How can I tell if I am overtraining?

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There are many physical signs of overtraining to look for:
  • Extreme fatigue, lack of energy, feeling sluggish
  • Decreased immunity and/or increased infections
  • Muscle aches and pains 
  • Decreased results from training
  • Impaired athletic performance
  • Injuries
  • Mood changes
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Increased resting heart rate
  • Decreased desire to train and decreased love of the sport
Each of these signs may have multiple causes, but are important to look for if you suspect you are overtraining. If you feel that you are overtraining, take some time to rest and recover before returning to your sport or workouts. Other methods of recovery such as sports massages, proper nutrition and hydration, and light cross training may be beneficial before returning to sport. 
Overtraining is when your body has been training too hard and you feel fatigue before the start of your workout. Many individuals don’t feel as if they are overtraining because they are not doing as much as they used to do. Overtraining is training too hard or too often for the amount of rest and nutrition that your body has had. You might not be training as hard, but you also might not be eating as well and resting as much as you were in the past. The first thing you must consider if you feel you are in an over trained state is the other factors in your life, such as a change in diet and / or sleep patterns, or even an increase in stress in your life. Some indicators of overtraining would be poor heart rate recovery, reduction in your workloads ( speed, inclines, level, watts), inability to sleep at night and total body fatigue. To prevent overtraining, make sure you look at all the outside factors of your life and then adjust the intensity of your workouts to match these changes. If you are in an over trained state, taking some time off and doing low intensity workouts will help you get your body and mind back on track.  Be sure to address any other factors, like rest and nutrition, before you increase your exercise intensity.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.