Mental fatigue is often overlooked, but it is an important part of training. The severity of these injuries range from mild overuse injuries that resolve in weeks to stress fractures that can take several months to heal. For example, instead of doing a full-blown interval workout, do one that includes about 60 to 70 percent of the volume—if you would normally do 10 x 400m in 75 seconds, do 6 x 400m at the same pace. Like clockwork, the phone starts ringing off the hook: “Dr. Runner's World participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. 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To prevent mental burnout from getting the best of you, mind your mind. Instead, we should restore this natural ebb and flow of acute stress and recovery. Give yourself at least one rest day each week to recharge, refresh and rejuvenate your mind. Headaches 7. Pain that changes the way you run and alters your gait mechanics needs to be checked out by a doctor. Lucky for A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that doing exercise in outdoor spaces had a large impact on a variety of moods related to restoring willpower and creating a positive recovery state. Intense training loads may actually decrease your quality of sleep or make it difficult for you to fall asleep each night, even after hard workouts. It occurs when you are running too many miles and/or pushing your body too hard on each run. These are common warning signs of overtraining syndrome:1 1. Really listen to your body during and after each run to note how it is responding to the effort. Which Burns More Calories: Walking or Running? Listen to your body each week. If running at your normal speed suddenly feels much more challenging, it might be time to take a step back. The prescription is usually to rest or reduce the training load. All of these consequences can happen as a result of an imbalance of training stress and recovery. If your body is feeling good, what’s the harm in doing just a little more – right? Feeling sore for days after a normal run could be a sign that you are overtraining. This results in feelings of constant tiredness, reduced performance, neural and hormonal changes, mood … But when we go overboard, we can end up with overtraining syndrome, a surprisingly common condition characterized by diminished performance. What’s the Deal With Piriformis Syndrome? Schedule activities that are relaxing, such as getting a massage or taking a “me” day. The harder efforts each week leave your body with less time to recover from more intense stress. This is usually blamed on doing too many hard runs in a row without enough rest or appropriate training periodization. Some ultramarathoners may be able to train easily at 100 miles a week, while many new runners struggle to surpass 15. us, preventing overtraining can be as simple as listening to your body. A runner who puts so much stress on his- or herself (think: poor sleep quality, caloric deficiency, and increased anxiety about an upcoming race) will feel spent. Here are a few signs of overtraining to look out for. There’s nothing more frustrating than feeling like you’re putting in more effort and getting nothing in return. But before we know it, what started out as a quest for improvement can develop into something more dangerous: overtraining syndrome. Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. Keep tabs on your overall mileage with this watch. Skipping a long run to sleep in is more helpful than pushing yourself and ignoring your body’s cues. How we test gear. If you suspect a hormonal imbalance, it’s time to talk to your doctor and maybe see a sports nutritionist. Sudden drop in performance 5. While OTS can be serious enough to derail even the brightest of careers, there is no cut-and-dried definition of what constitutes overtraining. Overtraining syndrome occurs when you are just doing too much. When the energy is low, breakdown and injuries occur. The most obvious component of overtraining is physical injury. It shows up in three key areas—mental, hormonal, and physical—and the tricky part is: You might not even realize you have it. If you used to gulp down your dinner and now are struggling to finish it, this may be an indicator of overtraining. to others. What we often see in our overtraining is either too much work or too little recovery—to fix that, we go to the other extreme of full recovery and no stress. If you’re ramped up your effort on the run and find the mileage feeling too difficult or your pace slowing down, you might actually be training too much. That’s not to say that one runner is in better shape than another – it just means that everyone’s body is different. It can even cause amenorrhea, the loss of menstruation in women. More often than not, it takes many negative experiences for runners to question their training. This elevated heart rate might be an indicator that your body is still working harder and trying to recover from previous workouts, even when you are at rest. Introduce something new. Steve Magness coaches professional runners and the cross country team at the University of Houston, where he is pursuing a doctorate in exercise science. What’s not to love about an activity that brings endorphins, stress relief, fresh air, and makes you feel good about yourself? When your body is pushed beyond its limits it winds up in a constant state of stress, leaving your immune system weak and defenseless against minor illness. It can be difficult to hold yourself back from adding a few extra miles to your long run or fitting in another interval during your speed workout when you’re feeling great. The problem that coaches face isn’t prodding highly competitive and slightly obsessive-compulsive runners to do more work. But they’ll all mean nothing if you don’t pay careful attention to your body. The effects include frequent injuries, slower times and a sense that running has become all work and no fun [source: Budgett ]. To combat this, introduce mini-workouts. Join thousands of other runners in receiving weekly running tips, free downloads, and fitness motivation. Related: How Running Lower Mileage Will Make Running Feel Easier. It’s so easy to hear of another runner’s accomplishments and assume that we should be doing more. A runner is considered to be ‘overtraining’ when they are completing more mileage and activity on a regular basis than what their body can recover from, causing their performance to plateau or even decline. The concept of overtraining, then, is a difficult one to define. As with mental and hormonal overload, physical overtraining means you’re pushing too hard for your body. Pain in muscles and joints 4. After months of pushing ahead, the body, if not trained properly, starts to break down. If you notice that your resting heart rate is higher than usual, it could be a sign of overtraining. Why? Many modern-day diseases are now classified as diseases of civilization because they are related to our insistence on comfort and monotony. Incorporate stretching, cross training, foam rolling and strength training in your training schedule. My advice: Take a deep breath, do some cross training, and relax. Related: 4 Signs of Running Burnout (and How to Recover).
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