So, you have a new fitness/health goal, you’re enthusiastic and motivated to get on it and push yourself to reach the goal as quickly as you can, training everyday as much as possible. There’s no such thing as too much exercise, right? WRONG!
Overtraining can massively slow you down form reaching your fitness goals.
Its very easy to fall into this trap and often you don’t realise that you have as you are so focused and driven to achieve your goal. Overtraining shows itself in many forms, from a tired sore achy body to fatigue and loss of motivation. They all seem like obvious signs of overtraining however there are many more signs warning you to slow down a little
Poor sleep quality, insomnia or change of sleeping patters – Your body is under stress when exercising, releasing different stress hormones. When overtraining these can start to be over produced. Your body needs sleep to help repair the body and flush stress hormones form the system. An excess of stress hormones may reduce the body’s ability to sleep.
Decrease of performance – you are progressing your sessions, increasing time, speed and maybe weight, but not seeing the results or you start to seem like you are going backwards? Maybe a decrease in speed, agility, power and endurance. These are all signs of overtraining.
Fatigue – where your body/body parts feel heavy or sore for 3+days, never quite shaking off the effort form the last session.
Mood swings or agitated easily – often concentration levels are noticeably reduced leading to agitation and mood swings. Your body produces different hormones when exercising and these need rest periods for them to reduce back down to normal. Overtraining reduces the body’s ability to flush these hormones form your system resulting in imbalances.
Reduced appetite – Hormone imbalances can often affect appetite. At a time where your body needs fuel to repair, your system breaks down and stops telling you this due to the imbalance of hormones produced.
Injuries/niggles – this seems obvious but how often do you push yourself to try and run through small aches and pains? This is your body trying to tell you to back off and give it a break!
Under fuelling – this is not a sign of overtraining but one of the common reasons for causing overtraining. Simply put, you are not giving your body enough of or the correct type of fuel to do the exercise you are expecting of your body, resulting in under performance in training.
So, remember train hard but train sensibly. Plan your weeks’ exercise and include rest days for better, quicker results.