training at a lower intensity.
Performance no longer improves
If you train properly, you can expect your performance to improve over time as you get fitter and stronger. If you’ve noticed that your training has plateaued or gotten worse, it could be a sign that you’re overdoing it. You may find that it is impossible for you to push yourself harder, you may be overtraining.
Athletes with overtraining syndrome often find that their heart rate is higher during exercise and that it takes them longer to return to their resting heart rate once they are finished. It is also possible that your resting heart rate is higher. If you’re worried this applies to you, it might be something to follow up using one of the best fitness trackers, Where best running watches. In fact, some of best garmin watches will tell you if you’re overdoing it, which could be a sign that you’re overdoing it.
Sure, it’s January and we’ve been in a global pandemic for two years now, but if you’re feeling more tired than ever and you have changed your workout, you may need to take a break. Fatigue happens when you don’t give your body enough time to recover between workouts. You can also tire out if you don’t fuel your body properly or don’t eat enough to fuel your workouts.
If you’re exhausted, but have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, you may be suffering from overtraining. Overtraining affects the body’s stress hormone, which in turn affects your ability to relax and get a good night’s sleep. In addition to poor quality sleep at night, you may find it difficult to relax at night.
Overtraining can cause both weight loss and weight gain. This is because not giving yourself enough time to rest and recover can lead to high levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. An increase in cortisol is often associated with weight gain.
On the other hand, too much exercise can lead to hormonal imbalances, which in turn affect your appetite. In addition to exhaustion and fatigue, overtraining syndrome can lead to poor appetite and weight loss.
Loss of motivation and bad mood
Finally, if you find it difficult to motivate yourself to complete daily tasks, as well as to train, you may want to take some time off. As mentioned above, when your stress hormones change, your mood changes too, so if you find yourself in a moody rut, it might be rest, not exercise, that helps you recover. .
How long does it take to recover?
Recovery from overexertion and overtraining varies from person to person, but in all cases the main tool is rest. Listen to your body during this time and only resume light exercise when you feel up to it. It’s also a good idea to discuss this with your doctor.
When you feel ready to get back to exercising, trying gentle things like yoga and Pilates can help. Looking for inspiration? here is a 30 minute Pilates workout, and one perfect yoga workout for beginners.
How to Avoid Overtraining
But how do you avoid overtraining? Here’s what to do when you increase your training program or adopt a new routine.
Be sure to take rest days: Rest days are essential to help your body recover. Avoid scheduling two difficult workouts in a row. You can also schedule active rest days that involve a walk or a yoga class, to give you time to recover between workouts.
Make sure you are fueling your body properly: If your caloric intake does not replenish what you burn, you will not have enough left for your muscles to repair. If you’re worried that you’re not eating properly, it’s a good idea to talk to a nutritionist. You should also make sure to stay hydrated before, during, and after workouts. Here’s our list of the best water bottles in case you’re in the market.
Listen to your body: When you train, it’s important to check in with your body to see how you feel. If you become obsessed with working out and struggle with rest days, it’s a good idea to talk to a coach, personal trainer, or doctor.