Overtraining is one of the leading causes of injury when it comes to athletes. Whether you’re an avid athlete or the weekend warrior, it’s important to strike a training balance to avoid overtraining.
Easier said than done, say many people, including coaches.
So what does striking a balance in training look like? The answer to the question depends entirely on the sport and the current physical health of the athlete. However, there are some standards and tips that you can follow to help strike your own balance in your training program.
Remember Each Person Is Different
When it comes to training, many people think that one size fits all. Especially in the day of social media and blogging, there are many people out there who claim to be fitness experts. These fitness experts give training programs and exercises. Although these programs may be helpful, they’re often a cookie-cutter approach to training; meaning, they don’t take into account a person’s fitness level or their goals.
Each person is at a different fitness level and has different fitness goals. While one person may be training for an ultra marathon or the Iron Man triathlon, another person may just want to be able to get up to running a 5K. A regular training day for the ultra-marathoner is going to result in exhaustion and overtraining for the person running a 5K. This is why it’s important to not only take into account your current fitness level, but your goals as well.
Recover, Recover, Recover
Many people believe that there’s no such thing as overtraining, but rather under-recovering. There is some truth to this idea, but more to the point overtraining is the result of not recovering properly. Resting for at least 36 hours after a hard workout session is what doctors recommend. This should be a complete rest, with only light stretching. Other recovery days should entail active recovery, which means having a light workout such as deep-breathing yoga or walking.
Listen To Your Body To Avoid Overtraining
The biggest way to avoid overtraining is to listen to your body. There are tell-tale signs that indicate you’re on the road to overdoing it. Other than fatigue, getting sick and feeling sore are two symptoms that can indicate you need to slow down.
Many people believe in pushing your limits and that this leads to better performance. Indeed, part of improving your performance is to push your limits. However, pushing your limits too far for too long is a sure way of overdoing it. To avoid this it’s important to not only listen to your body but follow a strict training program that has been designed specifically for you with your goals in mind.