It is an easy thing to happen. You find yourself eyes deep in training, just clicking along and all of the sudden you realize you’re exhausted. Your paces have slowed down. You might even find yourself feeling under the weather. There are many signs of overtraining and not giving your body enough recovery. You can prevent overtraining if you’re careful. Not to worry, if you find yourself falling into the trap, you can fix it also.
What Are The Signs Of Overtraining?
If you constantly find yourself with sore muscles, you could be overtraining. When your muscles seem to be persistently fatigued and your legs just seem heavy, that is not a good sign. If you never take a day off, your muscles lack time to recovery. It is important to give your body the time that it needs.
What if it isn’t just your muscles; rather, you just feel fatigued in general? If you are getting adequate sleep and are fueling properly, yet are just feeling tired all the time, it might be overtraining. That is, of course, assuming you are not sick or overworking yourself in some other way.
If you have a sickness that won’t go away, even though you feel like you’re doing everything right, that could be a sign that you are doing too much. When you are sick, you need to rest and give your body time to recover. Continuing to train through sickness could actually end with you falling way further behind than if you had just taken a day or two off.
Experiencing irritability is another sign that you may be overtraining. We don’t mean when someone does something to warrant that feeling… this is when you recognize that you are just a little bit cranky all the time lately. Sometimes fatigue that comes with overworking your body can just make you a little bit edgy.
There are overuse injuries runners are prone to. These include shin splints, plantar fasciitis and stress fractures. When you pile on mileage too fast or continue to pound pavement through an injury, you make yourself vulnerable to this type of problem. Listening to your body is important to help alleviate this type of concern.
Yet another sign of overtraining is that you are seeing a performance decline. If suddenly you can’t keep paces you have normally been able to easily maintain, you might be overdoing it. This same thing can happen in regards to other types of workouts such as weight training or anything really.
As a runner, if you see a performance decline, you may need some rest days. You also may just need to incorporate some easy running days into your workout regiment. Many runners neglect to implement days where they are taking it easy. If you are unsure if slowing it down is wise, look at workout schedules for elite runners. Even the elites take some easy days!
Overtraining running symptoms are often very specific. In particular, you may see the overuse injuries mentioned above as well as the performance decline. It is important that you do not show hesitation in remedying this when it rears its ugly head!
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Overtraining Running?
Honestly, the answer to this query depends on how far you let things go. If, at the first sign that you might be overdoing it you pull back on your training, you could be in a good position to bounce back quickly. This means as soon as you lose the spring in your step you need to back off a little.
The first inklings that you may be overdoing it as a runner include aches and pains, being tired and noticing your normal running times are slowing down.
Signs that can come up as time goes along include fatigue and perhaps having a sickness that won’t go away. When a cold or bug lingers on and on, you are letting things go too far. However, the quicker you listen to the warning signals your body is giving you the better off you will be.
If you ignore those clues and let things continue to escalate, you can find yourself in some serious trouble. This is when your recovery time will be stretched longer and longer.
For example, if you catch shin splints early you can be better and ready to return to activities in two to four weeks. However, if you let things get bad, you could be off of running for months.
What Is The Fastest Way To Recover From Overtraining?
Cross-training is a great way to speed up recovery, especially if you intervene early. As soon as you get some hints that your body is in trouble and struggling, try to engage in some type of cross-training. Biking and swimming are both excellent forms of non-impact cross-training.
If cross-training did not help or you feel your body will not benefit from that, the best thing you can do to help aid in recovery from overtraining is to rest. As hard as that may seem, it is truly exactly what your body is screaming for. This can be just incorporating some rest days if you catch it early, or complete rest if you are too far gone.
While we are talking about rest, it bears mention that we aren’t just referring to lack of exercise. Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night is important for healing and also a key to strong training when you are healthy. Figuring in time for sleep will help your body perform to its best potential.
Improving your nutrition is another way to help heal yourself. The healthier you eat the faster your body is likely to recover from overtraining. This nutritional piece includes proper hydration. Often overlooked outside of race week, keeping your body fueled means good foods as well as lots of water!
When your body has signs and symptoms of overtraining, it really is trying to shout out to you. If you listen, you can be back to normal quickly. If you ignore these warnings, you could be sidelined for quite some time.
Be smart and keep yourself in the game!
Signs Of Overtraining