Overtraining and How To Recognize It

The term "overtraining" has been tossed around our local community a bit within the last couple of years, so I thought the following article would be interesting to many of us out there pushing our limits. It's by Canadian runner Scott Leitch, but its application to parkour is pretty evident.

You may have heard training partners talk of overtraining or getting burnt-out, but how can you know if you’re overtraining? What are the symptoms and how can it be avoided?

Jon-Erik Kawamoto, a fitness instructor in St. John’s, N.L., describes overtraining as a point where an athlete is no longer positively adapting to and recovering from the stresses of exercise. They will hit a plateau and cease seeing improvements or or even begin to see detrimental effects from increasing efforts.

There are a few ways to recognize overtraining, but it’s a complicated subject which can still be a bit mystifying and affects different athletes in different ways. One runner doing the same workouts and running the same times as another may thrive while a training partner suffers. It can be dependent on outside factors away from workouts, but there are still some symptoms to look for in your life that may point to overtraining.

Kawamoto says that, generally, if you’re experiencing symptoms from overtraining you’ll notice strength and fitness loss, possible mood changes and immunity issues resulting in frequent or serious illness.

The first thing to look at when considering if you’ve been overtraining is your workouts. As the term suggests, it’s often a matter of just doing too much. Too quickly increasing the intensity or volume of workouts is a major cause of overtraining, but it’s not the only factor. Monotony and repeating the same workouts over and over again can lead to some symptoms of overtraining or exacerbate the problem.

“Having an appropriate, periodized running program from a reputable coach is a good start,” says Kawamoto. “The coach should vary the intensity and volume of your workouts over the weeks, months and years in a fashion that promotes positive adaptation from the stresses of training. Just randomly throwing workouts together is not a smart idea because you may do too much too soon and negatively affect your body’s recovery ability. Also, you will not progress as fast as a runner who has a structured training program.” .......

To read the rest of the article, you can head on over to Running Magazine


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