Whether you’re struggling when out running or taking the hit at home, overtraining could be to blame. – By Wesley Doyle
Are you pushing too hard? Tom Craggs, lead coach at Running with Us, explains the warning signs of overtraining syndrome (OTS).
Lack of progression:
Despite increasing the quality and/or quantity of your training, your progression slows or reverses. You’re working harder in sessions that previously felt easy.
Injuries and niggles:
Constant niggles in different areas, or a persistent injury that just doesn’t improve.
Muscle fatigue and slow recovery:
A classic sign of OTS is taking significantly longer to recover from hard sessions.
In the mind
Mood swings and sensitivity:
Finding yourself regularly irritable and moody.
Loss of motivation:
Simply no longer enjoying your training, seeing running as a ‘chore’ and fearing your hard sessions
Less concentration, resilience and focus:
Finding it harder to ‘tough it out’ in hard sessions or races.
Weight loss or gain:
Overtraining increases the likelihood of rapid and hard-to-explain weight fluctuations.
Constantly craving sugar, caffeine or salt to perk you up.
Loss of appetite:
An increase in adrenaline and noradrenaline triggered by overtraining can cause a loss of appetite.
Constant, or periods of extreme tiredness. A decreased ability to achieve a deep sleep phase, often indicated by an increase in movement during sleep is another sign.
Upper respiratory infections are a very common OTS indicator.
Loss of libido:
Overtraining causes a reduction in anabolic hormones, which can result in reduced sex drive.
Blood tests can reveal OTS markers such as a drop in ferritin (a protein that stores iron) and magnesium.
A rise in your resting heart rate on waking, or a consistent change while running at lactate threshold can indicate OTS.