Overtraining syndrome is common among not only professional athletes but also among many amateur sports people who simply play their sport for the competition or recreation. It is in fact among this category that overtraining can be the most common! At the top level of sports the athletes have coaches in all departments training them, and these coaches recognise the signs of overtraining and know the treatment methods. Amateur athletes though dont have this luxury and in many cases are in a constantly overtrained state as they dont recognise the symptoms or have anyone there to point it out for them.
This article was a simple one for me to write as its something I am repeatedly guilty of even though I should know better. Its easy to see from an outside perspective though, and in many cases where I start to notice the symptoms in my clients its simply a case of explaining this to them and giving them the solution. When you are involved yourself though, even though you recognise the signs, sometimes its just not the simplest thing to take a step back. A lot of this can be your ego playing tricks with you, your competitive side not wanting to concede to the fact that your body maybe cant handle the rigours that you are placing upon it at the minute. In any case it is always useful to seek the advice of people who understand the problems and damaging affects this condition can create.
Common symptoms of over training can be as follows:
- Aches and pains that dont seem to be improving
- Lack of motivation to train
- Diminished performace in training
In serious cases can resort in:
- Depleting appetite
- Constant headaches
- Dimished sex drive
For something that doesnt sound that serious in theory, overtraining is not only damaging to the body physically but also mentally. Left without treatment it can have even more of an effect. The term ‘push through it’ used by many coaches is an uneducated view and something that can not only hurt an athletes confidence but physcially, as their body breaks down, drive them to injury.
With the right treatment though overtraining can be handled by an athlete without any major loses in the long run, so what to do:
- Take 3-4 days off any type of training right away, in many cases it may be longer but depending on the person listen to how your body feels. Take your time not just off the physical end of the sport but any ties to it whatsoever for this length of time.
- Sleep, probably the most important one, get as much sleep as you can to let your body try and recover as much as possible in the fastest time possible.
- Hydration, drink as much water as you can to help clear out your whole system and get it functioning optimally again.
- Nutrition, another thing commonly overlooked is the correct nutrition during this time. Avoid processed and junk foods loaded with sugars etc that are going to make your body lethargic. Eat good, healthy, balanced meals to allow your body the best opportunity to recover.
- Massage, a great option to help relax both the body and mind and aid in the recovery of those aching muscles.
Overtraining can be as determental as under training, and in severe cases can even put your body through rigours! Take care when you’re training and listen to your body. The gains to training occur during the recovery stages, not simply during the hours spent in the gym so take note of that and try and push your body too far.
Hope you all found this helpful and once again dont be afraid to contact me with any other topics you would like to discussed!