After two long phone calls yesterday, I decided that today’s article needed to be dedicated to a torture known as overtraining. Two people that work very hard to reach their running, cycling, and swimming goals were wondering if something was wrong with them or if maybe they were just in need of a break. Over-training can sneak up on you. One day you’re having a super run and the next you cringe at the idea of lacing up your shoes.
When our bodies want a break it can be confusing because as athletes we are known for pushing through pain and training our minds to “go long”. We know that when we started out running, for example, that it was not easy and to become better we had to block out negative thoughts from our minds. We learn that with exercise one must push through the awkward beginnings of a work out and we will eventually settle into our rhythm. Some days that rhythm never shows up for practice and panic sets in. Our minds wonder what’s wrong with our bodies. How come I can’t go fast, why do I feel this way? This can be a sign of over-training but it isn’t anything to freak about.
Most likely a change in your routine will do the trick. Ease up on the difficulty and give yourself a well deserved break – both mind and body. While our minds are complicated, sometimes the method to ease the mind is simple. A plateau in progress is normal. Understand that every person is different, respect your body’s abilities and learn to adjust. Be thankful that it does what it can for you and keep it well conditioned so it may continue doing the things you enjoy, such as running. It might be at a slower pace but that’s better than injured or not at all. -pm