Overtraining Series, Pt. 3: Recovery

If you’ve fallen into one of the most common training mistakes, then it’s time to stop and recover. Overtraining recovery is just an important part of getting back to the top of your game.

If you’ve fallen into one of the most common training mistakes, then it’s time to stop and recover. Overtraining recovery is just an important part of getting back to the top of your game.

You’ve been training like a maniac for weeks – pulling out all the stops to get ready for the big day. You’ve upped the ante at practice, started going to the gym twice a day, and pushing yourself further than you’ve ever gone before when it comes to training. Now, you’re exhausted, constantly sore, can’t sleep, and certainly can’t relax. You’ve heard about overtraining constantly from the sports and athletic communities, and now you’ve found yourself in that exact situation. Not wanted to push yourself into injury, you’ve back off quite a bit from training.

However, you don’t want to set yourself back on training. How do you recover properly from training without losing momentum? It may seem counterintuitive, but not taking the time to recover could end up costing you more in the long run – with performance and health.

Overtraining Is Pretty Common

Overtraining isn’t just for newbies. Many seasoned athletes push themselves so hard that end up resetting the clock due to overtraining. Furthermore, those who simply exercise and workout for the health benefits also aren’t immune to the effects of overdoing it. The fact of the matter is that our bodies aren’t machines that go day in and day out pushing the limits. Each person’s limits are different, however. Overtraining is a problem for even the most professional and fittest athlete.

Without rest and proper recovery, recreational athletes, as well as professional athletes, can overdo it when it comes to juggling working out, training, and juggling other elements of life such as families and jobs.

Yes, that’s right – overtraining can also be caused by the stresses of everyday living outside of working out, especially if you’re not giving yourself a well-deserved break.

The Answer To Poor Performance

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the answer to poor performance is not training harder. Most people think that if they’re not reaching their goals, that must mean they’re not trying hard enough. This is one of the leading causes to overtraining.

However, it’s not about training harder, but smarter. Moreover, it’s about recovery time between working out and when you’ve been overdoing it.

Rest Is Key

Coming down from overtraining doesn’t mean resetting the clock on the progress you’ve made. However, it does mean giving yourself adequate rest.

How much rest do you need? Those in the sports and athletic community, as well as medical professionals, suggest taking a break from high levels of exertion for 36 hours after a hard training session. This is completely dependent on each person’s strength and training level, however. A hard training session for an Olympic swimmer is going to be completely different from one for a health guru. This means that you need to pay attention and listen to what your body is telling you. If you’re still exhibiting the symptoms of overtraining, then you need to extend your rest period or seek professional advice from an athletic trainer or physical therapist.

Smart Ways To Recover From Overtraining

  1. Reduce the intensity of your training and workouts until you feel you’re ready or until your coach, trainer, or physical therapist has cleared you.
  2. Gradually increase your training intensity over the course of a couple of weeks. Too much stress will land you right back into recovery.
  3. Get a deep-tissue or sports massage, which can help the affected muscles recover quickly.
  4. Eat a highly nutritious diet.
  5. Revisit your training program to balance it out.

Many times, overtraining is caused by not knowing how to train correctly. Seeking the help of an athletic trainer or even physical therapist can help you devise a program that will get you training smarter, not harder.