Listen to your Body Talk
Here comes summer and, with it, an increased risk of ‘burn-out’! This state of prolonged fatigue is usually caused by one, or a combination, of three training excesses; excess duration (workouts too long), excess intensity (workouts too hard), and excess frequency (too many workouts, not enough recovery). Check your training schedule for the next few weeks – is it packed with back-to-back time trials, road races, fell races, triathlons and duathlons without respite? The weather may be great but too much training, especially high intensity, means big trouble may be just around the corner! Some of the more common indicators of overtraining are as follows:
Emotional and Behavioural
Feeling lethargic, apathetic
Loss of purpose, no enthusiasm to train
Lack of concentration, inability to relax
Mood changes – irritability and anger
Loss of libido
Weight change, loss of appetite
Change in morning heart rate
Inability to reach target heart rate in training
Muscle soreness, swollen lymph glands
Diarrhoea and nausea
Persistent injuries, susceptibility to infections
So what can you do?
If you don’t listen to your body, you may experience some of the above. What can you do? The only option is rest followed by a gradual return to training based on low mileage, low intensity workouts. For mild cases of overtraining, do nothing for 48 hours, then try a really easy short workout. If you don’t feel good doing this simple workout, then take another 48 hours rest and keep repeating until you do. In more severe cases, involving illness or injury, you may need to take several weeks off before resuming easy training. Never be tempted to train through illness or injury – it can be dangerous. If necessary, seek medical advice. Better still, why wait till lightning strikes, listen to your body talk!