Overtraining In Running


While exercising and taking part in running races is good, it is not a good thing if you do too much training. By overdoing it, this can lead to both physical and mental problems and is definitely not beneficial for your body and health in the long term.

How do you know that you are overtraining? Here are some signs that you may be.

You can’t complete your usual workout

If you are having trouble completing the workout that you usually have had no issues with in the past, this is a sign that you could be pushing yourself too hard. For example, if you cannot do the usual weekly 5km run that you have always managed to previously, you are overtraining.

If you are finding yourself getting weaker and more tired when you are working out, then you could be doing too much training.

However, do note that this isn’t the same as increasing your workout, for example, instead of doing 5km as per normal, you try to aim to do 10km and you can’t do it – you are not overtraining.

You are restless and cannot sleep

If you find that you are constantly restless and cannot sleep, even during the hours or days when you are supposed to be relaxing, this is also a sign that you are doing too much. When you overtrain, your body’s sleep patterns are interrupted and your body’s resting heart rate is much faster than it should be.

As well, your recovery time taken is also slower than usual and you’ll find as a result that you are constantly suffering the ill effects of doing too much exercise.

Your joints always hurt

It is normal for your joints to hurt after exercise. This is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Syndrome (DOMS) and is your body’s natural response. If you just have a rest for a couple of days, this pain should go away.

But if you are running a lot and you find that say, your knees are always creaking and they make you wince when you are using them on a daily basis, this is a sign that you could be training too much. If you ignore this feeling for too long, then it can actually cost you your running career and you will no longer be able to run. So be very careful when you start to hurt like this.

You get ill a lot

If you find yourself suffering from a cold, sore throat or headache more often than you used to, it could be a sign of overtraining. This is because your immune system would have been compromised and is suffering from the after-effects of doing a lot of training. So if you are having such symptoms, try to cut down on the amount of training that you are doing, and you will definitely feel much better for it.

You feel more sluggish

Usually a workout is supposed to make you feel positive, energise you and make you feel better. As well, the endorphins are meant to infuse your mind for several hours after that and give you a great, warm feeling. Feeling this way is perfectly normal.

But instead, if you find yourself feeling increasingly uncomfortable, tired and sluggish after your workout, it is likely that you are doing too much exercise. So try to cut down on your exercise, or even go completely cold turkey for perhaps a few weeks. Then perhaps you may start to feel the positive effects from exercising again once you return to it.

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  • Alif says:

    Very useful tips! Many of us have such experience and wonder why we do not run as well as other days. After reading this, you will understand.
    Thanks Pris!

    • Priscilla says:

      Yup, as runners, we’ve probably all suffered from the effects of overtraining at one point or another…

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