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Monday, June 25


The ABCs and running series: Today's topic "Overtraining"
When I first started running I was a tad over zealous. I wanted to run breathless and carefree instantly! By overtraining, I found out the hard way – a sudden increase in activity had the reverse effect on my conditioning.
I was unable to sleep. My morning heart rate would be racing. And I was in pain - sciatica and the dreaded plantar fascitis. Eventually, as I read more, (Runner's World Mag) I began to figure it out. Rest is a good thing!

Examples of overtraining:

From( Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper's - Antioxidant Revolution)

  • Changes in your sleep patterns, especially insomnia

  • Longer healing periods for minor cuts and scratches

  • Fall in blood pressure and dizziness when getting up from a prone or seated position

  • Gastrointestinal disturbances, especially diarrhea

  • Gradual loss of weight in the absence of dieting or increased physical activity

  • Greater than usual increase in heart rate during a standard exercise session

  • Impaired mental acuity and performances or inability to concentrate

  • Inability to complete routine exercise training sessions that were no special challenge previously

  • Increase in resting heart rate (recorded early in the morning)

  • Excessive thirst and fluid consumption at night

  • Greater susceptibility to infections, allergies, headaches, and injuries

  • General loss of enthusiasm, drive, and motivation

  • Loss of libido or interest in sex

  • Irregular or no menstruation in premenopausal women

  • Muscles and joint pain

  • Sluggishness that persists for more than 24 hours after a workout

Overtraining can affect your immune system too.

Jeff Galloway suggests replace running with cross training. Choose activities that don't put stress on the same muscles used for running. Try swimming, biking, rowing, upper body weightlifting and even walking.
And then there's the not so simple solution - add rest days!
The question I often battle with is, "How many miles should I run in a week?" I feel obligated to run more because other runners are - bad! Woody Green explores this question and concludes - "Trying to get a certain number of miles in per week may be the most common road to overtraining there is."
" No runner should feel inadequate because they don't sustain a particular weekly mileage. "

Every once in awhile take a break and run less! It might just produce a PR you never thought possible.